Design of product, furniture, lighting, interior architecture, events, scenography, outdoor design. This are the many projects realized by Philippe Nigro, French designer born in 1975 in Nice.
Throughout his career Philippe Nigro worked for internationally renowned companies among which Serralunga, Ligne Roset, Cinna, Barilla, Pernod-Ricard, Caimi , De Castelli, Piba Marmi, Skitsch, Artuce, Glas Italia, Testi, Foscarini, Discipline, DePadova, Baccarat, Hermès.
In 2014 he has been nominated as Designer of the Year at Now/Maison & Objet fair and the Triennale di Milano commissioned him the scenography of the 7th edition of the Museum of Design.
Fascinated by the potentialities of "non-regular" design, Philippe Nigro designed both outdoors and interiors which are functional and versatile, made to fit the many changing necessities of contemporary living.
For Serralunga he created two seats for the outdoor design: an armchair and a sofa: Canisse Armchair and Canisse Sofa. Two objects of outdoor design that have an extremely naturalistic concept. Canisse is an open air shelter, a safe place in which big pillows exhort you to relax.
We interviewed Philippe Nigro, here is what he told us:
1) How did your passion for design start?
My passion for design started when I was a child. Since then my studies had always been oriented to applied art.
I was attracted by objects, I was intrigued by their shape. I used to disassemble them in order to understand how they were made, to understand their nature.
2) How would you define your design style?
It's difficult to define it. When I am commissioned a project, I always try to get closer and closer to the values of the company I'm working for; for me this is fundamental.
Furthermore, I pay special attention to the functionality of the product.
Also, I try to "put" a part of me in it, I like to think that it will live in the things I create. Sometimes I even insert a detail that only I am able to see. When possible I draw inspiration from themes I love, like puzzle boxes and overlapping.
3) Outdoor design or interior design: which one do you prefer?
No preferences, for me every object means a new adventure.
The project itself has the priority. Outdoor design has particular parameters; it needs techniques and materials which are different from the interior design. Each object is unique and goes far beyond its position.
4) We know that in the past you worked with the stone; what can you tell us about it?
I can say I have some experience with the stone. It's a material I know enough but it's still mysterious. I could compare it to the wood for some aspects. The stone is a noble material, particularly suitable for outdoor design. Its only limit is the weight; it's a difficult material but at the same time I enjoy working it.
5) Your collaboration with Serralunga. Is there something you took inspiration from for the creation and design of Canisse?
Serralunga gave me an outdoor design project, so since the beginning I focused on outdoor settings. In the south of France, where I was born, you can find reeds, wild plants that moves with the wind. Natural shields that gives protection. That was my inspiration in the creation of Canisse and it's from those plants, Cannes de Provence, that it takes the name.
Canisse Sofa and Armchair have an embracing shape; I like to imagine them as shields in which you can find some shelter.
The rotational moulding technique of Serralunga allowed me to give a natural effect to an industrial project.
6) Can you tell us the ideal setting in which you imagine Canisse Armchair and Canisse Sofa? Do you consider them exclusively as outdoor design objects?
Even though they were born to be outdoor furniture, I believe they can stay inside and outside with no problems, fitting perfectly both outdoor design and interior design. You can play with the colors of the plastic or the pillows, that way you can place them wherever you want to.
7) Let's talk about outdoor design: which materials do you prefer to use?
It depends from the project, although I like to mix them up: stone, wood, plastic. I think the wood is the most reassuring one while the plastic must be used with a meaning. The costs for moulding are expensive and also the timing is long but the result is astonishing. Canisse is a great example of it.
8) What design object would you like to have in your home?
This is a hard one. Choosing only one it's difficult. Feltri armchair by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina really fascinates me. I believe it's a masterpiece.
9) Future projects: what are you working on?
I'm working on different projects, but I can't tell you more for now.
Till now I've been focusing mainly on outdoor design projects. I'd love to explore new fields: to realize interior projects, museums, restaurants, houses..
Ambitious dreams, they scare me a little bit but at the same time they stimulate me a lot. Broaden my horizons: for me this is fundamental and constructive.
Thank you Philippe!