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Tobia Scarpa

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When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
When I was born, my father passed on to me our family name, in some ways foreshadowing my future profession. So, from the time I was a helpless child, I was able to find my craft by emulating my father, following in his footsteps. I don’t know if I’ve done it well because it’s a difficult job, but at the time it seemed easy.

In your terms, what is artificial lighting?
For me, artificial lighting is an instrument that keeps ousting you at every step of your life, always changing something. However, this just represents the pleasure of playing – the lighting is therefore the space for playing.

Why do you like working with Flos?
Back in the day when I was working for Flos, the most amusing thing was always being able to amaze others, by making objects that were considered impossible or non-commercial but in the end proved to be winners.

What is the next object you would like to design?
At the moment, I can’t say what object I’d like to design next. I can’t really pinpoint a lighting project truly new to Flos that I could make, especially considering that the success of the projects often emerges later.

Is there a master of art that you consider an inspiration for your work?
If there is a master of art to consider as a reference… at my age, I believe I wouldn’t need it and if anything, I think about being an inspiration for others.

Is making good wine more difficult than designing well?
Designing means engaging in intellectual processes and using materials in a way to reach satisfactory results. I suppose that making good wine, good architecture or good design is a very similar act, not to say almost the same.

What do you remember from meeting Sergio Gandini?
I remember Sergio Gandini well. My previous experiences were related to Flos’ early days. Over time we were able to work together, upholding the image of Flos which was gaining strength around the world. Now it’s just me left, and alone I can’t play tennis anymore, at least not with him.

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Afra and Tobia Scarpa with Sergio Gandini
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Foglio, 1966
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ph. © Riccardo Crosetta
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Fantasma, 1961
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ph. © Alberto Vendrame
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Biagio, 1968