No bullshit, Gio

It all repeated at Jagoda's last present, a short monograph by the designer Gio Ponti.

After throwing away wood panelling with white grouts, a terribly dark coffered ceiling and brass track lights, maybe even chairs with legs in contours of cattle legs and an imperishable fake leather seating, all at the price of a new interior according to the architectural plan … in that moment our customers feel relieved, younger than me celebrate, the allergic are soothed, and me – I remain wondering, where all the imagination has gone that gave birth to all these barely imaginable combinations. The imagination that didn’t scare away from combining more than two materials to create what is today of course perceived at least as mistakenly designed interior design. Then, very silently and intimately, I feel overcome by enthusiasm over everything considered a flaw. A flaw above which we have climbed and look down on from the convinced position of “correct” with a feeling of contempt and disgust, smirking as if we had now really found the holy truth. And I turn upon the new kitchen, arriving in the house, all white and shiny, without any handles or joints, without anything actually, and it is clear to me that everything that remains today, remains increasingly more boring, increasingly more correct and, I hope increasingly more, soon intended for the landfill.

From the whole opus of Gio Ponti, there are two or maybe three designs that fascinate me to perfection. But actually, I love him more for that remaining 95 % of his work. Those designs that at first site I even find a bit repelling, being too full of motives, forms, colours and textures. But at the same time, they are damn attractive, if not with anything else, with their sinfulness. Constant provocative spears, which I get from the images of his interior designs, materials and a pleiad of motives, remind me of the fearless violation of all generally accepted rules, and a constant questioning of and surpassing my own.

If somebody has ever really taught me something, it has been people who made mistakes. And of course, they didn’t scare away at the first one. These devils prick you, awaken you from the drowsiness of the correct line and make you think. But mistakes, just like toilet germs, dirty dishes viruses and stubborn clothes’ stains, are being removed from the horizon. And not only do we eliminate them with the help of correctness testing procedures before we even pronounce them out loud or launch them, methods for avoiding mistakes have strongly affected our thinking. God forbid that I fit a colour into an interior design that I cannot argue for with a styling from some Wallpaper or Wire; what if it turns out postmodern, loud or even worse. The fact is that we believe in some firm rules of “correct”, here and now. Mistake!

When I look at Ponti, I imagine courage, which drives the world-renowned designer to go beyond the point where he knows that the accomplished can easily satisfy the expectations. No, he is ignorantly marching on, digging and digging, adding and adding, layering, admitting the legitimacy of various views, life’s colourfulness and the right to design in order to mirror this diversity... and in the end, to possibly sometimes also make a mistake.

Increasingly more often, I agree with lay people; it seems like today the architects are like capons generating box-like houses, this group orgasmic crown of creativity. And we exchange compliments about the best perfectly sunken jamb screws. Everything is correct, everything in its place, exactly where it should be, in its damn boring place! There is no forza, but Alles in ordnung… and safety, safety comes first!


So, off to a decaf and then some exercise!

Article title
No bullshit, Gio
Original article title
Kreativno: Ne ga srat, Gio
Andrej Mercina
Published in