February 12, 2018

A Q&A with David Dolcini

Some of the most prolific designers are born into a long line of creatives, that’s the case for David Dolcini. Coming from three generations of carpenters, Dolcini has cultivated his signature refined, industrial style through his family history as well as his professional education. Upon completing his studies at Milan Polytechnic in 2004, Dolcini dove head first into the design world and became the project manager for Luceplan. He later worked for A00-Architecture in Shanghai and eventually returned to Italy in 2007 to open his own studio. He has collaborated with Panasonic, Porada, Galassia, and TossB to name a few.

What is a typical work day for you?

There’s no typical work day: my job consists of intensive product development periods, craftwork, prototyping phases, meetings and business trips - all interspersed with constant research and design processes. This depends on the period of the year, the presence of events or fairs, the imminent presentation of a project and so on.

My work aims to investigate the relationship between complexity and simplicity, in search of that magic that only the delicate play of balances between these two elements can recreate.

How could you describe the philosophy behind your work?

My work aims to investigate the relationship between complexity and simplicity, in search of that magic that only the delicate play of balances between these two elements can recreate.

When designing a product, I work hard to balance all of the components: The materials, production, cost, technical, form and function. The result is a simple, linear object on the surface, brimming with complexity.

You have your own studio - Can you share the story of it?

I opened my own firm david dolcini STUDIO in 2007. It deals primarily with product and industrial design, interiors and exhibit design and art direction. I collaborate with Italian and International brands like Luceplan, Triennale di Milano, Panasonic, Riva1920, Porada, IED, Galassia and TossB among others.

Ten years ago, I opened my own studio, near Milan, that is the operating center of my activity, with a laboratory where I develop and realize my own prototypes. In 2012, I opened my second office in Valencia, Spain.

Your studio has recently designed lamps like Garbi and Bow. What is most important for you while designing lighting pieces?

For all my projects, including the designing of lighting pieces, the balance between the complexity of the project and the apparent simplicity has a very important role. The complexity of the production process with the shape of the product, the light and the surrounding environment and the simplicity of the harmonious impact the product has on the spectator.

What is essential during the design process? Is it being experimental or innovative? What is the goal in the beginning of every project?

I was born to a family with a long craft tradition; three generations of carpenters. Thanks to that and to my educational and professional process (Milan Polytechnic Masters degree, project manager for Luceplan and being the consultant for important design firms in Milan), I developed an analytic, modern design method and approach that allowed me to acquired a deep knowledge of industrial production technologies.

All my products are the result of a strict process that starts with preliminary research and the creation of a feeling that becomes sketch idea, then passes through prototypes, and finally ends in production.

Mirage for Karboxx

"My first idea was to enclose a strong dynamism within an timeless object, elegantly proportioned and with a female silhouette. I was looking for a romantic atmosphere."

With its sinuous profile and the relation that is generated between the two finishes, inner and outer, the perception of light, and the lamp itself, changes from time to time depending on the position of the observer. It is characterized by the use of an innovative voltage LED source and a metal shade with a double finishing. Thanks to the balanced combination of its characteristics, the lamp fits perfectly in private decorative architecture, as well as in more minimal contract projects.

Bow for TossB

Bow is a family of decorative lamps with a strong graphic character. The Bow project tries to condense the essence of arch geometry into an minimal lamp. The other two ingredients who play an important role in the product are: gravity and balance.

The power cable, passing through thin bended metal pipes, draws lightweight arcs which hold up the metal lampshades. “Since Romans, the “arch” is one of the basics in architecture. It’s part of our daily life (even if we don’t notice it). It express, at the same time, deepness, strength and equilibrium.” Bow family is composed by a floor/hanging lamp, and 7 different chandeliers (2, 4 or 6 bulbs). All products support E27 sources.

Shop Bow Collection

Garbí for Luceplan

Garbí is a wall lamp created by the designer David Dolcini for the italian lighting company Luceplan in 2017. It’s a single, solid volume made of soft, regular surfaces that meet to create precise edges. The indirect light from the LED source combined with that of the space enhance its solid image, gently shaped surfaces and angles, for a striking graphic effect. The LED light reflects off the wall to create a sense of contrast, sliding into the opening to light it up and form the delicate image of an arch on the wall below. The opening adds depth to the object. Garbí is a lamp designed to function even when it is off, through ambient light, taking on a different character.

“I designed Garbí as if it was a sculpture, removing material from an initial volume and gradually observing how the light slides over its surfaces, accentuating the edges. I observed the sunlight in Valencia for hours and hours, shaping the surfaces and revealing the volumes. Then I attempted to transmit that sensation of balance, vitality and force in Garbí, a much smaller object made to light architectural interiors all over the world.”

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