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Creative Direction

Antonio Citterio

HERITAGE PERSPECTIVES

After a first important collaboration with Afra and Tobia Scarpa, in 1993 Maxalto heralded a new era with Antonio Citterio as its sole designer, introduced by the creation of his first collection in 1996. Antonio Citterio’s work centred initially on the early twentieth century style and subsequently drew inspiration from the French design of the interwar period, always finding new and effective ways of interpreting contemporary aesthetic trends. For Citterio, Maxalto became a production workshop in which to research and manufacture a collection of “modern neo-classics”. Neo-classics because they are filtered, in terms of form and finishes, through the contemporary eyes of an Italian architect, and modern because they are designed to provide comfortable solutions for the home intended as a homogeneous, coherent environment in which furniture and objects interact fluidly. Similar yet very different, the furniture in the Maxalto collection customises the home, its rooms becoming an expression of an entirely personal and unique lifestyle. The brand’s products have never been tied to the latest fads and fashions, offering instead a wealth of variations of comfort, of conviviality, and of the home as a private, domestic environment with a social dimension.

"When you embark on a design program to create not only objects, but an all-encompassing idea of interiors, the final goal is not always clear. The trick is to gradually bring into focus what at first seems vague, and this is done by patiently working on the shapes, structures and materials. My design journey with Maxalto began in the mid-1990s with a vision: an imaginary theatrical setting for a bourgeois interior of French inspiration, composed of products that would combine aesthetic pleasure with functional duty. Important reference points helped turn this scenario into reality – imaginative designers from the past like Jean-Michel Frank, who softened the sometimes constrictive geometry of modernism; the dedication of the manufacturer and its technicians to obtain the most elevated quality; and the trained eye of the communication specialists who present these objects to the people. After many years of work, my impression is that we have created a universe of cohesive products true to the initial concept of building a specific type of environment, which is to say we have won the wager. Now that it has been collected in what I consider to be more book, more partial autobiography than catalogue, this furniture transmits the feeling of a completed cycle. The pieces can go freely into the world, into homes, independent of their designer, because they have become a physical boon for contemporary living that is as rich as it is varied, destined to last for a long time to come. I could not have wished for a better fulfilment of the undertaking we started 25 years ago."