On a recent visit to Hong Kong, Perspective Awards 2013 judge and Kartell CEO Claudio Luti tells Perspective that quality is his top priority when determining strategies for the global furniture brand – and for Milan’s Salone del Mobile, which he oversees in his role as president of Cosmit
We’re always advised to save for a rainy day, so that we’re prepared in the event of any emergency – but how does this affect creativity? Should designers hold off in times of an economic downturn because the opportunities for new industrial designs to go into mass production tend to dwindle when times are hard? Claudio Luti, CEO of Kartell and president of Cosmit, which runs Milan’s annual Salone del Mobile, doesn’t think so.
After all, when there are more than 300,000 people visiting Salone del Mobile – which launched in 1961 and remains the industry’s leading furniture show – they want to see innovative designs and excitement. “All the most important companies and businesses will gather in the fairground, meaning that world-class architects, designers, buyers, exhibitors and journalists will visit – that makes for a lot of business,” says Luti.
As far as he is concerned, a recession is no reason to repress creativity. However, given the cloudy outlook of the European economic landscape, Luti admits that with Italy not in the best of shapes at the moment, there were moments of “ants in the pants” when preparing for the 2013 edition of Salone del Mobile. “We put a lot of time and energy to organise the event – for me, it’s the best in the world,” he says. “The result was exactly the contrary [to our fears], and we saw many innovations happening in the fairground.”