The Room Papers
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Interview with Christian Mussati
Christian Mussati founded in 2013 with his father, Maurizio Mussati, the renowned brand of sculptural lamps Wonderglass. By traditional craftsmanship, they make customized lighting pieces using Murano glass with the work of their team of WonderLab artisans.
– Tell us a little about you, how was your beginnings? I was always familiar with design as my father Maurizio (and co-founder of WonderGlass) has been a part of the design industry for a long time (Bisazza, Established & Sons, Flos and Moooi). I worked in finance at Morgan Stanley for 10 years of my life.
I applied the dynamics of an international environment to an artisanal company, providing me with something that finally is, first time in my life, tangible. The end result is collaborating and the interacting with artists and glassmakers, rather than bites of data running across the net from one screen to another.
– How did the Wonderglass idea come? The whole merit goes to Maurizio who pointed my attention in the right direction. I was receptive to his vision however nothing would be even close to what you see today without his dream.
– Since that date, how has it developed? WonderGlass changed my life substantially, I finally feel fulfilled and, in a position, to express myself. This has been recognized by many people who are close to me. I am not sure if I was supposed to become an entrepreneur in a creative environment as the one WonderGlass competes into. I can say though that it feels great and I see this experience as a whole new chapter of my life.
– What is success to you? Success is a well-done job!
– How important is the material in your designs? We named our brand after the material we believe in. Glass is unique and magical in a multitude of ways.
– What was the first project you carried out? We started presenting creations by Zaha Hadid, Jaime Hayon, Nendo and Nao Tamura for 2013 Milan Design Week. The show we put together to officially launch the brand smashed the scene. I remember that I was new to the environment and overwhelmed with excitement most of the time.
– What do you love most about your job? Glass is the only material I can think about which is so versatile and flexible, and you can see through it. In addition, there is a strict unbreakable relationship with light. It exists for light to both reflect and go through it, a relationship you cannot break.
– Can a design be turned into art? We try to do that all the time. I like to think that WonderGlass makes you dream.
– What influences do design and designers in today’s society? There has been a massive exposure to design, fashion and lifestyle for a wider audience with internet and travels. People talk about these topics in a broader manner. Some aspects might be understood mainly by a limited number of insiders, but we see this community expanding all the time. It is a way to expose people to the aesthetic values that design can evoke. The final consequence is that there are far more opportunities to give wider access to the public at large to have a greater appreciation, understanding about design.
– What role plays the feelings in the design? Good design can be controversial but at the same time it should lift the spirit, the soul and ultimately deliver an aesthetic appreciation of an object or an environment. It should not be elitist, good design should be egalitarian – for all. Not everything should be entirely functional with no aesthetic or magical elements. It should, if possible both please the senses and bring together all the elements of aesthetic, materials and, to a degree, functionality.
– How have you evolved over the years? I am still the same guy, maybe a bit more curious.
– What are your goals? Where would you like to arrive? WonderGlass will be the point of reference for glass related pieces of creativity. We possess the love for old school techniques and the curiosity to breach the boundaries of innovation.
– What would you say to someone who started now in this sector? There is no right or wrong, what really matters is the way see your ideas (and business) growing. It will be natural to adapt and to adjust accordingly. Failure is not fatal and the perseverance to carry on is what eventually counts the most.
Many thanks to Christian Mussati for letting us know more about his experiences and professional career. We hope you continue to surprise us with their incredible designs and thanks for inspiring us with their works.