Interview with Annalisa Lago
The CEO of Azimut Design is the Artist on Board for July and August 2022
The CEO of Azimut Design is the Artist on Board for July and August 2022Riccardo Benedini March 2023
From porcelain decorator to interior designer. Annalisa talks about her journey and her company on the occasion of her traveling installation “Ice Cubes in Venice” aboard Lycian Princess
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Good morning everyone and welcome back aboard the Lycian Princess. My name is Riccardo Benedini and I offer artists, designers, and creatives the opportunity to tell their stories through short interviews at sea. We are on board the Lycian Princess, a thirty-meter Turkish gulet moored right behind the Giardini della Biennale of Venice. About a month has passed since our last interview at sea and today we have the designer Annalisa Lago here on board to tell us about her works from her company Azimut Design.
Good morning Annalisa.
Good morning Riccardo, thanks for the invite.
It was difficult to distract you from your working days, but finally here we are at sea surrounded by some of your objects. Can you describe your artistic career?
I’m Annalisa, CEO of Azimut Design. Since I was a child my life has been permeated by the idea of art and drawing, and after studying architecture, my indomitable character made me follow my own path and open my first atelier in which I painted porcelain and saw my works travel all over the world. Above all, I fondly remember a job done for an art-loving client to such an extent that he wanted hand-made dishes for his restaurants in Puerto Rico, which I then painted reproducing all the works of Canaletto in Venice.
So from decorator of art porcelain to designer. A truly unique journey dictated in particular by the encounter with resin. But how and when did the encounter with this material take place?
The meeting took place thanks to my partner Francesco, also a designer who at the time was working on a project with resin. Because of this I was able to learn about the material. I fell madly in love with the many possibilities it offers and like a time capsule, as I love to say, I can incorporate any product and bring it back to life.
Recognizing oneself in the material and being aware of this bond is the mission of Annalisa Lago’s brand “Azimut Design”, which devotes maximum attention to the investigation of its customers to better realize the dream of a world built around them.
Azimut Design is now an internationally recognized Italian brand for the creation of glass resin objects and furnishing accessories, but also precious materials from all over the world. The brand works on people’s imagination, creating one-of-a-kind pieces. Tell us a little about the kind of customer Azimut Design is looking for and, if possible, some examples of original requests.
Our furnishing accessories, our products are found in every part of the world and we have a clientele that varies from the private client who perhaps buys just one object, a table or a lamp, to designers and architects who offer us their projects that we have to develop. For example very important companies in the field of fashion and luxury, such as Bottega Veneta, with whom we have been collaborating for several years and for which we create objects that they exhibit in their windows, in their shops all over the world from Asia to America, to Europe. We have recently carried out a very important project for the Galeries Lafayette in Paris with colored accessories in satin resin, illuminated by LED lights and which are the fulcrum of the new space of the wellness area just inaugurated by the large company.
In the meantime congratulations. When I visited the Azimut Design headquarters in Verona, I found myself in front of a true forge of desires. A company embroidered around a dream world, made up of shapes and colors never seen before. In particular, your warehouse of materials from all over the world was amazing, among which I remember a labyrinth made of bundles of roots and trees. So it seems to me that the search for raw materials is at the heart of everything. Is it correct?
Yes, we have an amazing collection of woods from all over the world and with them we create one of the most loved products by the public, which are the tables and we use briar-roots that with the resin obtain a surface with a wonderful iridescent effect, similar to silk. We also use resin in another ways for other particular woods such as rosewood, the tech for which we pour the resin into the meanders of the wood and obtain a very particular glossy and satin effect and the opportunity, in any case, to always touch the wood as if it was still alive. Then it’s a work within a work, because this research is continuous and pushes me to look for always different and always new materials and it is always a fascinating research.
As you called it when we met: a real “time capsule”. In particular, when we talk about resin we often talk about the immersion process. It seems like a simple thing, but during my visit I realized it’s actually a very complex process. What can you tell me about it?
It is a very slow, complicated process that always requires maximum attention and depends precisely on the result you want to achieve. So each new creation is a new challenge. The various finishes can also be seen here on board, because for example with the “Jelly Cubes” we have resin pushed to the max to obtain this particular bubble effect. For the musk instead, we have a completely crystalline and transparent resin, without the presence of any bubbles and another particular finish, which was also created for Lycian Princess, is this “Ice” finish with the Murano glass cotisso.
“Ice Cubes in Venice” is the name of this traveling installation you created for Lycian Princess. A truly original name for a summer trip in the Mediterranean seas. But how did you get this idea?
Yes, “Ice Cubes in Venice” is an installation that absolutely recalls Venice. It is a dreamlike journey through the history of Murano glass and we have created these cubes in colors that recall the sea with this casting of cotisso, inserted in resin, which recalls the foam of the sea and, in particular, this table which has a very difficult process because we have created this curved surface that recalls a sea wave. So always a tribute to Venice and the sea.
It seems to me that this is not the first time you have celebrated this bond of beauty with the city of Venice. I understand that a few years ago you created furnishing accessories inspired by Venetian bricole and more recently a seven-metre table for a beautiful palace on the Grand Canal.
Certainly. We have used many Venetian bricole, precisely, using the disused poles of the lagoon to create beautiful tables and other accessories, walls, doors. And then we also created this very important table, laser cutting the surface of the briar wood to obtain an effect that looks like an ancient Venetian bobbin lace and then cast in resin and therefore the amazing effect, for this seven-metre table, is this effect of lace covered in resin therefore a unique contrast of ancient and modern.
We could say that you never get bored, especially in your atelier, where designers contact you every day, many female designers from all over the world who want you as a production partner for their creations. In particular, during the last Salone del Mobile, I visited the installation at Palazzo Litta by Martina Guandalini with whom you collaborated. What can you tell me about that adventure?
Yes, Martina is one of our designers and we have created some accessories for her, including beautiful vases made with marmorino combined with our colored resins and the effect, the result was very beautiful. Then we collaborate with Azadeh Shladovky who has a studio in Los Angeles and for her we are creating objects based on some of our production lines that we customize in colors and shapes for her and a very particular still top secret project that will be visible in a few months .
Let’s say that these are quite electrifying months, also because now “Ice Cubes in Venice” will set sail for this journey in the Mediterranean seas. We will meet again at the end of this journey aboard the Lycian Princess, near the Venice Film Festival and therefore, in front of this icy wave, I thank you for making us part of this “icy” dream journey by Azimut Design.
Thank you, Riccardo. See you soon.
Interview with Annalisa Lago