ID: Given your focus on object and furniture design, what’s your take on “democratic design?” How does strong design, available at a range of price points, affect the industry?
SC: This is a very current conversation…As president of IFI, I deal with a lot of governments and policy makers and my job is advocacy. But for what am I advocating? It’s a problem for design to be funneled into the “cool” and “hip” and “trendy.” There’s that side to it, but in every aspect there are far more pertinent conversations to be had. Trendiness takes away from excellence. For example, there are people out there who believe that interdisciplinary design is important…For me, architects are architects and designers are designers, and there is a difference. If we decide that titles don’t matter, why do we have them? Design is pervasive; nothing in the world today is not designed. The public does not know what good design is. It need experts to execute design in smart ways, so we can accomplish great design.
"Remember the old, old lamp that greeted you from far away, through the window of your thoughts, its panes burned by suns of other years… What will the friendly old lamp think of you, during the lonely winter nights? What will the other objects think of you, the ones that were so kind, so fraternally kind to you? Was not their obscure fate closely united with your own?
…Motionless, mute things never forget: melancholy and despised as they are, we confide in them that which is humblest and least suspected in the depths of ourselves.”