Design "turns art into something practical" says Simone Bonanni
Italian designer Simone Bonanni explains how he went from doodling in the margins of his notebooks to designing pieces for Moooi, in our latest Design Dreams video for the Dutch brand.
Bonanni, who heads Simone Bonanni Studio in Milan, has designed two pieces for Moooi – including the Hana armchair, which was launched in London yesterday.
Bonanni's latest design for Moooi, the Hana armchair, is a cocoon-like piece with a curved backrest that envelops the sitter.
"I see it as the softest product in the Moooi catalogue," Bonanni said in the video interview, which was recorded at his studio in Milan. "The wide backrest allows me to delimit a sort of place of comfort where you can spend rainy Sundays, read a book or just take a rest."
Bonanni also designed a lower version of the armchair without the wide backrest.
Bonanni's first design for Moooi was a set of low side tables made of terracotta named the Obon tables, which come in three different shapes.
"They are packed into a very simple shape, a very simple silhouette," Bonanni said. "They are just like little friends, they don't disturb you, they look beautiful, they look simple."
According to Bonanni, he decided to focus on design because it offered him a more practical way of applying his skills as an artist.
"During high school, I didn't really pay a lot of attention to the teachers," he said. "I was just drawing stupid figures on the blank corners of my books, until I felt like well, I could turn this passion into a profession maybe."
"How can you translate the idea of being an artist into something more practical and more close to people? And so I thought design was the right choice."
After completing his degree in industrial design at Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, Bonanni moved to Amsterdam to work for Marcel Wanders, the founder of Moooi. He worked at Marcel Wanders Studio for three years before returning to Milan to start his own practice.
His ambition to design for Moooi was instilled when he visited the brand's lavish exhibitions during Milan Design Week as a university student.
"I remember being at university and going for the first time to the Moooi exhibition during Salone Del Mobile, and it was the biggest and the brightest one," he said. "I thought one day I might design something for Moooi hopefully."
The Hana armchair was launched at the Moooi showroom in London on Thursday 12 September. It will remain on display throughout London Design Festival alongside a floral installation created for the launch of the chair at at 23 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 7PA.
This movie was filmed in Milan for Moooi. It is part of an ongoing collaboration between Dezeen and Moooi called Design Dreams exploring how successful designers turned their dreams into reality.