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Italian Architect Piero Lissoni on Why Less Is More in Architecture and Design

Sponsored by illy

12.19.18

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There is a guiding force to good design—even if you can’t see it.

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Architect, designer, and art director Piero Lissoni describes himself as a complicated man with a wide imagination. “Every day a human being should play,” he says, a mischievous smile dancing across his face, in a video interview for illy as part of the brand’s recent #LIVEHAPPilly campaign.

These designs have ranged from high-end Miami Beach residences to full-scale factories, showrooms, and restaurants, as well as numerous products and exhibition stands for global brands like illy. His work has received international acclaim, including recognition by the Good Design Award, Red Dot Award, Compasso D’Oro ADI, and Elle Decor International. In 2005, Lissoni was inducted into the New York Interior Design Hall of Fame.  

Elegant and clean are design qualities that illy also holds dear, as it creates the perfect blend and tools to enhance the ritual of making your daily brew. It was a harmonious partnership when Lissoni designed the illy Y3.2 espresso and coffee machine, created specifically for small spaces—as anyone with a compact urban kitchen will appreciate. The sensory ritual of making coffee first thing in the morning, explains Lissoni, was a sort of meta inspiration for the design of the machine itself.

“When I started to design ‘her’ — because the Y3.2 is a ‘her’ to me — I simply froze a few small moments,” Lissoni explains. “I froze a shape around a ritual. It starts and ends there.”

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When it comes to his own “backstage” daily routine, Lissoni says he enjoys taking time out of his day to pause and enjoy small, treasured moments — such as playing with his beloved pups. “I often escape from the studio with my dogs,” he says.

Lissoni also takes the ritualistic nature of enjoying coffee seriously; he says the most important cup of coffee of the day is the second. “The first gets you going, and with the second, your day happily unfolds,” he says.

Watch the full interview with Piero Lissoni on illy’s website, and share the role that imagination, routine, and happiness play in your life by using the #LIVEHAPPilly hashtag.

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