A TALK WITH LIVIA PERALDO MATTON
Photography by Matteo Pastorio
Livia Peraldo Matton, editor in chief of Elle Decor Italy since 2001, has turned her passion for design in the work of a lifetime. She graduated in Architecture from Milan Polytechnic, decided to devote herself to journalism and became Art Director of Casaviva, and then moved onto Elle Decor Italy in 1990. We met in her office, where she told us about the EDIDA (Elle Decor International design Awards), the relationship between design and publishing and some personal curiosities.
What lead you to approach design and the world of living? What do you think are the essential aspects in this field?
I discovered design when I was a kid, the evening my father brought home a ‘Parentesi’ closed in its original packaging. It was one of the first pieces of the production that had been given to him directly by its author, Achille Castiglioni. We spent the evening mounting that lamp, I remember it as a wonderful game, an unforgettable experience that for me still captures the essence and mission of the best design: making ductile objects, extremely creative, functional, timeless.
What are the core values expressed by the EDIDA awards? How is the project carried out, which goals have been achieved and what others are to be achieved?
EDIDA – Elle Decor International Design Awards – is a project that involves 25 international editions of the same magazine, calling them every year to express a point of view on the industry excellence: professionals (designers and young talents) and objects, divided in categories. Soon we will publish our nominations for 2016 and from the comparison with the selection made by our colleagues from around the world the winners will emerge. This global and shared vision is the distinctive element of EDIDA. The perception of design at different latitudes and at different cultures is an original theme, that no one had ever faced. The quality and originality that distinguishes this formula has also decreed the success, both in terms of choral participation of our publications both in terms of growth in authority. The EDIDA awards are considered ‘design Academy Awards’, that architects and companies are to withdraw from all corners of the planet with excitement and pleasure. Future goals? Follow the development of new generations of designers, especially those from countries that have not yet overlooked the scene. And maybe soon be able to reward a Chinese or Indian or South African talent.
How did you start your relationship with Mutina? How did you get in touch with the company?
I met Massimo Orsini before he started the Mutina adventure, when he worked for Ceramics Provenza, his family business. I have a wonderful memory of the encounter with him and Giuliana Ricci, they conveyed both a passion, an energy, an enthusiasm out of the ordinary. The product research was already at the center of Massimo interests and the opportunity to realize it occurred with the acquisition of Mutina and the first important collaboration with Patricia Urquiola. I remember well the presentation at Cersaie of her Déchirer collection, a disruptive work for innovative and emotional charge.
According to you which elements and which variants have brought four awards to Mutina in its ten years of life?
Consistency in the research and exploration of ever new horizons, knowing how to choose the right journey companions in the world of ceramics, designers capable of making the material the real protagonist of the projects. In this common path, open to dialogue, Mutina had the merit of enhancing diversified personal contributions while maintaining very strong corporate identity.
Which is your favorite Mutina collection?
What a difficult choice! I could mention the work of Urquiola, Yoshioka, Barber & Osgerby. Each excels in a different aspect: the magic in the decorative refinement for the Spanish designer, the purity of classical geometry through the language of nature for the Japanese author. And for the British architects, the new color effects, obtained thanks to an extraordinary research on the palette of non-colors.
Which is the relation between publishing and design? What kind of impact has Elle Decor had in the past years and still has on the audience?
Publishing and design are an inseparable pair, because design needs a long time to be understood. Even today when we communicate digitally and to give some news on time we choose the way of the web; when it comes to telling about an object or a collection in a deep way, our choice inevitably falls on the paper. The only medium that gives long times, those needed to savor the beauty of an image, capture the complexity of an interesting project and also build, on all the acquired information, know-how staff. Elle Decor Italy was one of the first in the world of interior magazines. Since 1990, a period in which design was still an elite phenomenon, we chose the task to tell to a wide audience of fans, but our innovative and engaging language also won professionals and experts from around the world, who continue to follow us. Today design is a popular phenomenon, they are talking about blogs and newspapers, but Elle Decor remains a single point of reference and consistent with its proposal for emotional photojournalism.
If I could change your life, what would you do?
I could not help but doing a creative job. Perhaps it is easier to say what I miss today: to travel more and take pictures. By combining the two activities, I could think of an alternative job… But my real passion is design. For this reason I never extinguish that lamp.