LUCA GNIZIO - Transforming Post Consumer Material into Art and design

“Luca Gnizio, eco-social designer”. This identity was a decisive choice since it changes the very concept of a figure that in Italy is traditionally mainly linked to architecture and furnishings. Eco-social design extends these boundaries, on one hand adopting the idea that design itself has gone far beyond planning and designing products and has now also changed to designing systems, and on the other hand linking its methods and role to marketing. This may appear to be a leap toward the abstraction and philosophy of the project, but Luca Gnizio, who coined this term, is extremely concrete.

His training began with prototypes (as taught at Milan Polytechnic) for several products marketed by Kartell, including the famous Louis Ghost by Philippe Starck. His experience developed from the ground up, performing manual work in an industrial environment, which left Gnizio with the desire to work directly and see his personal ideas realized quickly. He changed his point of view, and from being a mere design link in the corporate chain, became the creator and direct executor of his own projects via self-production. Approaching recycled materials came naturally.

And then came the insight that earned him credibility with the companies that is, by involving different participants with ecological and social objectives, the object thus created would become the standard-bearer of a socially useful idea, delivering a message to the community. In a typical exampole, he once involved more than 50 marble-working companies in an operation for recycling marmettola, marble dust produced during processing of the stone, and its reuse for making bowls and vases.
In this case, he again united his ecological and social aims, realizing the project with the help of
associations for people with disabilities.

The strength of Luca Gnizio’s ideas resides in the fact that he does not ask industry to transform their waste to produce a product he designed, but instead designs the product (chair, lamp, vase, etc.), starting directly from the waste, engaging it in the process just as it is. This is why Luca loves iron rods: they represent an archetypal structure that he adapts each time, grafting on Levi's jeans, or asphalt tape? for Piaggio or construction mesh and PET H2O bottles for a non-profit association, or even scraps of certified organic fabric, and so on.

By ennobling waste, Gnizio succeeded in capturing the attention of a public that has become increasingly sensitive to this issue, and as a result has also attracted the interest of small and large industrial companies, including BMW, who see the direct translation of their marketing objectives into highly symbolic products, that dignify the material without processing costs.

Written from Arch. Paolo Schianchi