Say about Stefano Giovannoni
“Stefano Giovannoni is an excellent designer, extremely contemporary. If we look at what happens at a research level in design, he is a leader. 
Novelty takes place in Australia, Brazil and Paris but his attitude to consider merchandise as a game, to laugh about it, and transform it, at times into a comic strip and other into a Disneyland object, always gracious and captivating in form, is a very important Neo-Pop attitude which transforms the contemporary world into a sort of hyperrealist scene, typical of virtuality. For a subject like design, which has been for sometime rethorical, he comes about in an original matter, rich with energy of transformation, and that is his great merit, a liberating act. Giovannoni’s approach to design as an art form is a particular characteristic of his design language.
The Giovannoni object travels a road born in the Pop Art and arrives today at a ludic, playful form which is always a work of art.”
Alessandro Mendini



“The contemporary international design scene continues to be dominated by a strong polarization. On one side there is the playful, boldly expressive approach, bordering on cartoon imagery, especially typical among young Italian designers.
On the other side there is the neominimalistic approach that leans towards simplicity and the pursuit of the essential, using a pure kind of language that is almost abstract.
Personally, I like both of these directions, because I think that the real goal of design, the most difficult but also the most exalting objective for all great designers has always been
to be super and popular at the same time. That is to say, to succeed in expressing two qualities in a project that are really quite tricky to combine: knowing not only how to reach the highest possible quality of a project (and this has to do with creating culture), but also being understood by the largest amount of people possible (and this has to do with being
able to communicate and being in sync with the public). Real Super & Popular projects are small miracles of creativity and are not frequent in the history of design. They are a concentrated form of poetry that brings a spark of joy to many people. By definition they do not need to conform to any preconceived dogmas and are exempt from prejudice.
With his virtuosic use of affective codes and metaphor, and his ability to open new roads in the unresolved dilemma of the relationship between Form and Function, he fascinates the public with his natural narrative talent. It is my opinion that Stefano is to be considered the undisputed champion of the Super & Popular in contemporary design.”
Alberto Alessi


“What our fathers said long ago, what they said had to be done, now does not work any more; it does not work any more because they said those things, with what they said, they provoked enormous desires. Right now we must not talk any more about what they said, but about these circling new desires that, to tell the truth, are not even so clear; not everything is so straight forward, it is not so easy to understand. The ways in which we realize what our fathers said does not work very well any more, they have taken different forms, have travelled in many different roads; are coming from different directions.
The immense, solid, heavy palace built by our fathers is now assaulted from many sides, it is assaulted with molotovs bombs, with bazookas, with mortars, with songs, with poetries, with offences, with statistics, with big books, with tiny books, etcetera, etcetera;
it is a true and proper aggression and we do not know how it will end, nor do we know what will be left of all those thick walls, of those pillars, and cement beams, that after all has crumbled and been thrown in that deep, black hole which history always prepares so things, events, hopes, projects, decisions will finish inside it, more or less for ever.
Certainly, many of the hopes our father's had, and especially the hope that, if their ideas were applied, they would have left us a better more organized world and that life itself, half saved. That hope has ended up in the black hole of history, it does not exist any more, it is not enough any more, specially if we read the newspapers every morning …
It is far too easy to understand that our life will not be saved by anyone, nobody will save it, not the whole, nor the half, and above all, it will not be saved by those calling themselves the organizers of life. Those who think to be the engineers of existence, those who, at the end, think little of the existence, and instead only think about how to engineer it.
Our fathers and the engineers of existence, told us and continue to tell us, that everything must be done according to the rules of maths and geometry, they told us and go on telling us that all the dots must always be re traceable in a clear system of more or less Cartesian coordinates. They told us that the entire problem would have been in “integrating systems” and these kind of things, and they told us that everything should have been “known” along the way, and then everything would have become easy. They said also that ones needs to be strong, an adult, one needs also to have faith, to be positive, quiet, and good, to be content inside the “organization” (whose name is now technology or maybe ecology?) and these kind of things.
Right now there are entire crowds here and there, around in the world who no longer trust what our fathers said, who do not believe in it any more, and in the middle are all those fretting to crumble the big, solid palace where the engineers stay, with molotovs bombs, with bazookas, with mortars and various destructive weapons, and in the middle, the crowd of youngsters who have new hopes, there are two personalities silently walking here and there because they think there is no need to get too anxious.
These two personalities don't talk much, they are more or less silent, they walk here and there, a little bit sneaky, they appear and then disappear, nobody really knows where they are; one goes around with enormous, American white plastic shoes with a protruding and dangling flap, shoes which are a bit too big, I think suitable to walk on the weightless powder of the moon and the other I always see wearing a big grey brown coat, and the two of them almost never laugh, the one with the too big shoes may laugh sometimes, the one with the grey brown coat certainly never laughs and they are fundamentally very serious, almost sad, frightened, perplexed, perhaps they have understood too much, maybe they have understood that there is no way out, there is absolutely no way out.
So they are left to remain silent, they do not accept almost anything, they do not even need bazookas any more and to survive they can only travel through the cracks, for instance drinking water from the cactus leaves, eating hard berries, hoping they are not poisonous, roasting, if they catch some snakes and when the night falls they lie down and when really no one sees them they start to laugh, that special kind of laughter that Chinese do when they announce their mother is dead.
According to me, this is more or less their psychic state, or as Americans say their “mood”, and they represent this “mood” with their drawings and their colours.
Basically these represent their awareness of the general situation, tender, non aggressive, a certain way they have, I think, to accept the situation, a way that is a mix of calm, of humour, of bitterness, sometimes of sarcasm, almost always of detachment …
These two personalities that I am very happy to know are named Stefano Giovannoni and Guido Venturini.”
Ettore Sottsass



“Maybe Giovannoni sells because unlike many of his colleagues, who only seem interested in giving shape to the phantoms of their imagination or in rendering abstract theory three dimensional, he cares about what people want. Because he is with his feet on the ground instead of hanging in mid air, lost in a nebulous cloud of design discipline, he industriously gives modernity to the simple shapes and archetypal lines,
to create “immanent” products which are characterized by
a reassuring realism. On the contrary of the majority of his young and less younger colleagues, Giovannoni, like also Antonio Citterio, another designer who has made the fortune for the companies he works for (particularly B&B but also Arclinea, a Veneto kitchen company) and Piero Lissoni author of Boffi’s success (bath and kitchen) of Porro (system company) and Living Divani, he questions the problem of numbers, convinced that the best proof of a project’s goodness lies within its commercial success.
Paradoxically, design whose etymology concerns the drawing conceived for series production, had in the second part of the twenty century conquered fame and success through prototypes, unique pieces, and limited editions, more committed to auto celebration than to diffusing itself. Enclosed by a vicious circle of auto references and satisfied by the initiatory aura which has always surrounded it, prisoner of a specific language (often cryptic), which has made it difficult to understand and undesirable for common people. In the twenty first century, it must therefore strive to make its myth useful, regarding that the numbers themselves have their own ratio and, and they are not as dry as most people depict them and that they can stimulate fantasy and talent, like, for example, it happens to Giovannoni.”
Cristina Morozzi



“Il repertorio progettuale di Stefano Giovannoni costituisce un’eccezione nel mondo del design, nel senso che i suoi prodotti, pur caratterizzati da un’espressività eretica, ottengono uno straordinario successo di mercato. Apparentemente destinati a un target di nicchia, dunque a pochi utenti selezionati, si sono rivelati spesso dei veri cult di massa.
Vero erede del radical design fiorentino, Stefano Giovannoni vede gli oggetti come presenze anarchiche, molecole autonome che hanno tagliato i rapporti con le gerarchie del progetto e le hanno ribaltate: oggetti “senza architettura e senza città, nuovi protagonisti di una No-Stop City delle merceologie mondiali, costruttori di set iper-espressivi; figli illegittimi quindi della crisi dell’architettura contemporanea e della sua incapacità di vivere nella “città della merce”. Il suo ricorso allo styling modernista, fa parte di questa fiction. Dal momento che la Modernità non costituisce più un sistema di principi etici e civili solidi, diventa soltanto un repertorio linguistico, una convenzione stilistica liberamente declinabile in un paesaggio merceologico continuamente devastato dalle tempeste della concorrenza mondiale, unica energia che scuote i mercati globalizzati. In questo senso gli oggetti di Giovannoni sono tutti “altamente concorrenziali” (e non soltanto industriali) e quindi perfettamente collocabili sui mercati mondiali.”
Andrea Branzi



“Se al posto mio ci fosse il commercialista di Magis gli direbbe: caro Giovannoni ti voglio bene, i tuoi prodotti fanno stare in ottima salute il conto profitti e perdite dell'azienda.
Che direi io invece di Giovannoni?
Sei anni fa incontrai per caso Alberto Alessi e gli dissi: abbiamo in comune un rompiscatole, e lui, senza un attimo di esitazione, mi rispose Stefano Giovannoni.
Ottobre '99 a Palazzo Foscolo ad Oderzo si tenne una mostra su Magis e dopo la mostra seguм una cena, c'eri anche tu Vanni Pasca.
C'erano tanti designer alla cena: Jasper Morrison, Stefano Giovannoni, James Irvine, Michael Young, Jerszy Seymour, Marc Newson.
Ad un certo punto consegnai un bicchiere di vino ad un mio collaboratore e gli dissi: portalo al designer più rompiscatole tra i presenti, e questi, senza frapporre il minimo indugio, andò dritto verso Giovannoni.
Ecco, Giovannoni ha fama di essere un vero rompiscatole.
Ma poi nel tempo ho capito che il suo essere rompiscatole è piuttosto una qualità, un rigore, una intransigenza volti a difendere il suo progetto contro ogni attacco esterno nella fase della sua messa a punto.
Giovannoni mi fu presentato da Jasper Morrison nel 1994.
Da allora ho mantenuto con lui strettissimi rapporti di collaborazione, credo di conoscerlo bene dalla testa alla pancia, mi incontro spesso con lui, di media 3 volte al mese (a Motta di Livenza dove ha sede Magis o a Milano) e all'incontro segue pranzo o cena al ristorante.
Ad entrambi piace molto mangiare, lui dice di essere un gourmet, per me è più modestamente un gourmant e lo si capisce al volo.
E questa sua passione smodata per il cibo entra con forza nella triangolazione dei vari fattori che fissano il linguaggio del suo design.
Da qui, forme mai anoressiche, per lo più generose, abbondanti, grasse.
Giovannoni è molto attento al mercato e io l'ho definito il designer più bankable della squadra Magis.
Per lui il mercato è il centro della cultura umana, è lм dove ci si esprime, dove si mette il proprio prodotto a disposizione di chi lo capisce e lo vuole acquistare.
Lui fa molto design fumettistico, che trova molto successo sul mercato, ma non lo trova presso la critica del design e a questo riguardo vorrei dire il mio pensiero.
Certi fumetti hanno da tempo raggiunto il traguardo della rispettabilità della critica letteraria e io non capisco perché il design fumettistico, quello di qualità, e se ne trova in giro, e Giovannoni in questo campo è il maestro riconosciuto, non riesca a raggiungere la rispettabilità della critica del design.
Ma Giovannoni non sa fare solo design fumettistico sostenuto dalla sua buona vena ludica, sa fare anche il design “serio”, e qui si sa esprimere con differente segnicità e registro linguistico e raggiunge spesso risultati molto più apprezzabili sul piano della qualità del progetto.
Dalla collaborazione con Magis, ad esempio, sono usciti alcuni progetti per me di eccellenza figurativa, simbolica e produttiva e tra questi spicca sicuramente lo sgabello Bombo, sul mercato dal 1997, un best-long-seller che continua ancora ad essere l'oggetto più venduto dell'azienda e uno degli oggetti più venduti di tutto il sistema Design Italia.
Bombo è stato copiato e imitato da tanti, molto free-riding su di lui, anche da parte di insospettabili aziende italiane design-oriented.
Ma il Bombo resta il Bombo.
Le sue copie un'altra storia, un altro capitolo che non è un capitolo di creatività e design.
Qualcuno ha scritto che Bombo è lo sgabello per eccellenza……… come, mutatis mutandis, Aspirina è per eccellenza il cachet contro il mal di testa.
Beh, chiudendo, per Giovannoni un designer esiste nel momento in cui ci sono delle persone disposte a comprare i prodotti da lui disegnati e, da questo punto di vista, io dico che Giovannoni esiste, eccome che esiste.
Io direi, però, che un designer esiste soprattutto quando il suo lavoro ha una giustificazione e un impatto culturale, quando risulta essere contemporaneo nel senso di appartenere alla modernità e lui, Giovannoni, anche sotto questo profilo, esiste, eccome che esiste.”
Eugenio Perazza