Matteo Cibic is considered by many to be one of the most interesting contemporary designers. As the grandson and pupil of the famous uncle Aldo, he has been able, over the years, to find his own language capable of sending strong messages that have a certain ring to them. Matteo Cibic is often called a transmedia designer because he does not have preferences for any particular form of expression and is easily able to switch from the design of objects to that of works of art and move on to architectural installations. For Cibic, among the many tasks of a designer there is the aim of sensitising the community. To achieve this, he does not limit himself to creating objects but often shapes his lifestyle transforming it into a sort of performance. One example of this is the Vasonaso project where his exploring shape led him to create a new vase every day throughout a whole year, or a brand-new project where he completely changed his lifestyle in order to drastically reduce his CO2 consumption.
What does your studio do?
My studio deals with artistic direction, product design and special projects.
You, like many contemporary designers or artists, can easily switch from one discipline to another. How do you do it?
Most often I am called a transmedia designer. This is because I easily switch from one medium to another. What interests me is telling a story capable of establishing a strong link between the project and its user. This can be true for both an object and an installation. I want my messages to succeed and persist over time in people’s minds.
Is it true that objects don’t necessarily have a function for you?
Yes, absolutely. Today we are full of objects with many functions that we do not actually use, and which will have a very short life.
Are objects without practical functions comparable to works of art?
No. Their function is wonder. I think it is very important to have things that allow us to remember some special events in our lives. These objects are mnemonic links. Today we use many technological supports that contain important parts of our life and within a few years they will no longer be accessible. I am thinking of the many messages that we exchange every day with our loved ones. On the other hand, on the other hand, for example, we can admire in the museums ancient ceramics never used for their practical function, but simply for their aesthetic value and which still allow us to read the past.
Perhaps these objects partially curb the transitory climate of our times …
In a world that is running faster and faster in a schizophrenic way, where our attention threshold has fallen below that of a goldfish, I believe that their production is very important.
Self-promotion through social networks and the like is very easy today, but can such an immediate response to your work condition you?
I would definitely say yes.
Presenting your work on social networks can lead you to use fast and easy language destined to age very quickly. Instead, I believe that sometimes not being understood can be a stimulus to find the strength to go on.
What relationship do you have with the companies that commission your assignments? Is there a type of approach you prefer?
Simply put, I work only with companies whose people who work there are nice to me.
So, for you human relationships are fundamental …
I would say yes. Another thing that I really like is to talk to and compare myself with the company’s technicians to understand what their limits are and then try to go beyond them. I want to create products that are difficult for them to produce and even more for the competition. Today the competition is very strong, and I believe that the winning aspect is finding economical and quick solutions to complex problems.
Are there any authors or historical periods that you feel particularly close to?
The Memphis Group, founded among others by my uncle as well, has certainly influenced me.
Your language is contemporary and powerful, making it an ideal tool for sending messages. Do you ever take advantage of it? Are there any themes that you feel particularly close to?
Today, almost everywhere, there is a dystopian vision of the future of our planet. Perhaps the only one who has a utopian approach is Elon Musk who, however, tries to escape to Mars! My idea is to fight this predominant vision and propose a utopian design, in a somewhat provocative way. Instead of choosing the colour or shape of the chair leg, designers should fight the status quo and propose an alternative way of living.
Referring to this leads me to think of the Dermapoliesis project, created to encourage the study of certain subjects in order to design objects that are “literally alive”.
Yes, that’s a 2017 work that still remains on topic. in 2020 I started a research project to understand how to change my way of life in order to go from 27 to 2 tons of CO2 consumption. Many of our habits or needs that we believe are necessary can actually be satisfied by having a more ethical behaviour that will most likely make us feel happier.
This latest work of yours is a kind of performance …
Through this work I want to incentivise public opinion, individuals and politicians to become more responsible towards pollution per capita. I would like the carbon footprint parameters to be taken seriously. Often even the most ecological people are unlikely to change some of their habits, such as using air travel less to get around.
Is Italy a good place to do your job?
Italy is a fantastic place to produce special pieces, prototypes and also to engineer. On the other hand, I must say that the Italian market is not particularly greedy today. Instead it is possible to appear on emerging markets where there are many opportunities and where, unfortunately, Italian companies are not very present.