Love for variety, creativity, experimentation, handcraft and co-work with artisans characterize this young and dynamic designer. Dear readers, the name of the designer we are talking about is Ilaria Innocenti.
She comes from Modena (Italy), but she has lived many years in Milan, where she also studied interior design at Istituto Europeo di Design (IED). Ilaria has always been passionate about design – a passion that she kept cultivating until she started her career “in a bit of a playful way”, she says. She started by designing interior spaces, such as home interiors and commercial areas, and by being responsible for restorations. Initially she was devoted to designing furniture and interiors, but then her attention shifted to details and objects. Her creative career took off at Fuorisalone in Milan in 2009, when she presented her first collection of handmade carpets. Since then she has never stopped researching, developing her artistic and product ideologies, creative language and way of thinking about the product. On the one hand, Ilaria is the founder of the design brand ilaria.i, which was born in 2012. ilaria.i is a collection of objects that allows you to furnish and decorate your home. These objects are impeccable because Ilaria creates them by picturing them in the space and wants them to be emotional as well as useful. To give you some examples, we like the multifunctional ABC plates, the cozy AL PLAID blanket or the ADOBE desk tools in terracotta. The ilaria.i team takes care of their products and collections from the creative idea to the production and commercialization.
On the other hand, Ilaria is involved in many other projects and collaborations. Not only is she the creative director of Incipit, a Milan-based design lab, which has the objective to promote young design talents, but she also collaborates with other businesses and brands. Selfportrait, a project done with her colleague Giorgio Laboratore, was commissioned by the young business PORTEGO. Ilaria and Giorgio created an object using wood carving technique. Selfportrait was inspired by Japanese fans and is suitable for every ambience. Bucket, created for ioox.com, is a bucket made out of terracotta. The aim was to present this collection during Fuorisalone, the theme of which was the celebration of the city of Milan and its craftsmanship. If we want to describe Ilaria’s work, variety is probably one of the first keywords that comes to the reader’s mind. Indeed, she says: “I like to experiment!” Wood, metals, resin, ceramic, terracotta, or, or… She adores creating objects by using different types of materials and fabrics, and by adopting different manufacturing processes. However, there is a favorite material to which she is attached. That is ceramic! “There is a predominance of ceramic and porcelain in my work.”
Also, to Ilaria handcraft is very important. In her work there is an additional touch or, more specifically, a human touch that is not industrial at all, which originates from her close collaboration with artisans. Ilaria always tries to give different material interpretations of her drawings and sketches and combine them with suggestions of the artisans that she works with. Most of the time, thanks to their experience and different points of view, they provide good hints for inspiration. At times, combining ideas with artisans’ interpretations represents a big challenge but it eventually leads to extraordinary concepts and products. From here comes her slogan “In a very decorative way”. To our last question “Do you have a motto? What is it?” she answers: “ I love my job!” Ilaria indeed loves her job. Ilaria is currently working on several other interesting projects. Still some time to go, but very nice projects are on the horizon. Readers, stay tuned!