We’ve known the beautiful, savvy Margherita Ratti for years—from our Design Miami days, when she ran things over at Galerie Italienne in Paris. We were so excited to learn that in the past year she’s launched a new project, editing small productions of exquisite design objects, now with an accompanying gallery space in the super chic Marais.
As we take this week to honor those who are just starting new endeavors and unveiling new work, we reached out to our old friend to ask what’s new.
WC: What prompted you to embark on your latest adventure, Great Design, with your partner Marc Sirvin?
MR: The short story: A prototype found an editor. Everything started when I met [designer] Alban Le Henry and discovered his table lamp project, Sunset. It was November 2013. The prototype had been presented at now! le Off in Paris a few months before, and a major French distributor ordered the first pieces. Alban was looking for an editor who could help him take the prototype to the final object, and that's how we met.
In a very short time, we’ve produced the lamp in a limited edition of 100 pieces and fulfilled the distributor’s order. I’m delighted that Sunset has become the milestone of my design collection and, at the same time, the first edited work of the designer.
WC: With your many years experience in the gallery world, did you see something missing in the design market that you hoped to fulfill?
MR: My greatest wish is to produce design that goes beyond trends and stylistic categories. We concentrate our efforts on supporting and promoting talented young designers, and we work to give shape to their very first design pieces. We care about producing precisely designed objects with pure, calibrated forms, with extreme attention to detail, through collaborations with fabricators producing the highest quality objects.
I’m not sure we fulfill something missing in the design world, but we would like to contribute in this way, consolidating the values associated with the production of innovative and high-end design.
WC: Whom do you imagine as your ideal buyer?
MR: I would love to be the ideal client for all of our works!
Our first concern has been to produce well-made objects. And now that we have those beautiful objects, we are working on defining our ideal clients. With the gallery opening in the Haut Marais district in September 2014, we have come into direct contact with customers—of different demographics and ages—exchanging with them about their needs and desires. I am sure that, thanks to that, we will quickly identify what is our ideal public!
WC: What’s next for Great Design?
MR: Thousands of projects are going through my head! A fairly intense exhibition program has been planned for the gallery’s first year. We are starting to define our next collection for Spring 2015, as well as launching the production of the first pieces of a series of carpets designed by artists. In collaboration with two young architects, we will soon launch a series of thematic exhibitions at the gallery. Finally I’ve started these days working on a great [but secret] design exhibition to be held in here in Paris in Fall 2015.
Good luck, Margherita and Marc! We’re rooting for you.
*All images courtesy Great Design.
Wava CarpenterAfter studying Design History, Wava has worn many hats in support of design culture: teaching design studies, curating exhibitions, overseeing commissions, organizing talks, writing articles—all of which informs her work now as Pamono’s Editor-in-Chief.