IN CONVERSATION WITH MARCO ZITO
WonderGlass: A lot of your projects are inspired and influenced by Venice. What is the boundary you have with this city?
Marco Zito: A lot of my projects are influenced by Venice, a city full of inspiration where time cannot be measured. A city whose complexity is difficult to describe, such a unique space, with infinite dimensions: from the general to the smallest detail, from urban space to private space. Venice floats and mirrors itself on a continuously moving surface, a surface that changes its colour and size, sometimes a perfect mirror, sometimes a surface that distorts the perception of space, shapes, colours and light. An infinite narrative of forms to draw from.
WonderGlass: You are both a designer and an Industrial Design professor at IUAV University of Venice. Do you think these roles are interconnected?
Marco Zito: Yes, my profession and my teaching feed each other. Translating the profession into didactic and “pedagogical” values is not easy, but if I want to teach how to design I must do it first. And then I am fascinated by the clean and unconditional approach that students have towards the project.
WonderGlass: For WonderGlass you designed Nasse, blending artisanal blown glass with fishing nets and lighting. Do you like combining different materials?
Marco Zito: I believe that the relationship between craftsmanship and technology, applied to the product in a new form, is a beautiful field of exploration and potential innovation. In this case, the Nasse are not a product but a story that tells the territory, the people, the landscape… A project that narrates relationships.
WonderGlass: For Nasse you drew inspiration from Venice and the sea, a relationship that glass itself has as well with both. Is there anything else that inspires you when you work on a new project?
Marco Zito: Inspirations come without warning, sometimes it is the inspiration that seeks a new space to grow in the project. Sometimes a project embraces various inspirations that generate new forms. These objects are sometimes mutants whose inspired genesis is difficult to reconstruct.
WonderGlass: Venice has a supreme tradition of glassmaking techniques, skills and visions. Both you as a designer and WonderGlass as a company are trying to enrich this tradition by bringing innovation. What do you think about this binomial?
Marco Zito: Yes, as mentioned, the combination of tradition and innovation is necessary to produce objects that can inhabit the future. Innovation only makes sense when ancient knowledge, skills and wisdom converge together towards evolutionary aspects of the project. Bringing all this back into play with an eye towards the future is the real challenge that awaits us.
WonderGlass: As a great designer and great professor, what would your advices be to a young creative approaching glass as a material?
Marco Zito: Thanks for the compliments… I would say to a young man who approaches glass as a designer. “Glass has three qualities: the first is that it is fickle, capricious, it must be supported with great attention, the second is transparent and coloured together, with these two things you can do an infinite number of projects, the third, for me the most important, it is fragile, like us and the island of Murano, and for this reason it must be deeply respected.”