Interview with designer ROBERTO ROSSI (RR), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Whale Skeleton Staircase.

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Interview with ROBERTO ROSSI at Sunday 15th of March 2015: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
RR : Discover, investigate, explore the natural forms that exist in nature, both animal and vegetable and try to project their beauty and design in the works or products suited to the human being.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
RR : Transforming the forms that exist in nature and try to carry them into a workable design and usable for humans, in particular, we studied the shape of the skeleton of the blue whales

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
RR : I'd like to see this staircase in a paleontological museum, natural history museum, somewhere in the world.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
RR : I have not spent a lot of time, because the idea was almost visible to the natural state of the form, then about two months with the design drawings based.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
RR : This project was born from a request for quote, about a important staircase to be inserted in the center hall of a furniture showroom in Rome, then not realized. Considering the particularity of the request, I had the idea to investigate natural forms and so I thought to blue whales.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
RR : I would like be able to realize the project of this staircase as a Project Manager, Designer and participate on the site abroad for installation. Like other past projects, I have no problem to having other companies for the construction and installation of my projects.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
RR : The target customers for this type of project can be paleontological museums, museums of natural history, aquatic parks, aquariums, marine parks, amusement parks and all the locations they want a magnet as an attraction.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
RR : The project name comes from its natural idea of inspiration, that is, from the skeleton of the whale which in this case is a blue whale, but always the family of whales

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
RR : The tools used in this project were the software Rhinoceros 5 and Keyshot 5

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
RR : For me the uniqueness of this project is in the enormous ribs that wrap all the steps along the scale because you will have the sensation to enter inside the belly of a whale.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
RR : I worked alone and about the technical skills, I was fortunate to have worked in the past to the realization of stairs very complex designed by Fuksas for Giorgio Armani’s Megastore 5th Avenue in New York, so I know the problems of the case.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
RR : Is essential. Today, many projects would not be possible without the contribution of technological 3D software for the design, visualization and virtual machines CNC for the realization of complex material.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
RR : Try to make all practicable steps of the staircase drawing curves with the edge of the passage about the ribs and handrails.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
RR : Honestly I had not really thought and I must say that this particular project is very special and then can elicit disinterest from the normal public accustomed to more generic products and normal use everyday. But the idea of having explored new forms intrigued me then, as a designer, I wanted to try to make visible these forms and enhance the approach to a design that takes inspiration from nature and I think that in the future we will have to learn as much as possible from natural and organic forms and processes.