Interview with designer alessandra meacci (am), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Dharma Bookshelf.

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Interview with alessandra meacci at Thursday 21st of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
am : The idea inspiring this project was to bring green into the house in an unusual way : I drawn a Bookshelf with a light structure made in iron rod, where climbing plants can grow between books, determining a soft division in openspaces. I chose the hexagonal form for the wooden modules, a form inspired by the beehive, to strenghten the “organic” feature of the project.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
am : My focus as designer is to create objects that live in the space where they are positioned, through the changes of light during the day, and by means of the interaction of who use them. Dharma has a minimal wireframe rod structure and hanged wood hexagonal modules, that create a succession of empty and full spaces. Letting grow a climbing plant over the rod structure, you can change the visual composition and you can also establish the degree of transparency of your room-divider.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
am : I’m searching for someone interested in a production.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
am : It took me about one month.The difficult in developing this project was to define the base module. I was searching for a shape recalling nature, that can lend an organic feature tho my bookshelf. After several attempts, I defined a kind of three-dimensional hexagonal modules, inspired by the beehives.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
am : As Architect I know that many new houses have big wonderful open spaces, that often are unfortunately difficult to furnish. I was searching to draw a piece of furniture that can be used as a room divider, to ensure a good quality of use of open spaces, preserving, at the same time, their brightness and largeness. Moreover, nowadays there is always a larger desire to have plants in the house, making them an integral part of our interior design. When I drawn Dharma I tried to combine these two requirements .

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?
am : I’d like to found a company that can produce Dharma, remaining linked to my product with royalties.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
am : Often, as interior designer, I use room-divider to improve the conditions of use of open spaces .So I decided to draw by myself a bookshelf that can be use as a light partition preserving the largeness and the quality of light of the room, and that can be also used to integrate plants in the home furnishings.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
am : Someone who loves bright and colorful space, that is searching for pieces of versatile furniture and that loves the idea of inserting plants in an unusual way in the interiors.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
am : I used a very unusual shape for the wooden blocks of the bookshelf: I developed an hexagonal three dimensional module that recall the cell of a beehive. I made also accessories to ensure easy use of hexagonal modules.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
am : The shape of the wooden models reminded me the symbol of the “Dharma Project” in LOST, a Tv series I loved. Often this symbol was hidden by the leaves in the jungle, and this also recall the idea of my project, where climbing plants can grow between modules.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
am : I made a lot of work with physical models, to define the three dimensional shape of the modules and the succession of empty and full spaces.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
am : I think it’s the “organic” feature of Dharma : the reference to the Nature with its module shape, and the possibility to integrate climbing plants in its structure.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
am : I worked with a blacksmith , Marco Breda, that helped me to develop the structure and particularly the three dimensional modules in iron rod.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
am : The most difficult part was to develop the three dimensional hexagonal module, in a way that it can be used in an easy way , in spite of its unusual shape.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
am : I presented Dharma at Salone Satellite 2015 during Milano Design Week ; here I was invited by a member of the organization of the competition to submit my project: he saw in Dharma the suitable qualities to win a prize.