LAGO is an innovative brand in the world of Italian design. It has an expanded vision of design as a discipline that produces not just products but also meaning, capable of innovating the entire production chain and proposing new visions and new models for living. More than products, LAGO designs alphabets and invites the customer to use them, creating participatory design, from the bottom up, enriched by energies coming from the end user.
The vision: interior life
If a person spends most of their time in higher-quality settings, then their quality of life will also be improved. This is the vision of design that inspires LAGO and can be summed up in the words ‘Interior Life’, an expression that indicates both our inner life, meaning the emotional sphere of each and every one of us, and the life of interiors, that is the life we lead in offices, homes, hotels, hospitals and schools; spaces that need to be planned with design that makes us feel good. Even neuroscience has long confirmed that the environment around us has a profound influence on our interior life. We therefore need to enter in empathy with our living spaces. We need to establish a relationship, or even better, an interior resonance, between ourselves and the space around us. Starting from this inspiring principle, LAGO has developed a modular design that works as an alphabet to be used to furnish spaces in harmony with our own interior lives.
LAGO’s history traces back to the end of the nineteenth-century, when Policarpo Lago began his career as an artisan woodworker in noble villas and Venetian churches. The next generation continued the tradition, launching the production of master bedrooms
and, later, furniture for entrances. In the 1980s, his heirs decided that the moment had arrived to focus on furniture for the living room and bedroom. In 2006, having by then reached the fourth generation of the family business, the Villa del Conte company became a joint-stock company and entered the global market. A new journey began, filled with challenges and achievements. Leading LAGO through this delicate generational passage is Daniele Lago, a young entrepreneur and designer who, along with his siblings Franco and Rosanna, leads a team of young, dynamic collaborators. Today, LAGO’s turnover is about 30 million euros and the company has a staff of around 170 employees. The company’s global presence includes more than 400 carefully-selected furniture stores and numerous single-brand LAGO stores in cities throughout Italy and Europe, including Rome, Milan, London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin and Praha. Expansion is still in full swing, but the company maintains solid ties to its roots, even while opening itself to encounter and exchange with different cultures, partners, suppliers, consumers and bloggers. LAGO is a multi-cell organism that nourishes itself on diversity, making the most of it, expanding well beyond the boundaries of its headquarters, engaged in a continuous state of influence that brings endless new energy and ideas. Participation and sharing are its keywords.
Designed by the architect Italo Chiucchini following the principles of domestic sustainable building, the LAGOFABBRICA does not look like a factory, but rather a glass and wood home, where the light of sunset invades the workspaces and makes everything more fluid. Noble materials unusual in an industrial context were used to build it: wooden beams, brick, glass, terracotta, steel and aluminium. Harmonic sequences of inclined pitches create an architectural system on a human scale, which makes time dedicated to production a pleasure. At the LAGOFABBRICA, we follow the Lean Thinking philosophy, which helps us to avoid dead time and reduce waste, achieving constant improvement and creating accessible, customisable design. LAGO’s company and productive organisation is based on two pillars, both inspired by the industrial philosophy of Toyota: Kaizen and Lean Thinking. Kaizen is a Japanese method of continuous improvement, one step at a time, obtained by involving the entire company structure. Fundamental to Kaizen is the awareness that ‘energy comes from below‘, or rather that results at a company are not achieved by management, but by direct work on the product. Lean Thinking is a term that refers to stripped down production aimed at minimising waste to the point of abolishing it completely, through company organisation that privileges the maximum efficiency of industrial productive processes. Through Lean Thinking, Lago searches for—and achieves—constant productive improvement by eliminating superfluous activity, like disorganisation and dead time, which the consumer is not inclined to pay for. Result: the productive process itself produces value and the product emerges from the mind of the design and arrives at the customer’s home without any warehousing.