22/07/2021 - Edoardo Monti, born in 1991, is an art collector and curator who founded Palazzo Monti in Brescia. He is among the jurors of this year's edition of the Archiproducts Design Awards.
In 2017, Edoardo established the Palazzo Monti project upon returning to Italy after a long stint abroad between New York and London. He studied art and design at Central Saint Martins and Middlesex University. Palazzo Monti an artist residency programme and cultural centre that animates the family's thirteenth-century palazzo in the heart of Brescia.
An incubator of contemporary art recognised by the international public, Palazzo Monti hosts international artists and designers. The structure welcomes its visitors with a wide staircase whose walls are decorated with 18th-century frescoes. The space has become a mini-museum and a non-profit exhibition space.
In November, we will discover the winners of the new edition of the Archiproducts Awards. In the meantime, we asked the jurors what they expect from this year's submissions.
Here is this week's interview with Edoardo Monti.
Interview with Edoardo Monti, member of the 2021 Archiproducts Design Awards jury
What do you expect from the submissions, and what characteristics should the winning products have?
I'm looking for a fresh approach that drives curiosity and interest. Function is paramount. I think function is a key feature of any good design product. Much has been explored in recent years, but few designers have managed to create pieces that have the potential to last and become icons.
What role do you think a design award should play today?
Research, support, nurture. Prizes should bring out the best, looking for talent, especially in workshops and academies. They must also support up-and-comers whose personal inclinations demonstrate potential. In my opinion, it is better to take risks and devote more energy to a few projects with more exciting prospects, rather than wasting energy on too many projects that go nowhere.
What should contemporary design look at, and how should it evolve to meet the needs of the community?
Learning from other fields is fundamental. Often very different sectors - food, travel, fashion, and more traditional experiences - can help us understand how people's needs evolve and pave the way for a coherent proposal that meets the community's needs.
As far as design is concerned, I believe that people today need high-quality, durable and beautiful objects. We need to get back to appreciating art in museums and workshops, not in commercial galleries or design shops.
In the post-pandemic era, how can design define a 'new normal'?
It's too early to say. Before the pandemic, things changed every day. Now they change every hour...! It will take years to see if there really is a 'new normal'.
We should focus on what is meant by 'post-pandemic design' in the immediate future. I don't think that 'classic' design - furniture, personal items and the like - will have to adapt so much to the post-Covid19 era. The most significant change will be in 'social' design: public spaces, transport, offices, shops, restaurants...
How do you think the pandemic has affected design?
The pandemic has given rise to many important projects and products. I'm thinking of the early days of lockdown when creative ideas emerged to create fans, masks and other objects that were - until then - missing from our shared imagination. Fortunately, I haven't seen major changes in collectable design or in the approaches of emerging artists, and maybe (I hope) we never will.
About Edoardo Monti
Born in Bergamo in 1991, Edoardo Monti is an art collector, curator and founder of Palazzo Monti, an artist residence and cultural centre in Brescia.
Monti is on the board of directors of the Italian Art Trust and MTArt Agency and is director of Belle Arti, a cultural association chaired by Massimo Minini. He is also on the selection committee of the Collectible Design fair in Brussels and is responsible for ArtVerona's VIP programme and social and digital strategy.
Monti studied Art and Design at Central Saint Martins in London and worked for 8 years in Stella McCartney's communications office in New York.