Philippe Negro
(Image credit: press)

The 33-year old French designer was born in Nice and is now based in Milan. The Confluences sofa system is his first design for Ligne Roset.

Where did you study and when did you graduate?

Ten years ago. I studied in Lyon and then Ecole Boulles in Paris. After this I went to Italy where I’ve been based in Milan ever since. I collaborate with Michele de Lucchi and try to do my own projects on the side.

Your sofa system was one of our highlights from Salone 2008 – was it the first project you’ve done by yourself?

Last year I did a project with a grant from VIA, a storage unit now in production with Sintesi. But the Confluences sofas are a very important project for me because a sofa system is a very interesting thing to design.

Was there a concept behind it?

The concept is a bit like a family, made up of different shaped people. I wanted to have different sizes and shapes of section so it would accommodate small and tall people together. And of course it’s a nice way to play with colours and shapes.

Can you build as many parts as you have room for?

The shape is more or less the same basic shape but it’s interesting how they accumulate, when you put them together in different ways. We decided to propose nine different sets. If there are any more I think it might be too much to choose from. So from 2 people, to 3 to 4 people, there are options to choose from.

Why did you call them Confluences?

It’s like a meeting between different shapes for different people.

What are you working on at the moment?

In Paris I’m presenting 2 new prototypes with VIA. In Milan I’ll present for a new Italian company a table and a storage range and some furniture for children.

How do you feel the changes in the economic climate might affect design?

It’s maybe still too early to tell. I think what we have to do is to try and experiment with new things – materials, production methods, shapes – to fit in with a new way of living. We as designers need to keep answering peoples’ needs.

People say difficult economic times force people to be more creative – do you agree?

Definitely. You only need to see what’s happening downstairs to see that the young generation is responding to what’s going on with a lot of creative ideas. Let’s hope we all do.

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.