Private view: Héctor Serrano
The spotlight was first thrown on the Spanish designer while he was still a student at London's Royal College of Art. His 'Superpatata' - a range of squishy lights with bulbs embedded in brightly coloured latex balloons - scored him the Peugeot Design Award 2000 and were quickly snapped up by Droog.
Serrano has since collaborated with the likes of Gandia Blasco and Moooi, and his studio's practices include, product design, space design and laboratory work.
When did you first visit Salone?
A long time ago. I think in 1998.
How has it changed since then?
It's got bigger and more diverse but, for me, the general sensation is still the same.
What's the best thing about it in your opinion?
Meeting people that I haven't seen in ages and seeing unexpected and interesting things.
And the worst?
The overflow of information.
What are you showing this year?
New products for Gandia Blasco.
Talk us through your thoughts behind the collection.
'Air stool' is an outdoor/indoor stool made of rotational moulding, with a continuous triangle section that makes it very light and hollow, visually. It's a simple and unobtrusive design to blend with the context and comes in four different colours.
How far in advance do you start planning each show?
One or two years. We're already working on three products for next Salone.
Is it possible to gauge people's reactions whilst you're at the fair?
I think it is possible to see first reactions but then time needs to pass by to really see what has been truly successful or relevant. The most amusing reaction people have had to my work was when I showed my superpatata light in the droog showroom. People did not know what it was or how it was made!
Do you have a chance to see much yourself during Salone?
Yes. All our products are presented by the companies we work for so we have plenty of time to see what's going on. I always make sure I get to Superstudio Più for new and unexpected shows.
Has there been one single moment that sticks in your mind as definitive of what Salone is all about?
I think a couple of things stand out for me - the general seriousness of the trade fair business and the craziness of Bar Basso. A show that has most impressed me in the past was one from Curiosity two years ago. It was totally unexpected and magical.
What happens once it's all over?
Back to work!!!