Davide Barzaghi

"It is not the end user who should think about the discarding. It must be the enterprise who produces the item."

Unique Furniture Pieces by Davide Barzaghi
Interview with Davide Barzaghi, co-founder of Biosofa

How did your environment inspire you to come up with your products for the collection?
I think I was trying to merge two different worlds. The world of knowledge, that came from my studies at university, and the world of tradition that comes from my family I wanted to try and improve the family furniture production and change its attitude, apply my new studies and merge those two worlds.
I've always been curious and in my family, I was the first who attended university. There was this life cycle assessment course at university and it probably was the most important course I've ever attended. Because this professor was encouraging us to think about the life of the product itself, even after the end of his duty, when the user has to discard it. The most important thing I learned was that it is not the end user who should think about the discarding. It must be the enterprise who produces the item.
So I wanted to apply that knowledge of the concept of lifecycle, of the producer and designer applying it, and mix this with my family tradition as furniture makers.
And I found a really deep connection between the concept of knowledge and tradition. Those two words actually describe the value of the product itself.
In my family, the accent was always put on the quality of the product. The fact that something was unique, that it was handmade, and this extended not only to the exterior, but the interior as well. We always put the best material we could find into our production. But in that tradition, nobody was thinking about what happened to our products after consumption. There was a lack of knowledge that I now try to bring into everything by caring also about the after of a product.

Maybe tell us a little bit more about the design aspect
I've never been a designer to just look for the beauty or the line. I like to draw shapes to find out which is the best one for my project, but I am always interested in the engineering of the product and I aim my research at how something can become better and the best product.

The Quartz armchair it's pretty spectacular. How did this concept come about?
The Quartz armchair at first was a study of a geometrical ball shape done by Leonardo Da Vinci. My uncle and my grandfather, who are woodworkers, had to produce this for some show. And since they had only 2d machinery they did not know how to recreate this shape and they asked me for help.
So I did the mathematics, I did the geometry and I found out how to cut the single pieces and put them together. And through that commission I got fascinated with that particular ball shape. I really loved it. So I cut it in half and then thought this could also be a sort of chair, something that you can sit in like a sort of cocoon or a space to relax and to meditate or simply to shelter. But then I was stuck there for three, four or five months and I got fed up with this project because I couldn't figure out what to put inside. And only several years later I spoke with the designers Thanos and Katia from CtrlZak and they transformed the idea and found the solution.

How do you think the home of the future will look like? Where will it be? How will it be furnished? How will it be built?
For me, the idea home is something that is a middle ground that connects yourself with your job, but also with activities you can do with your family. And it is also close to nature so you can live a bit outside.
A lot of people gather in big cities. And this is something that I cannot really understand, maybe because I never was a fan of the big city. Cities do offer a lot of possibilities, but maybe you feel a bit alone as a human being and I don't like to be alone in that way.
I like the feeling when you look into the sky at the stars and then you start imagining about the universe and how small and insignificant you are. But looking at the sky I find myself relieved of all the weight, any worries about the job, or personal problems. And things move into perspective and are not very important any more.
In the city it’s the opposite, it’s not a relief to see the vastness, but more of a rush not to be eaten by some other predators.

What was the favourite day at work for you in the last few years?
A couple of clients came to the showroom here in Italy not long ago. We had a nice, long talk about the why of sustainable furniture. I didn't have to say or do anything to convince them of the rightness of the concept. They already knew the significance and the qualities they were looking for in all products they were buying. Natural, biological, without chemicals inside and plastic free. They were totally on the same wavelength as me. I mean, we are not a movement, we are not Friday's for future, we simply try to shift the market from one model to another. And when you meet people who think alike, it’s great days.
And also very flattering is when big enterprises call me trying to find out how we do what we are doing to be so successful. Actually 90 out of 100 of those calls are referring to market strategy, they try to integrate natural ideas, to find another way to sell their products. Sometimes it’s greenwashing of course, but all this interest tells me that we are moving in the right direction

Designs by Davide Barzaghi