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IQD Interview Albino Celato, CEO De Castelli

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Faithful to its decision to reinstate the special role of metal in design and experimentation, De Castelli infuses artisan ideas and workmanship into industrial processes, leading to entirely original results. The encounter with design inspires an approach to materials founded upon respect for their potential, be it hidden or obvious, which emerges slowly in a collection of pieces that, despite being part of a series, remain unique. Unique not only for the hand that has created them, but also for the singular cultural path that focuses on the aesthetic (and not just practical) value of the primordial material with which De Castelli shapes living spaces.

In view of the new 2022 dates of the Milan Furniture Fair in June, how are you preparing for this important event, which will return after three years in its traditional configuration?

As for every Salone del Mobile, we are working hard to propose new experimentation and interpretation of the metal material to reveal its hidden and unusual potential. Starting from this year’s edition, we will focus, year after year, on a single theme that could be – for example – the expression of an unprecedented research on the surface aspect of metal, or of a reinterpretation and exaltation of existing working techniques, or of innovative technologies in order to reach complex shapes. This research will be presented not only in a theoretical or conceptual, but also in a functional form, through the collaboration with selected designers who’ll give shape and aesthetics to the chosen theme, turning it into pilot products that will be proposed as suggestion and inspiration for other architects and designers, while enriching at the same time our wide Collection catalog.

How does a company that is always at the cutting edge like De Castelli relate to the theme of sustainability, on which the Salone will focus with the aim of becoming a stage for the most important innovations in this regard?

With respect to sustainability, we are focusing on the one hand on minimizing waste both in terms of raw materials and energy, on the other hand on the respect and continuous improvement of all environmental requirements. We are fortunate to work with precious materials whose lifespan, if properly maintained, is very long. Materials that can even age with us, acquiring more and more value and history over time. The few scrap materials produced by metal cutting are re-introduced into the lamination cycle of the plates, becoming raw material again.

What are the impressions you gathered in this first year of your new, refined showroom, inaugurated in 2021 in downtown Milan, where customers and designers can find the three souls of De Castelli – product collections, surface treatments and architectural materials – which represent the state of the art in metalworking, combining craftsmanship and high technology?

The new showroom is a source of great satisfaction because it has finally allowed us to convey all our know-how and the potential of the metals we work every day. It is a space that, due to its size, its position, its history, we immediately felt as ours and thanks to the idea and design of Cino Zucchi it has become a reality. All this is recognized by those who have visited our space in recent months, exploring and touching our world and our unique and tailor-made approach.

Do you believe that the role of metal in furniture and architecture has undergone changes in the last two years? In this regard, what do you think could be the main trends in the coming months and what are the innovations with which De Castelli will anticipate them?

The role played by metal has certainly changed. Finally, steel, brass and copper are considered not only as structural but also as aesthetically refined materials, capable of conveying feelings to the spaces where they are placed, just like wood or marble do. Today we appreciate the potential and expressiveness of a material that has long been considered flat and cold. The overturning of this point of view is precisely the purpose of our research since the very beginning and that we pursue day by day. In particular now we are exploring the possibility of metal to reach organic and plastic forms, deepening its malleability, to restore softness to the eye and to the touch.

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