Marva Griffin Wilshire



Interviewing ...

Marva Griffin Wilshire
the "mother" of the Design, creator of the Salone Satellite Show
Your beginnings 30 years ago in the design world are inevitably linked to the B & B then C & B Italy, as you recalled that experience?
C & B then B & B Italy, for me, coming to Italy and started working in this company, it was a great school, is thanks to this time, I can do the work I do now.
Today the B & B lived a changes of management, also in your opinion its philosophy has changed over the years where it was the only company of absolute reference ?
Yes it has changed but now I am very happy because the owners Giorgio Busnelli with his brothers managed to regain full ownership of the company, when it was divided I was displeased. Even today, the B & B is a leader in its field, then when I worked there it was the only company of reference, however, to some extent it continues to be.
You are a woman who have a role in design and architecture don't you find   that the role of the feminine architect is not highlighted as one of the professional man?
I make no distinction! There are women in the world of architecture and design that have made some good projects, we unfortunately have this complex. In my opinion, (it may not be so), I see people like Zaha Hadid and she is a woman, in the midst of all these men she was able to express herself, and before her Eileen Gray and Charlotte Perriand, who worked with Le Courbousier; I do not know if it is true, but it is said that many of the designs have been made by her, and perhaps she never imposed herself as a woman. Now, in Italy, in the architecture we have Gae Aulenti (recently deceased) and Patricia Urquiola's design and many other less known.
Several architects women are brave and creative as men but we tend to always bind them in minor roles, what do you think?
If we let them, yes, this must not happen.
The Salone Satellite is your jewel of the crown, where figures such as Tom Dixon and others have become household names, surely this will make you proud, what relationship have you now with these architects that you found?
Not only I would mention Tom Dixon, but many international others as the Japanese Nendo, the Indian Satyendra Pakhalé, Italians Paolo Ulian, Lorenzo Damiani and Carlo Contin, English Sebastian Wrong, the Belgian Xavier Lust and many other countries. Yes, this makes me proud, when they write me, they call me their "mother", I offered him the opportunity, but they were great to present themselves to the world of design.
How did the idea of ​​an event aimed at the beginners?
It  was born because there was a need for the young people to have a place to exhibit their ideas, and kept us to be at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile for visibility, because, who could took a space or in a gallery in a museum or in a palace outside the salon, was born in fact, the "outdoor show", and exposed his prototypes, but did not achieve their objectives, they were not being seen by the Italian producers of furniture that remained in the ' interior of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile. I should point out that 15 years ago, no one took care of the young, nobody speaks about them, now all the exhibits have copied the format, from Cologne, Stockholm to Valencia. Now even companies are competitions for young people, as well as the town of Milan, because it has become a media event.
Many young designers today don't  use the pencil and they are losing the ability to sketch freehand very important for them. When a customer asks them during an interview to splash a detail of their project they will find themselves in difficulty as accustomed to using the digital, do you require in the selection of the Salone Satellite elaborate splattered as well as rendering?
The rendering? They are prohibited! Candidates as a requirement, should send two or three photographs or a design of the prototype and then, along with a jury of producers, architects and designers who are invited, they select the most representative entries.
What do you think about the topic?
Just about manuality, I can anticipate that I'm trying to work with companies, because I would like a further step for the satellite show, to invite the young designers to do an internship in a company, they are always used to the computer and they don't live the real production. Each year the show has a theme, I did design in the world, designed in the future, this year's design technology. Next year? Top secret, I can not say.
According to you, today which designer or architect is more prominently on the international design?
There are many, I can not tell you who is the best in the international design. I would say that is the Italian productivity to be international. From the world the designers came in Italy to realize their prototypes. Is your Italian productivity who wins.