Guido Garotti

“What is an object without the intricate narrative that the human mind develops around it?” This is the question that creative problem solver and furniture designer Guido Garotti keeps in mind when approaching design. Believing in the fact that design is about making humans feel “at home on Earth,” he focuses on the issues surrounding each object, the objects’ relation with the people and the feeling the object transmits: he designs customisable solutions and carefully selects materials to create a rich visual language of strong juxtaposing features. After studying industrial design in Florence, Italian-born Garotti moved on to the Sheffield Institute of Art and Design in the UK, where he completed a masters of arts in furniture design.

His products are stories told through materials, colors and shapes. “I’m fascinated by cognitive sciences and social dynamics,” he explains, “therefore the objects I design aim to establish an intimate long term connection with the owner in order to be kept and cherished for a lifetime. I enjoy enhancing the cultural diversity of different places by utilizing local manufactures and materials as well as local imagery and cultural references.”

He recently presented a series of chairs, Individuale, at the New Designers exhibition in London. The collection (made of four pieces, two of which are currently being produced) focuses fully on the bond between the user and the object through emotional connection. Strongly opposed to contemporary “throwaway culture,” Garotti applied his skills to create a product that relates to its user, offering an emotional and physical connection. Materials were chosen for their long-term properties, such as the chunk of oak wood used for the seats (which will age beautifully), or the soft suede of the backrest (which shows traces of a person’s touch). He went a step further, creating a joining system that allows users to adjust the chair and modify the general feel of the experience. These ingenious solutions emphasize Garotti’s vision of making a bond between the user and the object.

I investigated the psychological dynamics that are responsible for emotional attachment,” he notes, “and I designed every feature of the chairs accordingly. Materials, manufactures and formal qualities were chosen for their aging properties and for the ability to become intimate with the user.”
Individuale reminds me of the graphic works of Ettore Sottsass and his Memphis Group, which defined the colorful style of ‘80s designers. The architectural familiarity of his pieces make them instant classics, while his enthusiastic thought process and approach to design is a promise for future greatness.

“I want my future projects to give me the chance to apply my areas of expertise while building on new knowledge,” Garotti says, explaining “some of the ideas I would like to reflect in my future projects include mythological, religious and ritual tendencies, and ‘cradle to cradle’ theories. I would like to challenge myself by continuing to work in diverse environments and collaborating with cross cultural professionals.”
His methods are bound to remain playful and energetic, his philosophy exquisitely fresh, and his view independent. In his words: “Let’s emphasize intuition, sensation and our innermost tendencies! Let’s play with it!”

-Rosa Maria Bertoli

For more information visit