Italian architectural lighting company iGuzzini has been represented in Australia for some time, but local partners illuminotecnica were committed to raising the brand’s awareness and profile to a level they felt reflected its status, with the very first iGuzzini Australian showroom experience.
February 24th, 2015
How did the ideas and concepts for the showroom develop and how did the project progress?
RINO BRINDISI: My original concept was to represent the brand in the best possible way – it’s very important to have a showroom as a base, from there we visit clients and clients visit us. The showroom would have to represent all the elements of lighting design, including vertical and horizontal illumination, accent illumination, ambient and graphic. A base to work from whilst demonstrating these lighting elements was a must.
CHRIS GALE: it’s as much an educational destination, showing how the products perform in situ, and how they perform in conjunction with one another as it is a location to conduct business. As for the name, after visiting iGuzzini at Light and Building in Frankfurt we realised we wanted to bring that model back and modify it to suit the Australian market. So, over the course of its development the idea ‘studio iGuzzini’ was born.
Why and how did iGuzzini decide to have a stronger presence here in Australia?
CHRIS: Our market is bigger than they imagined, with this knowledge it made sense to explore a new partner arrangement.
RINO: iGuzzini personalise their studios to suit the markets they are represented in, so if the market is big enough and would allow for a space of this size they’re very keen for that to happen and when you’re looking at sophisticated markets like Australia it sits very well.
How invested is iGuzzini in training their partners, for example, will you be going to Italy for an induction process etc?
CHRIS: si, si, si… we have visited iGuzzini a few times along with our interstate partners. Studio iGuzzini is a destination for everyone, this is home base, where everything is directly translated from Italy to us to everyone else.
RINO: – it’s driven by the family, you know the old proverb, where ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ – it’s very much evident in iGuzzini, the family drives it and it filters down to everyone within the company, they’re all enthusiastic and they’re all motivated, they’ve all got that mantra about the ‘i’in iGuzzini, calling it the ‘i’ factor, it could be for ‘i’taly, ‘i’nnovation, ‘i’ntelligence, and the whole made in Italy thing – they’re playing very hard on that.
Being somewhat remote here in Australia, what was the communication process like when conceptualising the showroom with Italy?
RINO: I think in the initial conversation we weren’t aligned, but upon my insistence, when Jacopo, iGuzzini’s in-house architect came out there was a better understanding of how the space should be used.
BRUNO SCRENCI: Seeing the outside space of the wharf and the environment changed it a lot. So that’s when it became a new design customised to our wishes.
What are some of the goals and functions you are hoping to achieve with the showroom beyond showcasing product?
RINO: The aim of having the showroom as a space – sure it’s going to be a working office, but more than that I want it to be a space where people come and relax be it Friday night or whenever and one of our clients says, ‘I’ve had a hard day, I just need to come and have a beer’, and we say, come on in, come and have an espresso, not even talk about lighting, just come and relax.
BRUNO: And that might happen when we’re showing people through, it might break from a presentation into an Aperol spritz and a plate of pasta.
RINO: We don’t want to make it contrived or scripted, but just to come naturally. With regards to education, Institute of Design, TAFE etc. student groups will be able to visit the space and use it as an extension of their learning environment.
BRUNO: While they’re at school they probably think lighting is technical and scary, but as soon as they come to iGuzzini they see that it’s not like that at all.
Chris: I think providing a space where professionals can meet, explore ideas and experience what lighting can do, that’s exciting. Giving some respect back to the lighting community, if we can help do this, that’s an achievement.
RINO: the underlying message that we want to deliver to the market is that iGuzzini is a serious lighting company, it’s bigger than what anyone thinks it is. It can be represented in a lot of markets, not just internal or external, the spread of projects that it can go into is far greater than any other lighting company that we know of, this is what we want people to understand and know that iGuzzini have what it takes to compliment almost any part of a project.
The iGuzzini showroom experience is set to launch 27th Feb 2015 at Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont
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