Filippo Nassetti is what you call a versatile creative. He started sharing his vision with people in 2012. His creative pilgrimage began with the co-founding of MHOX - an EU-funded research and start-up company. Filippo made a big name for himself with his bizarre computer techniques and wearable 3D printing pieces, making waves internationally. His best-known projects are Collagen, Carapace, Superabundance Masks, generative orthotics, the ENEA walking stick, and the designs of prostheses.
When a few years passed, Filippo joined the collective Zaha Hadid Architects in 2015, focusing on small research projects. He focused on everything from product design to creative installations. The responsibility grew naturally with time, and he had the pleasure to sit down with Odlo Future skin to design a sportswear collection based on body mapping and automated knitting.
In 2016, Filippo taught at UCL The Bartlett School of Architecture as part of the B-Pro Master's course. He is currently pursuing a research project focusing on post-natural design. The subject matter explores aesthetics that emerge from the crisis of traditional oppositions such as natural and artificial, digital and material, human and inhuman. It relates to exploring organic forms through computational methods and new media.
In the course of this, we talked to Filippo Nassetti. He answered a few questions.
“Take your time – likely it is going to take longer than you wished. Better to plan for a large number of small steps rather than burn everything in a single sprint. Continuity over a long period allows things to grow. Always allow time to study and research.”
Hey Filippo - how are you doing! I'm happy that you're here for the interview. Please introduce yourself to the readers and tell them about your work?
My name is Filippo Nassetti, and I am a designer. I do various things, mainly to bring new things into the game.
Why did you choose to do what you are doing now? How did you come up with the idea to be a designer? Did you have a specific vision of your life?
I cannot recall a specific choice, a specific moment in time in which I had a clear vision of what I would have been. Instead, it has been a chain of more minor, often blind decisions, as if you were exploring unknown territory without a map. On the other hand, I had a more specific set of broader ideas and values, such as the desire to spend my life engaging with beauty and artistic endeavors. I started with Architecture and then opened up to several different yet related fields where in time, I saw potential.
Creativity has taken on a whole new meaning in recent years. Some people are trying to get out of their comfort zone to chase their dreams. What does creativity mean to you?
It’s mostly the way I found to connect myself to the world. To go beyond my biography and be part of creating our collective present and possible futures.
You have been doing what you do creatively for quite some time. Could you ever imagine doing something else?
I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than design. However, I wish I could keep changing and evolving how I’m doing it.
Life can be crazy sometimes. Some people find it easier to see what they want to do from their heart and others take their time. When did you guys realize that was your life path? What was the trigger?
I’d say it had been the growing awareness of doing something that I liked and improving at that. Project after project, experience after experience, you realize that while you design things, such things start to design you. I feel a growing perception of belonging when I retrospectively look at my work.
We don't know what the future holds for us. Nobody knows it. How do you imagine the future?
As much as we can project trends and development directions, many “side jumps” eventually realize very different futures. If we think of the pandemic, that has been quite a surprise, hasn’t it? From zero awareness of the issue to complete lockdown in approx. A month. Or if you compare what is the Internet today to the fictional visions of cyberspace in the 80s.
Nevertheless, imagining possible futures is a fundamental human activity, often impacting the present more than the future itself. I then like to incorporate specific visions of the future in my projects, imagining how the human body may transform itself concerning technology or new aspects and materiality of products.
You must have to go through a few hurdles in your career. Which one has shaped and influenced you the most? For what are you most grateful?
I remember a few disillusions in the first years of my independent work. Projects I wanted to get, I thought I would get, and then unexpectedly lost. A very normal thing in the industry, but initially, you don’t know, and you need to understand the proper management and emotional commitment.
Or periods where you work with minimal rewards, both in terms of public appreciation and financial gain.
I believe those made me realize the importance of acknowledging and celebrating achievements. Eventually, you rely more on the perception of your path and history, rather than on external consensus.
What advice would you give to someone striving for his visionaries, too?
Take your time – likely, it will take longer than you wished. Better to plan for a large number of small steps rather than burn everything in a single sprint. Continuity over a long period allows things to grow. Always allow time for the necessary study and research.
Thank you for the interview and your time.
See you soon!