Editorial

My holistic design

Mauro Olivieri

Let me borrow a quotation by Enzo Mari: “The artist is the one who shapes a collective value everyone identifies with”. I think that here lies the essence of design, or rather, holistic design.
It is a new vision that does not only belong to the present, because it has always existed, though only in great design, hidden but constantly intimately alive and vital.
Holistic design is the work of a mind that strongly and simply believes in being rich in “everything”, so that it can enrich others, thus becoming collective value.
“The artist shapes collective value”, Mari says, but in this case shape expresses three dimensions. It is therefore design, the design of a work that must necessarily become part of us because it is generated by people, their habits, their being, their existence.
Holistic design can intertwine to deeply explore the contents of a sign that is understandable and becomes collective value.
It is within understanding that holistic design grows, that is: the work, the mind, the object, the product that can express full freedom from any constraints in terms of codified shapes, colours, definitions and ideas, therefore acting without boundaries.
The artist is objectively subjective.
Design is objectively objective.
Holistic design is subjectively objective.
Let me explain this. The artist’s piece of art, as it is still defined, is subjected to the role of personal pleasure and is therefore subjective, though being part of the search for more extensive consensus.
On the other hand, design claims its supreme role in society, deeming to be necessary and legitimated to create the “objective” value defined and marked by its role of bearer of the absolute truth, influencing and guiding many different subjects.
Philippe Stark, well-known designer, has established a language that can be read starting from his work, creating new signs, smartly reviewing and revisiting what we already have among us. And probably this is also necessary: create new ideals for new styles that become our style, built and described by many subjects as a must have, thus having the function to represent us and tell about us. However, style has nothing to do with holistic design, because it is in its definition that it expresses the “outside the box” concept, which is the outcome of growth and of a language that evolves more, as I build and seek in others for others.
Style is shaped and proliferates on itself, bridled in a path it cannot escape from, as it can be the case when reading products that are rich in strictly aesthetic and not inner, but soulless expression.
It is therefore crucial to rediscover the contents of true community, to which master Mari takes us back, by using that freedom that is the expression of a “borderless” framework and that only holistic vision can put in place to reach an increasingly authentic product-object.
Holistic design means focusing on human beings as much as possible, offering products that do not curb them in established visions or force them towards more constrained contents.
Holistic design does not work for itself, but rather uses itself to become everybody’s design and all this, with a touch of poetry.

Mauro Olivieri

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