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Interview with Roberta Meloni, Poltronova's CEO and founder

'The brand is active worldwide with good results in all areas, although the situation is never homogeneous'

Under Roberta Meloni since 2005, Centro Studi Poltronova revitaliSes the unique, radical design ethos of Sergio Cammilli and Ettore Sottsass. More than a brand, it's a hub of relationships, research, and craftsmanship, blending art, architecture, and history. Founded in 1957, it thrived on avant-garde collaborations. Today, Poltronova maintains this nonconformist spirit, producing meticulously crafted and sustainable items near Florence. Their commitment to detail and quality involves top suppliers and master craftsmen, even sourcing eco-friendly materials from Sweden.

InteriorDaily spoke with Roberta Meloni, Poltronova's CEO and founder of Centro Studi Poltronova.

Roberta Meloni.

Could you tell us about the history of the brand?
'The Poltronova brand was founded in Italy in 1957, by an artist who ventured into entrepreneurship. Since its inception, the company had Ettore Sottsass as its art director for two decades, which strongly influenced its DNA. The Centro Studi Poltronova was established with the aim of creating the ideal place to preserve Poltronova's heritage, giving rise to a catalogue of Italian design icons by creating a certified archive and editing the historic objects of the Tuscan company. Among the featured authors are Ettore Sottsass Jr., the radical groups Archizoom and Superstudio, Gianni Pettena, Lapo Binazzi, De Pas D'Urbino, Lomazzi, Elena and Massimo Vignelli, Franco Raggi, Hans Hollein, Ron Arad, and Nigel Coates.'

In what markets is the brand active, and how are the market conditions right now?
'The brand is active worldwide with good results in all areas, although the situation is never homogeneous; there are times when certain markets perform better than others, but generally, the situation is cyclical. This is also because global conditions are variable, with some companies responding better to certain market needs and vice versa.'

You were recently at Salone del Mobile in Milan. What did you think of the fair?
'I believe that Milan Design Week is the most important event in the design industry worldwide. It is the place where all design industry professionals converge, fostering significant relationships, but also where students and enthusiasts gather.'

What products were on show and how were they received?
'Most of the currently produced catalogue was on display, and the reception was very positive, not only due to the quality and uniqueness of the products but also thanks to an exhibition that not only enhanced the pieces but was visually striking. The colourful patterns used on both the floor and walls set it apart from others.'

What's in store for you now?
'There are no trade shows at the moment, but we are naturally working on expanding the catalogue. This will happen, as usual, by drawing from our significant archive, but we are also exploring new collaborations with new designers.

The brand's objective is to continue spreading and narrating, as it has been doing for decades, a design handcrafted in Italy with the highest quality materials, which above all carries objects with a strong emotional interaction for their owners. The pieces in the Poltronova catalogue are sometimes dynamic; there is interaction with the user because the original project aimed to involve them freely in their use rather than prescribing a behaviour dictated by the architect. In general, even if not dynamic, those in the Poltronova catalogue are pieces that do not seek to demonstrate a status symbol but rather are like "characters", carriers of strong emotional charge with which the owners have a relationship.'

More information:
[email protected]