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At 83, Designer Gaetano Pesce Is More Relevant Than Ever
When it comes to design, age is often seen as a disadvantage. Many assume that as designers get older, they lose touch with the latest trends and technologies, and their work becomes irrelevant. However, there are some designers who seem to only get better with age. Gaetano Pesce is one such designer.
At 83 years old, Pesce has been designing for over five decades. He’s created furniture, lighting, jewelry, and even architectural structures. His work is characterized by bold colors, unusual forms, and a willingness to push boundaries. He’s never been one to play it safe or follow the crowd, and that’s what makes him so special.
Despite his age, Pesce continues to be highly relevant in the design world. In fact, some might argue that he’s more relevant than ever. This is because his work speaks to some of the most pressing issues of our time, such as sustainability, diversity, and social justice.
For example, Pesce’s “Montanara” chair, which he designed in 2019, is made from recycled polyurethane and can be easily disassembled for recycling. It’s a prime example of how design can be both beautiful and environmentally responsible.
Similarly, his “Non-Uniform” ring collection, which he created in 2015, celebrates the beauty of diversity. The rings feature different shapes and sizes, and are meant to be worn together in a variety of configurations. They’re a powerful reminder that beauty comes in many forms, and that there’s no one “right” way to be.
Pesce’s work also addresses social justice issues. For example, his “UP5_6” chair, which he designed in 1969, was inspired by the plight of women in a male-dominated world. The chair is shaped like a woman’s body and comes with a large ball and chain attached, symbolizing the societal constraints placed on women. While the chair is certainly controversial, it speaks to important feminist issues that are just as relevant today as they were in the 1960s.
It’s clear that Pesce’s work has always been ahead of its time. But why does his work continue to resonate so strongly today, when many other designers from his generation have faded into obscurity?
One reason might be Pesce’s willingness to embrace new technologies and techniques. Despite his age, he’s always been open to experimentation and innovation. For example, in the 1970s he started using polyurethane foam as a material for his furniture, long before it became trendy. He’s also experimented with 3D printing and other digital fabrication techniques.
But technology alone doesn’t explain Pesce’s enduring relevance. Another key factor is his ability to tell stories through design. All of his work has a narrative quality, whether it’s the story of a woman’s struggle for equality or the story of a chair made from recycled materials. By tapping into universal themes and emotions, Pesce has created designs that speak to people on a deeper level than mere function or aesthetic.
Finally, Pesce’s longevity itself is a testament to his relevance. After all, it’s unusual for anyone to be working at a high level in their 80s, let alone in a field as demanding and fast-paced as design. The fact that he continues to produce work that excites and inspires new generations of designers is a testament to his talent and tenacity.
Ultimately, Gaetano Pesce’s relevance at 83 is a reminder that age is just a number. What matters most in design, as in any creative field, is passion, curiosity, and a willingness to take risks. As we look to the future of design, we can learn a great deal from Pesce’s example. He shows us that great design knows no limits, and that it’s never too late to make a difference.