Stefano Giovannoni has been a key figure of Italian design since the 1980s. After graduating from Florence University, he founded design studio King-Kong with architect Guido Venturini, and helped create a series of now iconic household objects. Best known are the playful pieces he produced for Alessi, first with King-Kong and then as a solo designer, creating cartoon-like characters who performed a variety of functions, from toothpick holders to salt and pepper shakers, egg cups and fruit bowls.
In 2001, Alberto Alessi called Giovannoni ‘the champion of the super and popular’. And although his works include more quietly purposeful pieces (from door handles to seating), it is this series of toy-like domestic tools that continue to charm and captivate. ‘I love to create emotional objects that have a strong language, giving them the power to communicate to the largest possible audience in a very smart way,’ says Giovannoni.
He is now looking to reach that audience, and return to his roots in industrial design, with a new collection debuting at Milan’s Salone del Mobile in April. ‘For a long time, I had wanted to direct my creative experiences into a venture of my own,’ he explains. ‘I believe that design companies need to rethink their strategies entirely. I have always been keen on the idea of skipping the compromises typical of a company’s way of operating so that an object could directly reach the consumer.’
In September last year, Giovannoni partnered with a Hong Kong-based investor and started Qeeboo, a brand that offers plastic furniture at affordable prices. Exclusively sold online – on the company’s own website and international web platforms – Qeeboo’s debut collection will comprise 25 injection-moulded pieces by a highly credentialed collection of designers.Published in