In Conversation with Viabizzuno Lighting Designer Mario Nanni

  • House IV by Lawless and Meyerson

    To celebrate his inaugural visit to Australia, we chat exclusively with globally-celebrated lighting designer, founder and creative director of Viabizzuno lighting; Mario Nanni.

    Founded in 1994, Viabizzuno is an industry leader in premium-quality lighting. Well-regarded for their intuitive approach to lighting as a solution to architectural difficulties, Viabizzuno is constantly analysing, adapting and improving their designs to ensure their pieces are timeless.

    Proudly designed and manufactured in Italy, Viabizzuno prides itself on Italian craftsmanship backed by precision-based research. With the desire to delve into the company’s design roots, we sat down with designer Mario Nanni to discover exactly how he created the legacy that is Vizbizzuno today.

    est living Woodward Architecture Project Crescent House 1

    Tubino Pendant in Matthew Wooward’s Crescent House

    Viabizzuno is one of the world’s most renowned lighting brands. As founder and designer, where did your passion for lighting stem from and what led you to create the Viabizzuno brand?

    Mario Nanni: My passion for lighting began as a child, where I built nativity scenes for the Parish of Santa Maria in Bizzuno, Italy. I found lighting solutions to effectively reproduce the daylight and I was instantly fascinated.

    In 1994 I founded Viabizzuno, as I felt there wasn’t a company in the world that, rather than dealing mainly with design, wanted to put lighting first and treat it as a key element of the architecture. Today, we are a world leader in our industry because we accept the different challenges that architects and lighting designers face in their projects. Our aim is to dream of things that do not exist and try to achieve them.

    What would you consider to be a turning point in your career, and what has contributed to the attention Viabizzuno has received?

    Mario Nanni: I realised that even a difference of three millimetres in the position of the lamp was still important to be able to produce higher quality work and create the perfect composition between the lamp, furniture and architecture.

    I was lucky enough to meet great masters in design, from whom I learned the fundamental concept of listening and the art of tailored design for the specific place or customer. This has been integral to my success.

    Having executed several unique products over the years, can you tell us where you find inspiration?

    Mario Nanni: It is nature that often inspires me, even in the smallest moment of daily life. All Viabizzuno light fittings are born as solutions to the problems that are encountered in the development of a project.

    When you’re creating a new product, where do you start?

    Mario Nanni: I start by listening and observing. I decipher what the light needs to fulfill and resolve within the space. Light is a fundamental part of architecture so it is essential to design the right light. My lighting solutions are not the result of market research nor of a fleeting trend, my ambition is to resolve specific design situations and meet each necessity.

    From retail to hospitality and residential projects, Viabizzuno lighting has been featured widely across the globe. What is the most effective use you’ve seen so far? Do you have a favourite?

    Mario Nanni: Every single piece of work is a challenge to which I apply my artisanal experience. I am proud of all of my work as every light is part of my life; a new discovery, new knowledge, a new way of researching and developing innovative solutions.

    You’ve created bespoke lighting installations for luxury fashion labels such as Chanel, Gucci and Valentino. What is it about your work that you think sets it apart from other lighting companies?

    Mario Nanni: As of ten years ago, we worked to develop our lights in order for them to have maximum light quality. This is thanks to colour rendering that is as close to the light of the sun as possible, which is my main competitor. This research on the quality of light is held in high regard by esteemed global fashion brands.

    Aside from designing light fixtures and lamps, you also cover books, apparel and furnishings. What inspired the decision to diversify from lighting design?

    Mario Nanni: My method of designing is complete and constantly improving. To me, design is not just a profession, but a way of establishing a relationship with life. A designer might be a cook, an athlete, a teacher, an architect, a sculptor or a painter. A designer is also my mother who cooks the best tortellini in the world.

    To this day, you still manufacture your products in Italy. What influenced the decision to keep the production process local to the design’s roots? 

    Mario Nanni: We want to share our work and our way of thinking, our ideals and our craftsmanship, our innovation and our poetry which is always faithful to a consistent, high-grade standard. ‘Made in Italy’ is not a phrase like any other; for us, it is the Italian genius made of experience, the ability to dream, but also to adapt with willingness and imagination. To us, ‘made in Italy’ cannot be just a label, it is our fingerprint and our DNA that makes us proud of being Italian.

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