“I’m an industrial designer based in Milan, My studio is in my home where I’m surrounded by my creative mess… my pencils and pens, my music and books, my old sketch books that I never throw away, my PC… It all builds an intimate and peaceful space, where I love to be when creativity needs to do its job!”
Rodrigo Torres was born in Bogota, Colombia in 1976, he graduated from the Faculty of Industrial Design at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University of Bogota in 1998, and studied for a Master’s in Design at the Domus Academy of Milan in 1999. In 1997 he won the “Santo Domingo” prize for the best Colombian design students. The same year he did an internship in the CID department at Whirlpool Europe in Cassinetta. Between 2000 and 2004 he worked as a designer for the Giovannoni design studio. In 2005 and 2008 he won the “Lapiz de acero” prize with the Morfeo (Domodinamica) sofa and the Manta (Poliform) chair. He has worked for Alessi, Poliform, Nike, Microsoft, Domodinamica, Miller, Ferrero, Baci Perugina and others. In 2006 he took part in the “La fabbrica del design” exhibition organised by the Domus Academy and Milan City Council. He has been a professor at the Domus Academy of Milan and the European Design Institute of Turin. He has held conferences at various universities in Italy and Colombia. He lives and works in Milan.
FROM YOUR DESKS: How do you work?
RODRIGO TORRES: I work on my own (physically) and depending on the size of the project, I join forces with some friends from abroad (virtually). I believe in team work and internet has given me the opportunity to work as a sort of “virtual studio”… like this I’ve worked in many interesting projects and with different companies in US and Europe, in a way that was impossible before… all thanks to the net.
FYD: Do you have a work motto?
RT: I don’t have an official one yet…The day that I have one this keywords will be in it: innovation, honesty, identity and simplicity.
In this city you have probably the highest density of designers per square mile than any other city in the world.
FYD: Talk about your X and Y stools; clean and simple.
RT: They are a nice statement of what I like in a project: emotiveness, simplicity, strong identity and cleverness in the way they are built. In these stools , the shape and the relation between all elements, have a clear structural-communicative purpose that defines the object, openly declaring the way they’re built and creating a strong icon out of it. That’s their beauty…their honesty.
FYD: So Chip; did the world needed a paper weight and a paper clip holder?
RT: Chip is a sweet metaphor, “soft emotional interaction” that draws a little smile in environments that are usually filled with stress and boredom…In this project, I was exploring the relation between every day tools such as the clip and how to turn them into “strong communicative objects” that tell an interesting story, emotively speaking to the user that interacts with them and fulfilling in a ludic way their main typological function.
RT: Yes, Milan has a unique design environment that inspires you in a special way… in this city you have probably the highest density of designers per square mile than any other city in the world. The legacy from the old masters and the products from the Italian design companies have been a big influence since I was studying at the university.
Apart from design, the passion that Italians put into everything they do is amazing and I’ve learned a lot from them…Their culture around food and the quality of it, makes me feel in paradise every time I go to a nice trattoria!
RT: Yes of course! I love the game and I’m at the right spot to enjoy it!
FYD: Milano or Inter?
RT: I like them both, but my real team is Millonarios from Colombia!
FYD: What do you do in your spare time?
RT: I like to spend my spare time with my family and friends, either playing with the kids or chatting around a nice bottle of wine with my friends enjoying of a nice meal…
I believe in team work…
FYD: Are you still beer tasting; what is your favorite brew?
RT: Of course I still a beer lover! Mainly the Belgium ones! Those are the best! My favorite? Hmm, hard to say but Delirium Tremens is for sure one of my beloved ones!
Buy your Chip here.