PLEASE, INTRODUCE YOURSELF. WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND?
My name is Cosma, I am an artist from a small town of the Salento province, the place where I was born and raised. Rather, it is the place where I got back after having some work experience elsewhere and where I found a proper environment to make my artworks. Both behind and above my shoulders there are the marks and teachings of many years at the mercy of what was boiling inside of me and that I wasn't able to bring to the surface, to make It visible or physical. I believe it's Art, getting rid of what is pulsing inside of you and give it some kind of form. I couldn't do it, and I must admit that I still have my difficulties, but I feel like it's worth it.
HOW DO YOU GET IN TOUCH WITH THE DESIGN WORLD?
I chose to become a designer during the third year of middle school, because I was spending a lot of time drawing cars and motorcycles. Years later I attended the ISIA school in Florence, where I graduated in Design. Right after that there was the crisis and just like every other crisis you learn a lesson. I understood what I wanted to do as a grown man.
ARE YOUR OBJECTS ENTIRELY MADE BY YOU? DO YOU HAVE ASSISTANTS?
Yes, they are completely made by me. At the moment I take care of every aspect of my work but I always have some friends around helping me with the heavy parts.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE ARTISAN WAY INSTEAD OF INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES? WHAT ARE PROS AND CONS?
Because, when I set out, I had almost nothing but a space to work in. So I tried to apply apply and bear in mind the "Less is more" concept by Mies Van Der Rohe. At the moment, looking at the future, I do not exclude the possibility to experiment in a different way.
THE MATERIALS YOU WORK WITH ARE VERY SPECIAL, HOW DO YOU SELECT THEM AND WHAT'S THEIR LINK TO THE TERRITORY?
I was looking for materials for my projects, while walking around quarries near my house, and I remember that I looked at a pile of tuff blocks , extracted and discarded fifty years ago. They were oxidised, covered by musk and lichens and irregular. I was struck by how patient can be the nature when it covers and takes back what we take and throw away. I found genuine beauty in all this. Beyond the material and the surface, I saw forms and possible uses. I select the blocks based on certain surface aesthetic qualities and I try to preserve with great care the chosen ones by hydrating and covering them during the processing. The link with the territory is very strong, considering that every rural housing in the area has been made in calcarenite rock, which is the most used material in house building nowadays.
DO YOU THINK THAT DESIGN SHOULD ALWAYS TELL A STORY OR BRING A MESSAGE?
You put me in trouble with this one, I might be to critical [laughing]. It all depends by the context, the "design" term is a wide one. Let's say that I do not like to tell and listen to stories that are not authentic or proper.
WHAT'S THE IMPORTANCE OF AESTETHIC, FUNCTION AND INTRINSIC MEANING FOR YOU DURING THE CONCEPT PHASE OF A PROJECT? WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?
I consider all this aspects equally in terms of importance but, to be honest, I think I am mostly interested in the aesthetic and the meaning of an object. I am a son of consumerism too [still laughing]. Actually, I believe that instead of making objects that might simplify the living of people, I consider myself to be a mediator between the parts, I take from nature like if we were collaborating to reach the human soul.
My source of inspiration is in a 0 km phase. The contrast between the degrade, urban and environmental, and the wild beauty of the places where I grew up is my "raw material". I am very close to present my first collection made in calcarenite.