Being Stefano Marzano: Inside the mind of an Electrolux innovator

You may have heard that pop-up restaurant The Cube by Electrolux is travelling around Europe. So far it has graced the peaks of Milan’s Cathedral, has been perched on top of the Parc du Cinquantiere in Brussels and will land on the roof of the Royal Opera House in Stockholm on 15th June. It will also be coming to London. Cue brass band. On 1st June it will be pitching up at the top of The Royal Festival Hall and here at ACHICA Living we can’t wait to book a seat – not least to enjoy the views over The Thames (aka The Kink’s Dirty Old River, depending on how you refer to it).

The Cube has a unique architecture – it’s a minimalist structure with a warm interior that’s designed to represent the Scandinavian heritage of Electrolux, while providing guests with stunning views over the city. The Cube seats up to 18 at a time and has a set Michelin-starred menu, with complimentary wine with each course.

[Above: The Cube by Electrolux in Milan. Below: The Cube in Stockholm and Stefano Marzano of Electrolux]

Leading Electrolux’s global design team is Stefano Marzano. He has a string of design accolades, honorary doctorates and awards from around the world and is inspirational in innovative design. In the last decade Businessweek has named him one of four global ‘Best Leaders: Innovators’, while he has also received the World Technology Award for Design by the World Technology Network.

Here at ACHICA Living, we polished our specs, sharpened our pencils and charged the power on our dictaphone to interview Stefano Marzano and find out how his award-winning design mind thinks…

Stefano, you’re a prolific designer with an interesting career. What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on?

It was probably Vision of the Future of 1995, a project in which companies around the world initiated the creation and sharing of articulated visions. The project was a milestone in the industry of Design.

What excites you in the world of design?

I get excited and inspired by everyday life. By talking to people and listening to what they say. And also from history, socio-cultural dynamics, life events and emerging technologies.

Who is your favourite designer?

I admire several designers and architects. To name a few: Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo for their eclectic geniality. Of our times – Achille Castiglioni for his ability to capture simplicity. And the Eames couple.

If you had to pick one person who has had the most influence on you, who would it be?

My grandfather. He was a tailor. He mastered his art and had a close relation with his clients. He taught me how important it is to look beyond the appearance to understand people’s real needs.

How do you see us using our homes in the future?

Already today the kitchen has become the heart of the home for socialising and entertainment. The appliances need to be functional and easy to use. In the future even more people will live in cities in less space and with maybe also less leisure time. The appliances will have to be even smarter.

The focus on sustainability will remain, and in the industry we will hopefully continue developing increasingly more efficient products for the homes. The future of sustainable design is a culmination of what we see on the surface of a product, and how the product lets us make a change for the better.

In parallel, we will have increased expectations on the experiences we have in our homes. Already today, the sound experience makes us invest in audio systems, the food experience makes us buy appliances which allow us to perform like chefs, and the visual experience has triggered an interest in interior design. This development will continue.

Any interesting projects in the pipeline?

Electrolux launches a completely new kitchen range in Europe this spring, with several innovative features transferred from our professional products. It has an exciting design serving a full food experience. But I am still new to Electrolux, and I have not yet been very much involved in the development of this or any products going to market soon. But soon I will…

Is there anything we can be doing to ensure our homes are ‘future proofed’?

This is a great question. My personal answer is that we need to design a house that produces more than it consumes!

What three products can you not live without?

If you mean now in my current life I would say, my credit card, my passport and my smart phone. Autonomy, freedom and connection.

What are your top tips for anyone who has just moved home and is starting to design their space from scratch?

Follow your heart!

To find out more about how to reserve a seat at The Cube visit the website or call 020 7288 6450.

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor