Time for Nature:

Published: 03 Jul 2020
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Interview with Alberto Lievore on the new FAST collection

On the occasion of the World Environment Day, which is celebrated on 5th June each year, we talked to designer Alberto Lievore to reflect upon how we can safeguard the environment.

Commenting on the 2020 World Environment Day: ‘this is a time for nature…this year nature regained some ground when humans were forced to stop everything and stay at home. Slowly returning to our daily lives, the awareness has returned that a major change to our habits is necessary to safeguard our planet.’

The words of Alberto Lievore bring to the light man’s profound need to spend time outdoors and change the way we interact with nature. ‘The true luxury,’ according to Lievore, ‘is being able to liaise harmoniously with nature.’ Hoping the lockdown has taught us a novel approach to the environment, the newly-designed range for Fast offers a fresh idea for outdoor furniture, ‘aimed at blending in seamlessly with the natural landscape to provide moments of relaxation and regeneration.’

Left: Fast Zebra Lounge chair, Up&Down table | Right: Fast Zebra Chair

Is it true that nature is regaining its spaces? What role is it playing in our daily lives?

‘Nature results from an interaction between different elements. Its balance depends on the stability of each of the elements that compose it. We humans have used and exploited nature without understanding that we are part of it and that our unbridled activity causes a state of enormous imbalance which we are only now beginning to worry about. The current crises are the product of our conduct and we have to improve the relationship with this “mother” who gives us so many wonders. If we know and understand it better, it would give us back physical and intellectual pleasure. Personally, all this has made me live unique visual experiences – no art gallery has given me so much. With Fast, the work is an invitation to enjoy these experiences.’

Left & Right: Fast Zebra chairs & Moai tables

Do you think this situation will change the way we live outdoors? And consequently, also product design?

‘Climate change has already prompted us to make greater use of open spaces, and after the current crisis, this will further increase – closed spaces are the ones at greatest risk. It will take not only ideal and elitist spaces into consideration, but all spaces, even those of limited dimensions.

The furniture, therefore, must be light and practical. We – who live in the Mediterranean and who live outdoors – know the rains and the red sand that comes from Africa, so we know what the quality of the objects we use outdoors must be. Luxury does not mean comfort, but comfort is a luxury.’

Fast Zebra Knit Outdoor furniture

Are there values essential for you in products intended for real outdoor use?

‘As we said at the beginning, nature results from all the interactions we establish with it. We talk about relationships, but what relationships exactly? Allow me to give two definitions: Beauty as “that attribute that makes us fall in love with some things”. Without rules, without style, the only condition is that it makes us fall in love.

Harmony has the particular relationship that establishes itself between different elements to achieve beauty. By this, I mean that it is the quality of relationships that guides our life, and therefore our work. It is the quality of the relationship that we establish with the whole environment that surrounds us that determines harmony. For me, it is the most beautiful relationship that exists. Some people love contrasts, but I insist on a harmonious dialogue.’

Tell us about the Ria project: what needs does it meet? Why is this collection different from the others? What are the strengths that distinguish the pieces of this collection?

‘Things should not be judged per se but based on their relationship within context. We cannot always draw for a single environment and it is at that moment that we go in search of universal values, common to other cultures, that brings us to a formal language which we then define as universal and which unites a broad spectrum of sensitivity.’

Fast Ria Chairs Alberto Lievore

‘Ria is a contemporary version of a classic typology of products that guarantees safe formal integration in unique environments. The wide variety of finishes but also of dimensions that this seating collection offer reinforces the initial desire to facilitate better integration in different situations.’

Ria chairs are the sixth collection designed by Alberto Lievore. Alberto Lievore has been working with Fast since 2017. Over the years, he designed five collections of outdoor furniture: from the stackable chair to dining tables and coffee tables, from a couch to a chaise longue, and even a rocking chair. The latest creation presented at the beginning of the year, is the Ria chair which will be supplemented by a series of new seats in autumn, to give rise to the sixth collection by Alberto Lievore for Fast.