Where I Work: Luca Nichetto

For this Where I Work, we virtually visit two European cities, Stockholm and Venice, to get a sense of how Luca Nichetto works. The Venice-born designer began his schooling at Istituto statale d’arte before earning a degree in industrial design in 1998 at the Università Iuav di Venezia. Post school, Nichetto embarked on careers with Murano-based glass maker, Salviati, before venturing into product design and consulting for Foscarini. In 2006, he set up his eponymous studio in Venice, which led to the opening of his second studio in 2011 in Stockholm, where he now spends most of his time. Here, we take a look through both workspaces while also getting a sense as to how Nichetto works. Take a look.

Stockholm studio

What is your typical work style?

That is a good question, since I’ve become a father I can say that I come to the office pretty early because I leave my son at kindergarten, so I wake up pretty early in the morning. But let’s say that I’m one of the people that really prefers to work late, and not so early; I’m adapting myself to my new lifestyle.

Stockholm studio

What is your studio/work environment like?

That’s interesting, because I think I have two kind of environments: the one in Venice is more messy and more like a workshop studio, in the Swedish one in Stockholm, it is more clean and ordered, more or less.

How is your office organized and arranged? Do you have your own space with a door?

Both studios are open spaces and we work all together.

Stockholm studio

Stockholm studio

Stockholm studio

How long have you been in this space and where did you work before that?

My first studio in Venice opened in 2006, eleven years now, and before Venice, I was working (like almost everyone in the beginning) in my own kitchen, and secondly in a very, very small space in the historic centre of Venice in the Island, that was nice and I was sharing it with other two designer friends. The only thing that was not so nice, it was the period of high water in Venice, and I was working with my feet in the water in front of my computer! Then I bought my new space in Porto Marghera, the really old industrial area in Venice, and I moved there. In Sweden, when I moved, I was renting a desk in a graphic design studio and secondly I was also renting a space in another design studio; then I rented by myself and the entire space was like a basement. Sadly the light in Sweden in very important and for that reason, we moved in another space, where we are now, in Midsommarparken 2, it is a really nice residential area in Hägersten. The space where we are now, is more like a store, we have big windows on the street, the problem of light was solved!

Venice studio

Venice studio

Venice studio

If you could change something about your workspace, what would it be?

In Venice for sure I’d love to build a kitchen and eventually a bedroom! I’m joking, but sometimes I work very late so to have a bedroom could be interesting. In Stockholm, I would probably love to have an extra room, like storage, we have a lot of prototypes, so sometimes the space that we have is not so big.

Venice office

Is there an office pet?

No, luckily, but we have some plants to take care.

Do you require music in the background? If so, who are some favorites?

I love to have some music in the background, and that’s why when I’m back in Venice I always ask to put on some music, because for the guys that work there it is not so important. There are not favorites, I always listen to different kinds of music, it depends on the mood!

Stockholm studio

How do you record ideas?

Most of my ideas are done sketching on paper! We collect them in a folder, and it’s true that I still have a lot of Moleskine notebooks, and one is always with me. It depends when the idea pops up!

Do you have any inspiration board?

No we don’t. I don’t believe in inspiration boards. I think that a board is more for a project going on, where you fix notes, drawings. I don’t believe in designers that use Pinterest to take inspiration!

Venice studio

What is your creative process and/or creative workflow like? Does it change every project or do you keep it the same?

For each project let’s say that of course, it changes a bit, but the work flow always follows the same line: it starts from sketches, and if necessary we do prototypes with paper or material, then we move it into 3D, using it as a tool to see what works better. From the 3D sometimes we move back to sketches to redefine details. It’s like ping pong, until the project solves all the problems that are in the production aspect.

Venice studio

What kind of design objects might you have scattered about the space?

Mostly in Venice and also in Stockholm, especially in Stockholm, there are a lot of my products, for example the desk where I’m sitting, there are chairs that I designed few years ago, and now we have a spot where we can relax and chat and we have a sofa and a design chair, a lamp, some prototypes on the shelf… Mostly it’s product that we design.

Are there tools or machinery in your space?

I’m pretty lucky that we have small tools, like something to cut or stuff like that, primitive things to do small things! Luckily I would say that having a studio in Venice that is in an industrial and manufacturing area, there’s no need to have tools, because in twenty minutes we can build what we need, just around the corner.

Stockholm studio

Tell us about your tech arsenal device.

Our devices are four computers in Stockholm, Macintosh, and the same in Italy! We’re using a lot of laptops that we can bring with us, then printers, scanners, in both studios. That’s it!

What design software do you use, if any and for what?

We mostly Rhino, for the 3D, and other secondary softwares.

Venice studio

Is there a favorite project/piece you’ve worked on?

For sure one the projects that we released in Milan, it was very important for us, two projects honestly that we really care about! One is with Moooi, that is a chair called Canal Chair, and an Installation that I did with Ben Gohram, founder of Byredo: A massive installation with Murano Glass that we did for Salviati (my first client ever).

Do you feel like you’ve “made it”? What has made you feel like you’ve become successful?

I never ever felt that I made it. I’m always trying to find the challenge, and I think that’s the reason why I always put goals in front of me to achieve. That is probably the reason why people consider my studio successful, we never stop, somehow, or try to repeat what we did before.

Tell us about a current project you’re working on. What was the inspiration behind it?

I mentioned two projects that we presented in Milan. For this question we’ll pick another one, let’s say Pepsi. We created a product and a space to create a ritual around Iced Tea for Pure Leaf.

What’s on your desk right now?

A mess!

Do you have anything in your home that you’ve designed/created?

I have a lot of things that I’ve designed and created. It’s the most convenient way to furnish your home! My sofa, a cabinet, chairs, lamps… Mostly prototypes.

Photos by Ilenia Martini and James Stokes.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.