Interview with Giuseppe Cornetto Bourlot, on finance and design

According to the president of Luxy, opportunities are a matter of encounters and fusions, but always remembering to remain faithful to tradition. 

This article was originally published on Domus 1058, june 2021.

It is not clear why life follows mysterious paths, at times taking roundabout ways to return us to point zero, at others moving away from its source like an asymptote and being lost at infinity. What current neuroscience confirms, however, is what is written in the wisdom book of Hinduism, the Bhagavadgītā. It all depends on the early years, on that childhood both mythicised and marginalised, where sensations, emotions and encounters define our being. We come to light like a warm shimmering lake which then becomes fixed as what we will be, but above all the way we will be. So, the opportunities of life appear not to lie in the external starting conditions, the superstructure of Karl Marx and his modest followers. Rather it is found in our inner dimension, composed of images, pastiches and recombinations. A projection of thought that is our only chance to create and modify reality. Starting from ourselves, from what we are and want to become. 

Giuseppe Cornetto Bourlot (Rome, 1960) in his office in Rome. Currently he is president of Lunedes, which in 2019 acquired Luxy, and the press agency askanews.

“I’m convinced of it,” smiles Giuseppe Cornetto Bourlot. “Opportunities are a matter of influences, encounters, fusions. People are formed in the beginning, in early childhood. After that, we only mature and go on repeating whatever we were at 20. For instance, I come from a Piedmontese family, I’ve travelled the world, but I’ve always lived in Rome. Thanks to a teacher, I became passionate about finance and I’ve done finance in all its forms. I was exposed to symphonic music and, even today, I support the Accademia di Santa Cecilia. Ever since I was a child, I’ve felt the need for something more visible, tangible, that could be touched, partly because I’ve always seen finance as an excellent means, but a bad end. For this reason, I turned to tourism and through the private equity observatory I came to design and then Luxy. A zero-kilometre firm that I just had to help on its way and, instead, I decided to stay with it, because it suited me. A place of high industrial craftsmanship that we are relaunching in the prospect of desire.”

Through the private equity observatory I came to design and then Luxy. A zero-kilometre firm where I decided to stay, because it suited me. A place of high industrial craftsmanship that we are relaunching in the prospect of desire.

Bourlot believes the health emergency has changed not only how we desire, but also the way we perceive things and their uses. This starts from the home, which has become part office, part gym, part school. A tragic crisis in which Luxy suffered, but then saw an opportunity to bring the office to the home. After being chosen to supply seating for the G7 and G20, during the pandemic Luxy sold more than 1,000 chairs, mainly in the north and above all to individuals. “Perhaps our smart working, smart chair concept won recognition, because almost no one at home had an ergonomic safety chair. Apart from the chair, they lacked a desk and everything else, which calls for fresh thinking. Here, at Luxy we want to be an active part of this process, concerning not just the home but also offices, where the degree of flexibility they had attained no longer suffices.” 

A sketch of the Italia chair, designed by Francesco Favaretto, creative director of Favaretto & Partners, for Luxy. The chair comes with a weightsensitive mechanism synchronised with an anti-shock and seat motion system.

The other strand of Bourlot’s youth emerges here, continuing to accompany this gentleman who always seems to have come fresh from a massage. It was a passion for media and communication. “We need to rethink, recompress, fuse. The digital rooms where we will make calls will be communication, and communication will also be the factory, meaning the architecture of workplaces. For this reason, Luxy is presenting a vision characterised by its double vision. We participate in the G20, but we also look to young people, admiring the capacity for clean design that Apple has taught and also taking inspiration from Google which has intensified its colours due to the fusion between office and home.” Two global US points of reference that have not prevented Bourlot from remaining faithful to the aesthetics of beauty of the Italian tradition. “Italy has always been very strong in creativity. It has invented everything from music to fashion, despite often being divided and unable to play as a team. It launches a project and lets others develop it. All the same, it remains the homeland of beauty and functionality. Today this is not just an aesthetic advantage, but also a competitive one, because steadily more people are becoming caught up in it. Today the new world longs for beauty, offering us a historic opportunity that we can’t afford to let slip.” 

At Luxy, Bourlot is wagering everything on the logic of service and its reliability, with its ideal ecosystem in digital, but once again outside superstructural schemes. “Digital is often just rhetoric in design, without being a part of its supply chain. But to us a click has to mean an extreme focus on the products, bringing both our dealer and the architect of the various international markets closer to the interpretation of families and ideas with extraordinarily simple access, like the three key words of the future: bet, view, execution. To overcome obsolescence in the office world, which is a metaphor for life, which still has many surprises in store for us.”

Opening image: the Italia chair by Francesco Favaretto for Luxy. Photo Laura Pozzi

Latest on Design

Latest on Domus

Read more
China Germany India Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sri Lanka Korea icon-camera close icon-comments icon-down-sm icon-download icon-facebook icon-heart icon-heart icon-next-sm icon-next icon-pinterest icon-play icon-plus icon-prev-sm icon-prev Search icon-twitter icon-views icon-instagram