Luisa Battaglia

"A product comes by imagining a context"

After completing her studies in architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Luisa Battaglia chose to work at SCAB Design, her family’s company founded in 1990. She was 23 years old. Ever since that moment she has innovated, imagined, created and become the Artistic Director of the design house producing the timeless Lisa, a chair recognised at the German Design Awards 2020. Lisa is joined by many others, embellishing terraces in many countries, and also offices and homes, in the fascinating portfolio of outdoor and indoor furniture created by the designer. Always wearing a dazzling smile, she admits that in her spare time she loves to travel, in search of inspiration, to read and to hike in the mountains.

When you joined the family business did you feel like innovating and creating different pieces? 
I had just graduated in architecture and having the opportunity to work in my father's company was a must. I was really very, very young, 23 years old. I knew I had to learn everything with humility. I worked closely to my father to get a quick "grasp” of the field and his knowledge. The first product I developed was Ola, a chair still in production, which is still a good seller.

Describe what happened up until to 2018, when you became art director at SCAB Design?
I’ve been working for SCAB for 30 years, initially as a designer and then I was in charge of the communication department, by which I mean catalogues, products, advertising campaigns and exhibitions in Italy and abroad. In 2018 I became Art Director, so I personally select the designers with whom to collaborate and to develop new products. I am convinced that it is important to keep our own "language”, our brand identity, even if we collaborate with designers.

Your outdoor pieces are designed with comfort and the concept of surrounding space in mind?
I always try to keep in mind the point of view of the person who will use that chair, that table. A product comes by imagining a context. If they don’t go together I give up the idea. 


SCAB Design also makes indoor furniture. Is there any barrier between indoors and out, or do your pieces work in both spaces? 
More and more we are creating hybrid products, designed in different materials and textures. Spaces are increasingly fluid, without a precise dividing line.

What matters most when going through the creative process? 
The Heart, and I want to use the capital letter because without it, nothing can be created! 

With increasingly demanding consumers, how have you, as SCAB Design, with sixty years in the market, been able to balance your strategy combining exceptional design and quality over the years? 
SCAB Design has always been able to renew itself. This is thanks to the fact that we are still a family company so we can make quick decisions. And another key point is that the production process is internal to the company. A relevant matter!

Chairs are among the brand’s iconic pieces. When designing, do you see these pieces in work or leisure spaces? 
My challenge is to design a comfortable and beautiful product, valid features for any environment, work or leisure spaces.


Your Lisa chair was recognised at the German Design Awards 2020. Can you describe this piece for us and what does this award mean for SCAB Design? 
Lisa is a highly successful, winning several awards and chosen for many different projects, from the local restaurant in our region up to international restaurants, such as Café Jacques in Paris by Alain Ducasse, in addition to hundreds of restaurants, lounge cafés and offices. The reason, I think that the success is most of all due to the fact that it is a very transversal product, many fabrics, many texture and shapes that allow architects maximum customisation.

Colour plays a big part in your work. Any particular reason for this? 
Colour is part of me, of my being; how I express joy and life. Colours make our lives better. I am happy that shades of grey leave space for more charming colours.

What are the new trends for 2021? 
What materials will be used most? I think 2021 will be a year without trends, we will see creativity at every level, a flowing creativity with no rules, using sustainable materials.

What are SCAB Design’s concerns in terms of the environment? You are an environmentally conscious company, but what do you do with waste and unused materials? 
Environmental awareness is more and more important. So, we are preparing ourselves for the introduction of recycled plastic materials for an increasingly eco-sustainable production. The Go Green collection has been created just to satisfy this need. In the Go Green collection, the chair is made of certified regenerated plastic, obtained by the processing and regeneration of end-of-life products, waste coming from recycling.


Given that people are spending more time at home and working remotely, is SCAB Design planning on designing differently, or creating cosier pieces?
 In 2021 we are launching romantic and enjoyable products, suitable for both indoor and outdoor solutions. I hope you will like them!

How was your background, in terms of education and professional career. What do you like to do in your spare time? 
After attending the Artistic High School in Brescia (region where SCAB Design and myself are based) I got a degree in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Milan in 1987. That was in July; in September of the same year I started working in the family company. I consider myself a lucky person. I do a job I love and so I can say that I spend my spare time  fuelling my passion, my job,  going to the cinema, travelling, occasion to find inspiration, going on long walks in the mountains. Fashion is my second passion, even if I am not a fashion victim. I like to keep informed. Clothing is a reflection of the times. I read a lot, mostly Italian contemporary writers such as Andrea Camilleri, Gianrico Carofiglio and Elena Ferrante. But I always recommend Open: An Autobiography, by Andre Agassi. I also forced my sons to read it. It is an unexpected and funny book. A life lesson. My motto is one of the most famous aphorisms of Achille Castiglioni "If you are not curious, forget it”.
Cristina Freire
T. Cristina Freire
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