Novedge: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
Valerio Cometti: My name is Valerio Cometti and I am the Creative Director of V12 Design. I am a very dynamic person who loves sports and who uses physical activity to unplug. I have a passion for motors in general (hence the firm's name, V12 ), and motorcycles in particular. I spend weekends riding my Ducati on solitary alpine roads ( I live in northern Italy). The best thing about designing for a living, is the possibility to see my concepts and designs become real objects and coming to life beyond the sketch.
Novedge: How did you get to the place where you are now? What is your background?
Valerio Cometti: As a true design lover I felt it was necessary at first to possess the engineering knowledge to support my creativity. I wanted to be well versed in the manufacturing and industrial processes so I would have the tools to challenge the notion of “It can’t be done”. I spent two years in Sydney Australia honing my designer skills ( both as a designer and as a design manager, very different things) and getting exposed to different cultures and approaches. Once back in Italy in 2005 I opened my own Design Studio which in the past 13 years has grown and thrived both nationally and abroad.
Novedge: Can you describe for us the V12 Design Method?
Valerio Cometti: The V12 Design ‘Method” encourages the fusion of two important aspects of design, the rigorous engineering approach and the creative vision, that often get pitted against each other. In my opinion both approaches are complementary and need to operate side by side, which is what happens at work, daily, as I try to match precision and reliability with creation and intuition. Some of our clients have complained about how previous collaborations left them with beautiful designs albeit with no direction on how to turn them into real products. Our Studio not only delivers high quality design that is both elegant and timeless (I hate fads), but also complete with technical specification and ready to be produced. From our very first day, back in 2005, we decided to use PTC parametric software for modelling (those were the days of Wildfire 2). PTC Creo fits perfectly in our workflow: quality design needs to work as a whole and all the way down to the smallest details. This way you can help the client through R & D all the way to the industrialization of a product, without compromising the original design.
Novedge: You have a broad portfolio, how do you manage diversity?
Valerio Cometti: Our method and our curiosity have lead us to embrace all sorts of different projects. Variety is what keeps us evolving. We have gradually developed a 360 knowledge of the market, becoming familiar with its behaviors and kinks. It’s surprising how different sectors sometimes are facing similar issues. Our Studio specializes in automotive, interior design, lighting, medical, sports gear, appliances, food & beverage, consumer electronics and so much more….
Novedge: What is a recent project you have worked on?
Valerio Cometti: Of all the projects we complete every year there are always a few that hold a special place in my heart. I get emotional if I think at the work we did for the coffee maker LaCimabali M100 for their 100 year anniversary. This beautiful object has reached international fame ( I see it everywhere I travel) and has become an icon in a very competitive field. You can spot LaCimbali M100 in several takes of the feature film, La La land…...clearly an Oscar worthy project! LaCimabali M100
Recently we have also designed an entire line of marble glasses. Extreme luxury and highly sophisticated manufacturing gave me a little bit of a hard time. I think fondly of the branding work we did for Ca’ Zampa veterinarian clinics, or the graphic work we did for this new Greek bank, symbol of the economic recovery of the entire nation. The work we did for the notorious brand Bertazzoni was to design beautiful kitchens with the US market in mind. Finally I can’t fail to mention the collection we did for American eyewear brand Popticals: their innovative sport glasses are the most bendable and most compact in the world. Novedge: What other software do you use?
Valerio Cometti: All of our designs originates from paper and pencil. Once this romantic phase is over we transfer our ideas over to PTC Creo and we render using Keyshot. We use Creo both for 3D modelling and surface modelling using the ISDX extension for advanced free form surface modelling.
Novedge: What’s Deep Design Thinking?
Valerio Cometti: We came up with the term after the realization that there was a void in the market when consulting design firms could not provide a strategic implementation plan and would leave their clients with with walls covered in Post-its and little else. Our experience in development, creative direction and engineering puts us in an ideal position to lead a client in the journey toward production. We achieve that through product design, branding, prototyping, simulation and creative input. What we mean with “Deep Design Thinking” is our willingness and ability to bring the same level of energy and creativity typical of the “Post-It” stage, to the final destination, the market.
Novedge: How many people are in your team and what kind of talents do they bring to the table?
Valerio Cometti: Our innermost team is composed of 10 people to which we add as many free lan as needed. I am trained as mechanical engineer, Marco Generali, the studio co -owner, is the management engineer and has strong marketing strategies skills. The rest of the team is composed of product designers and graphic designers.
Novedge: What’s the secret to be always on the cutting edge in design?
Valerio Cometti: The main engine of creativity is curiosity. The day I will tire of reading, investigate, discover, inquire I will know it is time to change profession. My curiosity is unrelenting, nothing leaves me indifferent and everything fascinates me. The second pillar of creativity is variety. Routine and repetition can hinder the ability to think outside the box. Furthermore an effort must be made to avoid the rigidity and self-righteousness that comes with knowledge and competence. The more we know, the less we are open to try something new.
Novedge: Your list of clients is impressive, is there somebody you would like to work for/with but you haven’t yet….?
Valerio Cometti: To be honest with you not all of our clients are listed on our website. With some of these major leading companies we have a privacy agreement and we do not kiss and tell. Having said that, I would not mind to keep adding exceptional clients to that list.
Novedge: Perfect design is….?
Valerio Cometti: Perfect design is ageless design. My biggest ambition is to have one of my design be considered still eye pleasing and timeless fifty years from now. I live for that day!