We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Nicoletta Santini ("NS").

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Designer Profile of Nicoletta Santini

Born in 1993, in July 2015 I graduated in Interior Design at the IED Institute in Milan with excellent results and since September 2015 I am collaborating as Exhibition and Interior Designer with different Architectural and Design Studios and Companies near Milan. Focused on exhibition design, I never forget my passion for the sustainable and innovative interior and furniture design. The research of new materials, technologies and shapes is the basement of my projects and it allows me to propose always new solutions and ideas to the clients.

Nicoletta Santini Designs

We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Nicoletta Santini.


Hello Future Exhibition Stand

Nicoletta Santini Design - Hello Future Exhibition Stand


Torino  Kitchen

Nicoletta Santini Design - Torino Kitchen

Designer Interview of Nicoletta Santini:

DI: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?

NS : Born in 1993, in July 2015 I graduated in Interior Design at the IED Institute in Milan with excellent results and collaborations and since September 2015 I am collaborating as Exhibition and Interior Designer with different Architecture and Design Studios based near Milan. My passion for design started during the last year of the high school when I decided to focused my studies on the origins of the Italian Design reading the milestone Bruno Munari's book, "Da cosa nasce cosa".

DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?

NS : BD Expo s.r.l. has been present in the sector of Event Outfitting ever since the 80’s, offering its turn-key services to clients in Italy and abroad.

DI: What is "design" for you?

NS : Design is the perfect union between functionality and aesthetics; it is awareness; it is a necessary practice to create something good, regardless of the sector of application.

DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?

NS : Exhibition stands and interior designs are the works I am more focused on and I also like more.

DI: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?

NS : The design of an innovative and customized layout of one 65mt Super Yacht called "Stream" was my thesis project and it is still my favorite design. This project was the fruit of six months of researches and experimentations with my colleague, Ludovica Rocca, and its creativity and innovation permitted us to reached excellent results.

DI: What was the first thing you designed for a company?

NS : The design of six graphics for German brand of handkerchiefs, Tempo, was the first real project I realized. The aim of it was to show the importance and the presence of the brand which accompanies Italians since ‘60s.

DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?

NS : Innovation and emotions are the basis of all my designs and the technology I use to realize them is the rendering such as the virtual reality.

DI: When do you feel the most creative?

NS : I feel the most creative when my customer leave me free of action, so I can design in completely freedom.

DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?

NS : During designing I am firstly focused on the function of my project that should satisfy the client's needs. After that, I research sustainable materials and innovative lighting system to propose something unique to the client and I never forget to take care about the aesthetical impact of the project.

DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?

NS : I feel my self a bit under pressure because I am focused on all the requests of the client.

DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?

NS : When I am in front of my creation I feel a unique sense of freedom and satisfaction, the reasons why design is my passion in addition to my work.

DI: What makes a design successful?

NS : A design can be considered successful if it responds to the requests of the present and if it can predict the needs of the future.

DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?

NS : The main aspects of a good design are the simple and clear use, the innovative shape and the sustainable materials.

DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?

NS : Design is thought, it is cultural anthropology, because it must understand the needs of the world, of cultures and must know how to respond with an ethical conscience, technical knowledge, aesthetic harmony.

DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?

NS : The design sector is quickly evolving considering the global evolution. Because of the climate changes and the high level of pollution, designers pay always more attention to the materials and finishings they select for their projects such as the transports and the energy resources. The theme of sustainability is going to be fundamental for the design process such as new strategies of present projects using innovative technologies. The virtual reality and the 3D printing are becoming the best ways to present new ideas to the clients.

DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?

NS : The last exhibition I participated was Sigep 2020 at Rimini Fair (18-22 January 2020). This was one of the latest exhibitions in Italy of the current year before the beginning of the lock-down for Covid-19. Because of this uncertain and dramatic worldwide sanitary situation, I don't have any idea and expectation about future exhibition we could partecipate but I really hope it will be as soon as possible.

DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?

NS : Because of the variety of my projects I don't have a defined inspiration and I try to be inspired always from different elements which can be animals, views, architecture or arts.

DI: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?

NS : The Minimalism is the style which defines my projects and inspires me more. The simplicity of the shapes, the basic colors and the selected materials in addiction to clear functions are the characteristics of my design such as the minimal style.

DI: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?

NS : The Italian culture based on the research of beauty and the history of art and design is the base of my education such as the foundation of my design career.

DI: How do you work with companies?

NS : I usually collaborate with companies as a freelancer or employer, it depends on the type of collaboration I am defining.

DI: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?

NS : I have always considered more important the perseverance and the intelligence to the simple creativity for the selection of a good designer. With such a worldwide competition, companies should search for smart designers to have real success and profits.

DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?

NS : After having analysed the clients requests and the market needs, I firstly make some brainstorming researching keywords as pillars of my design. During this fase I usually come up with same ideas that I sketch on my book, not to forget them. I think about the different ideas and starting points for hours and I usually look for an exchange of views with colleagues or friends about them. When I consider one of this ideas good enough I start with the design of it in 2D and 3D. The presentation of the project to client is for me possible when I am completely satisfy about the project and I have no doubts about it.

DI: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?

NS : "Arc" Table of Foster and Partners, produced by Molteni&Co "Arco" Lamp of Achille Castiglioni, produced by Flos "Juicy Salif" of Philippe Starck, produced by Alessi "Kettle" produced by Smeg "iMac" produced my Apple (1998)

DI: Can you describe a day in your life?

NS : Before to start my ordinary days and to focus my self on different projects, requests and thoughts I am used to take some minutes for personal reflection. It helps my to remain open-minded and concentrated on the following steps of my life.

DI: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?

NS : Take your time before to conclude and present your creations to the public because the real creativity is never improvised.

DI: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?

NS : The research of new ideas and comparisons can be sometimes frustrating but the pleasure of seeing your own project realized and the client satisfied are the most important aspects of being a designer.

DI: What is your "golden rule" in design?

NS : There must not be an art detached from life: beautiful things to look at and bad things to use.

DI: What skills are most important for a designer?

NS : The creativity in addition to a good dose of perseverance are the most important skills for a designer because a great design takes always lots of time and energy.

DI: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?

NS : The softwares I am used to work with are 3Ds Max plug-in V-ray for the 3D models and the renders, Autocad for the 2d drawings and Illustrator and Photoshop for the editing and presentations.

DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?

NS : For each project I am working on I create a time schedule I should try to respect to avoid waste of time. Anyway, for a creative work is impossible to predict the exact timeline.

DI: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?

NS : From the client briefing to the presentation it takes me almost three weeks.

DI: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?

NS : The usual question I frequently receive is "What inspired you for this project?"

DI: What was your most important job experience?

NS : The exhibition company, BD Expo srl, where I am actually working is the most important job experience of my life because of their original approach to this field and their familiar sign.

DI: Who are some of your clients?

NS : I usually design exhibition stands for international companies while interiors for private clients.

DI: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?

NS : Designing exhibition stands I can express my complete creativity and intelligence because of the necessity of always new smart solutions and the versatility of each project.

DI: What are your future plans? What is next for you?

NS : Because my career is deeply focused on the exhibition design and I have been studying German from two years, I would like to move to Germany, homeland of the most important European Fairs, and have a job experienced there.

DI: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?

NS : I usually develop my designs by myself but I always request the opinion of my colleagues after the first creations.

DI: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?

NS : I am collaborating to a new line of wooden furniture that would have unusual shapes, researched materials and charitable purpose.

DI: How can people contact you?

NS : Regarding collaborations or other questions please write me at ncltsantini@gmail.com.