Interview with Daniele Prosdocimo, founder of Archivibe.
The design and innovation capability for developing a solution, component or product may emerge from external suppliers and designers. Therefore, it is crucial for a company to maintain strong values, and share that knowledge within its network. In this process communication plays a significant role. There is no brand without a net of suppliers, thus direct and personal contacts are at the forefront of a company’s activity. This is the experience accumulated by Daniele Prosdocimo, the marketing manager behind the exceptional Made in Italy brands, such as Valcucine, Driade or Smania, and media partner of the World Architecture Festival. The future of the world is defined by architecture and design–claims Daniele Prosdocimo, this is why he established a company that shapes the discourse of design and architecture. Bored by the business as usual, he created a new way of communication in the industry to encourage and promote contact between architecture, furniture and building materials companies. Along with the ‘iconic buildings’, and the series of most exciting architectural projects, Archivibe today has become an international network, placing architecture directly to the forefront of direct communication. Besides his activity in inbound marketing and the online magazine, Daniele as lecturer of the POLI.design has discovered a further need. As a result, students can now meet directly with the prominent figures and stakeholders, and get to know the award-winner architectural projects from a close-up, lead by the architects. As media partner of the Rethinking the Future’s Architecture award, Archivibe currently invites the audience to rethink the forthcoming world. I talked to the founder of Archivibe.
Being the communications and marketing manager for series of design companies in Italy, at the age of 40 you quit your job to start your own adventure driven by the now or never principle. You claim, that communication is more than just enhancement of company values on different platforms. What was the main driver behind starting the Archivibe adventure with thirteen years of experience in marketing communications behind your back?
I believe, that these companies, loaded with culture and values, deserve a more sophisticated way of connecting with each other than a mere commercial “knocking on door activity”. Besides, the architecture firm visits, we also run communications and inbound marketing campaigns with the same goal: to ease the contacts amongst architects and companies. It represents a niche of enlightened companies such as Lago, Kristalia, Novamobili, curious students from all over the World and open minded architecture firms like Grimshaw, Gensler, WilkinsonEyre, KPF, Piuarch, Park Associati to name just a few.
Architecture firm visits connect the participants and the architects. What do they learn from each other?
“It is a win-win-win project” as Christian Giomo, Marketing Manager at Novamobili, one of my supporting companies, defined it. Students can visit the most renowned and influential firms and learn directly from their main architects, while architecture firms meet, observe and recruit architecture students. The furniture and building materials companies get in touch directly with the main architects and learn more about the ethos of the architectural firms we visit. Each visiting programme is an event which means a lot of communication and visibility. Everyone gains exposure, awareness, content, new contacts with open minded people. Depending on the programme, instead of the office we may visit a building on-site. It’s a special way to get in touch and discover the ethos of these firms. During our programme we visit 3 offices and one building per day, it’s a way to break the office routine and engage participants in a special way, very appreciated by the hosting architects that lead the visit…
Communication about design and architecture just as in fashion has seen an overwhelming trending on social media where anyone may become an interior designer and webshops are full of fast design. Where do you see the role of starchitecture today? Shall we send the stardom of designers and architects to retire? How would you define it in the 21st century?
We have been getting in touch more and more with practices owned by the employees. Stararchitecture is just the “tip of the iceberg” and I personally think it’s not about good or bad architecture, it’s about personhood and marketing. There’s a lot of Stararchitects that I do not appreciate and Stararchitecture that I really love. I’m sure that stararchitects will never retire because ego and self-centredness is characteristics of human being and, as Epicurus said, we all have to elect masters to love or hate.
I consider architecture and design in the same way. Of course, proportionate to different dimensions, both have to deal with human beings and the environment. Both have to think how to enhance our lives respecting the environment, how to improve the relationship between us as individuals or community, with our surroundings: people, things, nature.
What is the role of architeinment and the built environment in our digital-real-human-machine interactions?
Architainment today is a term much more linked to architectural lightings and the spectacularization of architectures. By enlarging this concept and adapting the original one to modern architecture, I don’t personally strive to judge without knowing the real goals behind some architectures. I don’t like the “Society of Spectacle” (Guy Debors – JF) architecture and design as consumerism. To me everything should be connected with the context and as a user, I can only judge the functionality and the beauty that depend on personal experiences. Sometimes there are long term plans behind that are difficult to read. Today everyone can interact with his/her mobile phone and interpret, shoot and share a building’s image, but it is just a personal view not the reality or what an architecture stands for or means.
The Covid-lock down stroke with bringing to light the vulnerability, and the psycho-social risks of the crowded spaces, single homes and working spaces. Will it bring a turn in how we relate to the interior-exterior, the new public and the social?
I believe that we will change our behaviours especially at work, smart working took the stage; companies and people are appreciating the benefits such as less costs, more time to spend with the families or for themselves. Of course, there are even other minus to face, like the need of human relationships, the need to escape from home, or the house itself. But in the end, we will find a solution, maybe someone or a small team of people, for the sake of all, will invent something, as for e.g. ultraviolet rays that purify air and surfaces, that will solve all these problems in one shot.
We are all living in the same World dominated by the economy, and the architecture industry is not different from the other markets. But, much more than many other industries I saw a common sensibility towards the respect of the environment and human beings. Architects influence actively our lives, our routines, our way of interacting and moving with their projects. Their ethos is influencing our society. Our future and the architecture market will be bright only if, and for those, who will pursue environmentally and human friendly actions, such as circular economy, sustainable design, passive houses, green materials usage.
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