Hailing from Italy, designer Andrea Cingoli recently won the prestigious Red Dot Award, adding to his various achievements.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
My Reading Room

Hailing from Italy, designer Andrea Cingoli recently won the prestigious Red Dot Award, adding to his various achievements. His prize-winning design concepts include the Balamp bedside lamp and Qwerty keyboard-inspired sofa bed — both have intuitive designs and smart functions. Having grown up exploring the use of innovative materials and technology, thanks to his family business of restoring ancient buildings, Andrea has a curious outlook and takes an experimental approach to his work, which ranges from spatial and furniture to product and software design.

What was the inspiration behind Balamp and Qwerty?

The idea of Balamp came from finding a solution when my daughter cried at night and my wife or I needed to get out of bed to give her milk. The Qwerty sofa bed is ironic, as I used to fall asleep on my keyboard, but it has a relatable, recognisable form of the everyday object, while being flexible. Also, as our spaces are getting smaller, it has a multifunctional, transformable design.

What is your approach to design?

Apart from my personal user experience, my designs are influenced a lot by my culture. The Italian school of design focuses on exceptional aesthetics and simplicity in usability — simple shapes and ways to use objects. I try to do this and produce objects with intuitive design, ensuring they are simple to use.

How do you integrate both form and function into your designs?

Form is really important but, in my approach, it is the last — but not the least — thing that comes into consideration. First, I look at the concept without giving it a form, to find a technical solution and give significance to the object. After putting the project aside for a few weeks, I then consider its aesthetics. The aesthetic is the most important thing, when it comes to catching your attention at just a glance, so it has to be the synthesis of all your work for it to be a beautiful solution.

What else do you consider when coming up with such fun and quirky designs?

I always try to produce designs that can be used in various environments. For example, Qwerty can be placed in a very big hall in a hotel, or in a home’s living room, and Hang-On! (flexible lighting system inspired by clothes hangers) can be used in a house, dormitory, as well as a boutique shop, while Din-Ink (dualfunction pen and cutlery) can be used at home, the office or events!

Any advice for aspiring designers?

Trust yourself and never give up! Design is one of the disciplines that will carry us into the future, and a world without design is not a very interesting one.


My Reading Room

The Qwerty sofa bed is a flexible piece of furniture that allows you to relax in any position. It is controlled by a remote, with keys that can change the configuration of the seat.

My Reading Room

The Balamp bedside lamp automatically illuminates when an object that is placed on it is removed, so there is no more fumbling in the dark for the light switch.

More: design