Spend the day with design genius Barnaba Fornasetti

Nishita Fiji / November 15, 2017

The genius behind Milan-based whimsical design house Fornasetti, originally founded by his father Piero Fornasetti, is a master of the magical. When his father, a revolutionary surrealist designer in the 20th century, passed away in 1998, the company was in debt. Not only did Barnaba resurrect it from the financial crisis, he also took it to new heights, resulting in iconic collaborations with design legends like Philippe Starck and Nigel Coates.

From theatrical furniture and home decor to dreamy fashion items, all his creations feature a touch of fantasy. A similar theme is mirrored in his home that also serves as an office – a space where Barnaba spends the majority of his time. We found that the visionary pauses his practice only to mingle with friends and listen to a fair share of Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd. Barnaba takes us through his colourful day.

A series of creative activities make up the Italian trendsetter’s daily routine

“7 AM every morning, I listen to the news on the radio and set some time aside to meditate. I find peace while gardening and swimming too – this is usually when I come up with the best ideas

8 AM It’s time for breakfast, which usually consists of bread and organic bitter orange marmalade, eaten in my kitchen cum dining room. What happens next is never planned. I have free time only on weekends



9 AM As Casa Fornasetti is a home, office and studio, I rarely have to step outside. If I do have to travel to the store or atelier, my bike and car are at my service. My schedule generally depends on appointments that tend to be later in the day as I’ve always been a nocturnal animal. On my work desk, you will find all drawing essentials. I struggle to get rid of old tools, even if they are redundant



12.30 PM Lunch is usually at a restaurant called Latteria San Marco, an old trattoria of traditional homely Italian cuisine. My father used to visit it, so the familiar atmosphere is like home to me. There’s no specific time for coming home but as soon as I’m back, I first feed my two cats, Smoke (the Chartreux) and Fay (the Siberian). Of course their dinner is before mine. If not looked after, I know they’ll sneak into the office and make a mess. Listening to music is always a great way to relax. I have an extensive CD and LP collection covering several musical genres, although I am partial towards rock. But during parties at home, I ensure the soundtrack is always suitable for dancing



7 PM I eat early when alone, but when friends join me, dinner is later in the evening

12 AM Bedtime is never before midnight. My last activity is thinking about what I found stimulating during the day. For me, there are no boundaries between leisure time and work. Even while I sleep, ideas continue to run through my mind,” he says.

Website: www.fornasetti.com

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