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Corriere della Sera, “Nature and poetry. My life is mobile” – Interview with Mario Prandina

June 17, 2020

“Unicycles and twisted legs. And the surreal world of Mario Prandina, ethical dreamer
with feet on the ground and head in the clouds.
Design and crafts, world and living room, macro and micro, so above, so below.
An alchemy of gestures and words in freedom, a project of naked and raw care – all nature and hands – long (almost) a life, with a «mission possible»: sustainable beauty.
As Master Geppetto with Pinocchio, Prandina transforms wood into a sensitive creature and launches it on the market with love and malice as an experienced p.r. And the soothing touch of the artisan doc, raised in Franciscan solitude studying the production cycle.

«I consider myself a “one-man-band”- says the designer -. I owe a lot to the journalists who, from the very beginning, supported me with a mass of articles that impressed my customers.
Today I have not lost the taste to accompany my creatures from birth until delivery.
I climb on the van and I enter the houses, only so I see the environments with my eyes and I touch with hand the needs of the customers.
A path that I recommend to young people. There is no other school but direct experience. If you don’t live, you don’t love».

An enlightened craftsman who, has been able to transmute a product of Brianza extraction – «the best possible in Europe», he says proudly – in an intelligent adventure, able to read the dictates of tradition and make them take off in the name of high school design. Ours.
A bridge between past and future that is well summed up in the choice of the name of the company, «Plinio il Giovane», which Prandina founded in 1975 inspired by a philosophy, then avant-garde, based on the idea of eco-functional furniture, therefore economic in the literal sense, sublimating the nature of oak, a solid wood certified to last and ensure unthinkable joints between the various elements of the furniture,
Rediscovery, revalorization and return to the golden humility of craftsmanship: in other words, the art of recreation. Apparently simple principles that, however, have allowed Prandina to rise, with its forge of bizarre design objects, on the international scene. The quintessence of Plinio il Giovane is the scent of nature, in a virtuous circle that restores value and dignity to wood professionals in respect of the environment.

A distinctive feature of sofas, tables and beds with evocative names – Eclettica, Duetto, Day Bed, Be Square, Cubo, Regency – is versatility, combined with functionality in optimizing the spatial coordinates of the environments. The «Prandina method» is a faithful reflection of the personal story of the designer: «I am the son of a war traumatist, since I was a teenager I loved risk, I worked at skyman for Colmar, they left us on glaciers from helicopters to test products. Fear has never stopped me, not even today that I found myself facing a bad evil». Worn but not tamed, Prandina is already projected towards a new adventure: the creation of «Plinioltre», a design project «ecosocial», according to the definition of the same author: a new collection completely made in prisons, in rehabilitation centers for mental illness and social cooperatives, to offer a second chance to those who want to embrace life with a positive soul, beyond the sociopsychological condition of departure.
You can already admire some clothing produced by Cooperativa Sociale Procaccini 14, lamps and violins created in the prison of Opera. I have always had a weakness for those who work behind the scenes of the company confesses Prandina -. Carpenters who know how to sand wood and give it new life. Without fear of kneeling».”

by Valeria Crippa, Corriere della Sera Design insert, page 50 – 16.06.2020