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Firm Profile: Emilio Cassani – Industrial Designer Shines on Mac

In this continuing series of Architosh artists and firm profiles, we highlight the work of Emilio Cassani, an Italian industrial designer who works exclusively on the Mac, developing creative and attractive solutions to various design problems in industry.

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EC: I made these projects as an external consultant at Isao Hosoe Design for SACMI group which is a modern and very positive company that gave me the maximum support a designer can desire so I cannot remember these projects as challenges but as the pleasure to give my contribution to the development of new products. The complexity of those systems requires more designing time as all aspects must be cross checked but my design process and my way of thinking and working are always the same when designing a table, light or a complex machine.

02 - solidThinking rendered view of Parmisan cheese holder.

02 - solidThinking rendered view of Parmisan cheese holder.

03 - solidThinking render of innovative Napkin holder.

03 - solidThinking render of innovative Napkin holder.

AFR: We understand that you use computer-aided design tools for your industrial design. How important are these tools to your overall design or creative process? Do you start with such tools or do you just end with these tools?

EC: I usually use computer-aided design tools (solidThinking) to express my ideas from creative sketches, which I propose to my clients as renderings, often to the final 3d model for milling the moulds required for the production of the same products. These tools are very important to my overall creative process as they let me verify and express my ideas.

AFR: Can you describe a typical design process for a project you do? How do you start? What typical phases do you go through and when do you get detailed with work on the computer?

EC: First of all I meet clients to better understand their requirements. If something related to the project (a previous version or a competitor product) already exist it is very important for me to see it. After collecting all the possible information I need time to digest them, thinking of them at any time (even while sleeping or taking a shower) but without tracing a single line. Then, as ideas start appearing in my mind I start the hand sketching work. It is very short and often based on constraints drawn in CAD. I get detailed very soon (often immediately) as some technical aspects, the draft angle for example, have a strong impact on the aesthetics of the product and cannot be ignored at any time. 

04 - view of solidThinking screenshots showing The Handle guitar.

04 - view of solidThinking screenshots showing The Handle guitar.

AFR: We understand that you use solidThinking on the Apple Macintosh for your design work on the computer. Why do you use these tools versus other tools?

EC: I mainly use solidThinking as a modeler and renderer in the preliminary design because of its unique curve surface aesthetic qualities which cannot be reached by other software. Also, solidThinking has a construction history that is very userful to tests different shape solutions in a short period of time. Its interface is easy and comfortable and it has a very good ability in data exchange. I still remember how I was astonished when I first saw a solidThinking demo. 

AFR: What is it about the Mac that appeals to you as an industrial designer? Is Apple itself a role-model for designers in the ID world? 

EC: I started using Mac in the early 90’s at Isao Hosoe Design and it wasn’t hard to appreciate the differences from DOS computers. I then considered many times to use Windows based computers mainly to save money, but as I saw its interface I simply didn’t like it. The Mac is more stable, there are less viruses. Being someone who is trained and theoretically could design an interface I think the Mac is more logically organized. 

05 - View of the QIK.

05 - View of the QIK.

06 - View of The Handle.

06 - View of The Handle.

AFR: What are some of the exciting things you are working on today?

EC: Today I am developing new projects for warm air hand driers and hospital beds. I am also partner (shareholder) in XOX Audio Tools, among other things I have made the 3D computer modeling with solidThinking for one of the world’s most advanced and innovative electric guitars: the Handle. 

The Handle is a perfect example of what can be done with solidThinking: look at the fluidity of its contours and surfaces. This 3D model is completely history-based and can be modified at any time by implementing new components. That is the strength in solidThinking

AFR: Emilio thanks so much for talking to me about your industrial design, your process and your work with solidThinking on the Mac. 

EC: You are welcome.


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