Nicoletta Santini

Good in Interior Design.

About Nicoletta Santini

Born in 1993, in July 2015 I graduated in Interior Design at the IED Institute in Milan with excellent results and since September 2015 I am collaborating as Exhibition and Interior Designer with different Architectural and Design Studios and Companies near Milan. Focused on exhibition design, I never forget my passion for the sustainable and innovative interior and furniture design.

  • Winner of Interior Design Award.
  • Specialized in Interior Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Interior
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Interview with Nicoletta Santini

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
Born in 1993, in July 2015 I graduated in Interior Design at the IED Institute in Milan with excellent results and collaborations and since September 2015 I am collaborating as Exhibition and Interior Designer with different Architecture and Design Studios based near Milan. My passion for design started during the last year of the high school when I decided to focused my studies on the origins of the Italian Design reading the milestone Bruno Munari's book, "Da cosa nasce cosa".
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
BD Expo s.r.l. has been present in the sector of Event Outfitting ever since the 80’s, offering its turn-key services to clients in Italy and abroad.
What is "design" for you?
Design is the perfect union between functionality and aesthetics; it is awareness; it is a necessary practice to create something good, regardless of the sector of application.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
Exhibition stands and interior designs are the works I am more focused on and I also like more.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
The design of an innovative and customized layout of one 65mt Super Yacht called "Stream" was my thesis project and it is still my favorite design. This project was the fruit of six months of researches and experimentations with my colleague, Ludovica Rocca, and its creativity and innovation permitted us to reached excellent results.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
The design of six graphics for German brand of handkerchiefs, Tempo, was the first real project I realized. The aim of it was to show the importance and the presence of the brand which accompanies Italians since ‘60s.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
Innovation and emotions are the basis of all my designs and the technology I use to realize them is the rendering such as the virtual reality.
When do you feel the most creative?
I feel the most creative when my customer leave me free of action, so I can design in completely freedom.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
During designing I am firstly focused on the function of my project that should satisfy the client's needs. After that, I research sustainable materials and innovative lighting system to propose something unique to the client and I never forget to take care about the aesthetical impact of the project.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
I feel my self a bit under pressure because I am focused on all the requests of the client.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
When I am in front of my creation I feel a unique sense of freedom and satisfaction, the reasons why design is my passion in addition to my work.
What makes a design successful?
A design can be considered successful if it responds to the requests of the present and if it can predict the needs of the future.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
The main aspects of a good design are the simple and clear use, the innovative shape and the sustainable materials.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Design is thought, it is cultural anthropology, because it must understand the needs of the world, of cultures and must know how to respond with an ethical conscience, technical knowledge, aesthetic harmony.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
The design sector is quickly evolving considering the global evolution. Because of the climate changes and the high level of pollution, designers pay always more attention to the materials and finishings they select for their projects such as the transports and the energy resources. The theme of sustainability is going to be fundamental for the design process such as new strategies of present projects using innovative technologies. The virtual reality and the 3D printing are becoming the best ways to present new ideas to the clients.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
The last exhibition I participated was Sigep 2020 at Rimini Fair (18-22 January 2020). This was one of the latest exhibitions in Italy of the current year before the beginning of the lock-down for Covid-19. Because of this uncertain and dramatic worldwide sanitary situation, I don't have any idea and expectation about future exhibition we could partecipate but I really hope it will be as soon as possible.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Because of the variety of my projects I don't have a defined inspiration and I try to be inspired always from different elements which can be animals, views, architecture or arts.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
The Minimalism is the style which defines my projects and inspires me more. The simplicity of the shapes, the basic colors and the selected materials in addiction to clear functions are the characteristics of my design such as the minimal style.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
The Italian culture based on the research of beauty and the history of art and design is the base of my education such as the foundation of my design career.
How do you work with companies?
I usually collaborate with companies as a freelancer or employer, it depends on the type of collaboration I am defining.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
I have always considered more important the perseverance and the intelligence to the simple creativity for the selection of a good designer. With such a worldwide competition, companies should search for smart designers to have real success and profits.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
After having analysed the clients requests and the market needs, I firstly make some brainstorming researching keywords as pillars of my design. During this fase I usually come up with same ideas that I sketch on my book, not to forget them. I think about the different ideas and starting points for hours and I usually look for an exchange of views with colleagues or friends about them. When I consider one of this ideas good enough I start with the design of it in 2D and 3D. The presentation of the project to client is for me possible when I am completely satisfy about the project and I have no doubts about it.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
"Arc" Table of Foster and Partners, produced by Molteni&Co "Arco" Lamp of Achille Castiglioni, produced by Flos "Juicy Salif" of Philippe Starck, produced by Alessi "Kettle" produced by Smeg "iMac" produced my Apple (1998)
Can you describe a day in your life?
Before to start my ordinary days and to focus my self on different projects, requests and thoughts I am used to take some minutes for personal reflection. It helps my to remain open-minded and concentrated on the following steps of my life.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
Take your time before to conclude and present your creations to the public because the real creativity is never improvised.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
The research of new ideas and comparisons can be sometimes frustrating but the pleasure of seeing your own project realized and the client satisfied are the most important aspects of being a designer.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
There must not be an art detached from life: beautiful things to look at and bad things to use.
What skills are most important for a designer?
The creativity in addition to a good dose of perseverance are the most important skills for a designer because a great design takes always lots of time and energy.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
The softwares I am used to work with are 3Ds Max plug-in V-ray for the 3D models and the renders, Autocad for the 2d drawings and Illustrator and Photoshop for the editing and presentations.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
For each project I am working on I create a time schedule I should try to respect to avoid waste of time. Anyway, for a creative work is impossible to predict the exact timeline.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
From the client briefing to the presentation it takes me almost three weeks.
What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
The usual question I frequently receive is "What inspired you for this project?"
What was your most important job experience?
The exhibition company, BD Expo srl, where I am actually working is the most important job experience of my life because of their original approach to this field and their familiar sign.
Who are some of your clients?
I usually design exhibition stands for international companies while interiors for private clients.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Designing exhibition stands I can express my complete creativity and intelligence because of the necessity of always new smart solutions and the versatility of each project.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
Because my career is deeply focused on the exhibition design and I have been studying German from two years, I would like to move to Germany, homeland of the most important European Fairs, and have a job experienced there.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
I usually develop my designs by myself but I always request the opinion of my colleagues after the first creations.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
I am collaborating to a new line of wooden furniture that would have unusual shapes, researched materials and charitable purpose.
How can people contact you?
Regarding collaborations or other questions please write me at

Extended Interview with Nicoletta Santini

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
During my last year of the classical high-school I discovered my interest for the design world. I was researching about its origins when I realize that I would have liked to become a designer of the future. The next year I started my studies of Interior Design at the European Institute of Design in Milan, a three years course in which I had the opportunity to learn different sectors of the design and to improve my software and creative skills. After the unforgettable exchange program at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and the graduation project in yacht design, in the July 2015 I concluded my studies at IED Milan and, finally, my passion become my job.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I have always considered designers as supporters of the world progress and the idea of be potentially part of this change motived me to become a designer.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
I was lucky to choose this amazing profession thanks to my open-minded family which permits me to follow my dreams.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
My passion for the design world is wide but I focused my work on the interior and exhibition fields. I wish to take part soon of a furniture design process.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
I have never considered myself a legend, I am still a young designer and I need to improve my skills and experience too. Anyway, I suggest young designers to be adaptable specialists, possessing the attitude and confidence to move out from their comfort zones and work with whatever method and prototyping tools are appropriate to communicate and realize their ideas.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
While a good designer is able to satisfy the client's following the traditional design rules, a great designer is able to predict the future desires, to create new trends and develop innovative ideas using new materials and methods, like a pioneer.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
The difference between a good design and a really good one is the impact it has not only for the present but also for the future market.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
The value of good design is characterized by ethic and moral function in addition to the traditional aspect of a well-done design like the functionality and the aesthetics. Because the good design takes care to its impact on the future and the society, all the companies and the buyers should prefer this type of production.
What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
If I had time I would like to design a new concept yacht and I would like to try a collaboration with an Italian yacht producer company.
What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
My dream project I still haven't time to dedicate myself is my future house, which I would like to design and realize by my own with all my creativity and fantasy.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
The constant research of uniqueness is the fundamental ingredient of design process ti create always something "out of the box".
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
I have always admired the creations and methods of legendary designers such as Bruno Munari, Achille Castiglioni, Charles Eames and Patricia Urquiola.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
It is really difficult to name a few because I should mention icon designs such as innovative and unknown creations. What associates them is their combination between beauty, function and innovation.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
The project I developed for my thesis called "Stream", a 65 mt superyacht where sustainability, elegance and research were melt to satisfy to needs of an hypothetical foreign client.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
The research of new technics and of sustainable materials in addition to the study of the design legends and history are fundamental to become everyday better designers.
If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
To satisfy my instinctive sense of duty, I am quite sure I would have tried to become a doctor or an engineer, an active actress for the common progress.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
The perfect union between functionality and aesthetic define the term "design".
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
My family and in particular my mother have always supported my passion for design. In addiction I have the big fortune to have lots of friends with the same interest of mine for design so I have also their helps.
What helped you to become a great designer?
The education was fundamental for my professional development such as my constance and passion.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
The main obstacle was my young age which something made me appear wiseacre or incompetent by clients and suppliers older than me. My perseverance and kindness fortunately triumphed always.
How do you think designers should present their work?
Simplicity and clearness permit the designer to make his works understandable and valuable by the public but he should never forget to create a bit of suspension to let the clients desire their creations.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
My next project is a line of furniture made by sustainable materials, a complete new design for my carrier.
What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
The creation of innovative and inspirational projects for young designers is my real ultimate goal.
How does design help create a better society?
Solving everyday issues each design help to create a better society.
What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
I am actually working on some exciting interior projects in collaboration with an architecture studio near Milan.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
The collaboration with companies to create their desired exhibition stand give me the most satisfaction.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
The increase of sustainable materials and green energy to produce our designs.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
I think that the design field is headed to years in which assembly production will be substitute with custom made design.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
It depends on the the type of design project we are referirng to. It can take from one month to one year.
What is the role of technology when you design?
Fondamental. After the first sketches I develop all my projects using softwares for modelling, rendering and presenting my designs.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
After the creation of the concept, the designers should consider and balance these three elements to proceed with their creations.
What do you wish people to ask about your design?
I wish people to be curious and interessant about the stories behind my creations. All my designs have ones.
When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
After the first attraction, several questions come up in my mind and I usually try to answer to all of them and to understand completely the creation I have in front of me.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
I have always believed in co-design because two creative and collaborative minds are better than ones but coordination and common professional values are fundamental to do so.
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
More experienced professionists than me with whom I collaborated with during the latest years.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
"Da cosa nasce cosa" of Bruno Munari was the first book I read about design and the one which influenced me so much that I decided to become a designer.
How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
I am constantly working on my skill and I will always need to improve them.
Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
If I had this chance, I would love to meet and talk with Bruno Munari.
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
I feel honoured by this recognition but my designs never had awards like the main goal.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
The days in which I create new concepts or some of projects are realised are the motivation of my entire working life because these days give me the energy and passion to keep designing even during bad times.
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
I have always been a creative person. Since I was a child, I spent my free time drawing and creating unusual prototypes but I have never consider myself a great design, just a good ones.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
I really hope future generations will change our approach to lifestyle and consumption, we really need to respect more our planet and our cultures.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
Keep your habits simple and your minds opened and curious. In this way you will be creative and wise for years.

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