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  • Interview

Lightness and empathy

It’s Cristina Gabetti’s recipe, journalist and opinion maker, for a lifestyle where the big challenges of mankind confront with the application of new technologies and good practices.

Cristina Gabetti, journalist for Corriere della seradaily newspaper and writer, isan influential expert on consumptions and lifestyles. Born in NYC and grown up in Turin, she lives in Milan with her husband and three children. She is however a citizen of the world. Recently come back from the Silicon Valley where she went to the “school of future” at Singularity University, she is presenting her latest book for Bompiani entitled “A passo leggero”. She was a show reporter for the TV news transmissions at Mediaset, curator for the satellite channel Abitare TV and from 2008 to 2013 she anchored the lucky television programme“Occhio allo spreco” (Striscia la notizia) followed by her first book “Tentativi di Eco Condotta” that was widely distributed. She regularly attends with wit and verve conferences and debates on sustainable development, on lifestyles 2.0 and behaviours that lead to daily choices.

Q. What gestures can improve people’s life within domestic walls?
A. Before every gesture there is a choice and the first, that may affect all the others, is: take the auto pilot off. If, between the choice and the gesture, we leave space to our awareness, our life becomes an interesting choreography rather than a repeating routine; curiosity can be expressed and find out new ways and new things. Everyday’s life becomes an occasion to evolve, when is filled with creativity. My path began when I chose the materials to build my home: varnishes, colours, textiles, coverings. I gathered information from suppliers and leaflets, as well as from my senses. My nose used to understand at once if the varnish was natural-based, my touch used to explore the nature of textiles. I put myself on a new wave of resonance with life trusting my body’ sensations and not only my mind. During the restoration works, the house became my second skin, so when we moved in I was ready to see with a new attitude the impact that our choices have on ourselves, on the others and on the environment. By searching the products born to be in harmony with the nature and using them, I felt myself regenerated. The achievement of lightness has become a game that leads me to an incessant desire to know and experiment. When you feel inside you can make the difference, ideas never fail to arrive. That’s the mood of my lifestyle and my job, with a light step (a passo leggero) as my latest book’s title.
Q. Looking at the future of Italian design: are we still the world leaders?
A. We live in a world without bounds, where synergies between talents and knowledge, representing the engine of innovation, are cancelling barriers of any kind, including the cultural and territorial ones. Technologies are affecting every area of production, every product category, which is why I believe that one hand it is essential to know the extraordinary opportunities offered by our time, preserving the manual skills, which have been testifying the mankind’s evolution for many centuries, in order to protect our deepest humanity. High-quality manufacture is our record of excellence, nobody can take but it is up to us to protect it before masters and students disappear.
Q. In Zanotta’s collection is there any piece that makes your heart beat?
A. Of Zanotta I quite like the Maestrale desk by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba – light legs, solid top designed to host working tools and small things. And again the Evolution armchair by Ora Ïto. To think over, to read, to contemplate, to rest.
Q. Expo2015 is about to start, will it be able to spread the message of quality and responsibility throughout the supply chain of food processing industry and not only?
A. In order to “to spread the message of quality and responsibility throughout the supply chain of food processing industry and not only” we would need a strong communion of intent around the principles of respect, of fairness and cooperation. We know however that Italy can hardly program big events withfar-sightedness. What should we expect? Certainly an agenda full of appointments, initiatives, meetings, happening, debates…I hope with all my heart that constructive, realistic, honest energies may arise from this chaos to address all together one challenge that needs a daring, confirmed, extensive and widespread participation. Being a divulger of solutions “to feed the planet” I will always look for the best. I hope that in the forthcoming six months we will have the opportunity to create a critical mass to map the road towards a prosperous future, maybe still possible, but always more difficult to achieve.