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Q & A with Nicolas Terzani

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Read our exclusive interview with Nicolas Terzani, the President and Creative Director of Terzani (he’s also the son of Sergio Terzani, the founder of the brand), as he discusses Terzani’s creative vision, their meticulously handcrafted designs and their newest collection, Atlantis.

Historically and today, Terzani, “la luce pensata,” represents both a small family workshop and an internationally renowned brand, traditional knowledge, as well as technological innovation, a seductive look back and a soft step forward into the future.

Since 1972, Terzani has built itself as a brand rooted in luxury lighting sculptures. Once known for wrought iron, carved wood and Murano glass designs, Terzani is now building on their attention to detail by incorporating new technologies and materials into their mix. At the same time, they’re staying true to their origins of elegance and handcrafted processes. The result: A transformation of pieces into more than simply the newest

Your father founded Terzani in 1972. How has the foundation your father laid at the beginning of Terzani led the way for your designs today?

Nicolas Terzani: We’re always striving to connect our current work to the foundation laid down by my father. In our most recent collection, for example, I think we’ve been able to successfully update the traditional, organic forms that defined our original collections, continuing to use traditional materials — like brass, iron crystal and glass.

What is your creative vision for Terzani?

NT: Our creative vision is really defined more by our process than by a specific design direction. Often we work without a defined objective, and let our hands do the work for us. Some of our most popular pieces have come about by chance — often, experimenting with even the most familiar material will open up new ways to it.

What makes Terzani unique compared to other luxury lighting brands?

Our designs set apart from other brands because of their elegance and attention to detail. While we constantly incorporate new technologies and materials, it’s the meticulousness of the traditional, handcrafted design process that transforms our pieces into more than simply the newest design. I think, particularly in the luxury market, people do not want to pay for trends, but for unique designs that are, quite often, made-to-order.

How would you describe the Terzani style?

NT: One term that we tend to use when describing our style is “classic elegance”. We want our pieces to serve not as designs of the moment, but as pieces that are comfortable in any room and among many styles. We want our designs be much more than trends.

Your designs are very labor intensive, but you still chose to handcraft them. Why is handcrafting your designs important to you?

NT: Really, this is the only way to create truly unique pieces. While mass production works for many other companies, frankly, we become bored always producing the exact same product. Through our handcrafted process, we’re constantly learning new things, which help our products constantly evolve. Plus, this uniqueness adds more value to each piece, something our customers appreciate.

How do your designers approach new lights for your collection?

NT: In order to keep the Terzani brand relevant, we force our designers to create sculptures not lights — and we give them no limits on what they can try. At the same time, our work directly with architectural firms and interior designers, help us to understand their needs and address them in our design process.

The Atlantis Collection drew considerable attention at Salone de Mobile in Italy this year. Why do you think people are so intrigued by this collection?

NT: For starters, it’s simply a beautiful light. And I think it’s the first real alternative to a classic Murano or crystal chandelier, and people were delighted to have it recast in this way.

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Carolyn Havens

Carolyn is a Merchandiser for YLighting. Having grown up around the construction industry, and being a huge design enthusiast, it was only natural that Carolyn found herself in the home design field. When she’s not hard at work, you can often find Carolyn outdoors enjoying a long hike with her boys, soaking up the sun on the beach, or perfecting her newest move in a yoga sesh.