Although not a designer himself, Eugenio Perazzo has always had a love and appreciation for good design, which is why he started Magis in 1976. Since then, the company, still family-owned, has become an influential contributor to the world of design.
Magis makes their mark thinking up ideas, and then working closely with top international designers to bring those ideas to life. The relationships Magis has with independent designers are matched by their connections to independent manufacturers. "It's very important to involve the manufacturer from the very beginning," says Enrico Perin, one of four in-house designers who oversee each project. "Sometimes we'll start out in one direction, then end up going a completely different way."
Perin says Magis is always on the lookout for new ideas, which come from studying the industry—and their own products—to see what might be needed. At the same time, they are inspired by the great Italian architectural and design heritage surrounding them. On one occasion, those surroundings inspired the only in-house design Magis has ever done, the Tavolo XZ3 Table.
Magis is constantly surprising the furniture industry by combining technology and materials in unusual ways, pushing the limits of gas-injection molding, for example, to create a whole new generation of seating with the Air-Chair, Chair_One, and Chair First.
"It's very much a back-and-forth process," says Eugenio's son Alberto, about teaming with designers. "We meet, brainstorm, and play with prototypes to see what will work and what won't."
Designers, who provide an ever-expanding talent pool, love the wide-open opportunities Magis gives them. They refer to Eugenio as a "passionate visionary," a "risk-taker," a "mastermind." As Konstantin Grcic says, "Just as Herman Miller wouldn't be the same company without Mr. De Pree's vision to work with people like Eames and Nelson, it's the same with Mr. Perazzo and Magis."
There's something else designers love about working with Magis, says Enrico: the food. "We have lots of great restaurants nearby, and many wonderful ideas have been born over a good meal and a nice glass of wine."
Studio Technico Magis
Motta di Livenza, Italy
Compasso d'Oro (Steelwood Chair), 2011, 2008
Designpreis der Bundesrepublik, Deutschland (Chair First), 2009
ICFF Editors Awards/Seating Category (Steelwood Chair), 2008
ICFF Editors Body of Work Awards, 2004
Selection for the 100% Design/ Blueprint Award, London (Chair One), 2003
Blueprint 100% Design Awards/Manufacturer, London (Air-Chair), 2000