Pedrali is a leading Italian manufacturer of contemporary design furniture. They design products for public spaces, offices and houses. They have recently announced a shift towards environmental sustainability and the use of plaint-derived water-based paints to make their products less dangerous, less polluting and of better quality. We have asked CEO Monica Pedrali about her work and attachment to human-centered design and sustainability.
CEO Monica Pedrali
How is Pedrali working towards designing products that take into account the health of customers?
All of our products are not made with water-based paints, elaborated principally from plant-derived resins. This bio paint is made with 40” raw materials from “waste” vegetal substances and they offer the same durability, resistance to chemicals and lights, and usability of any classical petroleum-based paints while reducing the fossil-derived component.
Thanks to these new components, we are able to decrease the VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and all chemical compounds contained in normal paints. When they evaporate at room temperature, these components can be harmful for human health and obviously contribute to air pollution.
Not only are we able to reduce our environmental footprint, but we benefit from big energy savings and we provide a healthier environment to our clients.
How do you believe that industrial design can be a way to make public spaces healthier?
Industrial design can contribute to the conscious design of public spaces. The organization of public spaces’ theme refers to social dynamics in which the external, physical and social elements affect in a significant way the experience of relationships.
The furnishings placed inside these spaces respond to the logics of industrial production: in addition to aesthetics, they respond to ergonomics, functionality and usability requirements. Their presence strongly affects people’s health by providing benefits to the spaces themselves. As for the wooden products, one of their strong points is the traceability of the raw material.
Pedrali has also obtained FSC™C114358 Chain of Custody certification that guarantees the origin of wood from forests managed correctly and with responsibility, according to strict environmental, social and economic standards. This means that Pedrali for its production chooses to use material from certified FSC forests, fully respecting the territory.
The company uses water-based varnishes, ensuring excellent chemical and physical-resistant performances and curbing the emission of volatile organic substances reducing the impact on the environment.
GREENGUARD certification provides the guarantee that products designed for indoor environments comply with strict emission limits and contribute to have healthier interior environments. Certification ensures that a product has exceeded some of the world’s most stringent and low-emission standards for low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions within the buildings.
It is essential that the awareness towards materials and paints is extremely high.
What are some of your most iconic achievements in sustainable industrial design?
Instead of the massive use of solid wood, we use veneered wood, as in the case of Frida, the chair designed by Odo Fioravanti, which in 2011 won the Compasso d’Oro ADI for “the simple sculptural beauty”. It is an extremely light and at the same time strong product, even chosen to furnish the office of the French President Emmanuel Macron or the restaurant Olivo in London. With regard to the world of upholstered products, the reference to domestic atmospheres is often suggested by the use of wool, combined with foam. The sound absorbing materials contribute to increase the acoustic quality of public spaces, by drastically reducing noise pollution.
Our products are visible in prestigious universities and kindergartens both in Italy and abroad, in world-renowned libraries, such as the Morgan Library in New York, by Renzo Piano, or the Kanazawa Umimirai Library in Japan. Pedrali furnishes also co-working spaces like Microsoft House or Sky offices in Milan, or starred restaurants such as Spazio Niko Romito in Rome. And again, the beautiful and suggestive Skyway Monte Bianco or the Moleskine Café in the heart of Garibaldi district. They are all recently built locations able to find the perfect link between functionality and aesthetic beauty.