A conceptual space to illustrate a journey through the language of shape and matter; a way to discover and to advance, on the edge between the past, present, and possible futures. In conversation with founder Michele Seppia
From the beginning, Nero Design Gallery focused on the key names in the field of Italian and international historical design and the natural progression has been to meet up with contemporary designers in order to collaborate and to develop projects in which details are the absolute protagonists.
Nero Design Gallery operates also on a physical level, creating “narrative spaces” when invited to showcase its bespoke projects at several important events on the collectible design circuit. A conceptual space, a metaphor to illustrate a journey through the language of shape and matter, a way to discover and to advance, on the edge between past, present, and possible futures.
Founder Michele Seppia retraced the story of Nero Design Gallery back to the idea of having the space started. Nero was founded in 2005, inspired from Seppia’s love for design and from his desire of acquiring pieces for his interior design projects. From the very beginning, he thought of a space that could host “his world”: a curated selection of historical and avant-garde design.
Having a physical location is non-negotiable — no matter how online work has spread in every field, especially in creative ones like the design sector. Social media and digital platforms are essential tools today but are not able to convey the same message as the sensory experience of the design oeuvre. «My clients love to be surrounded by what can be best described as ‘the gallery mood‘. They recognize how every piece and detail is important and yet part of a whole».
Nero Design Gallery fits the label of design gallery, even though it is much more: «I wish Nero Design Gallery were considered as a sort of ‘box filled with beauty’ where details and quality are protagonist. A meeting space where art and design can dialogue according to my personal vision», is the definition we get from Michele Seppia.
Being based in a small city like Arezzo in Tuscany, I wonder how the area is strategically positioned from a design perspective. The founder explains how Arezzo is the town where he was born and is very well known for its antique fair, the oldest in Italy, established more than fifty years ago. It has always been a destination for national and international art lovers. In this context Nero has been the first design gallery and over the years has collected interest and appreciation, becoming more and more popular.
Nero Design Gallery’s clients are collectors and those who approach design with curiosity and passion. The gallery also collaborates with architects and interior designers who love including in their projects unique pieces in the balance between art and design.
«I have always been attracted to those who love to experiment and explore new “art codes”. The “story” behind a project and the coherence with the language that identifies Nero Design Gallery are at the heart of the choice of an artist. The current panorama is varied and can spike interest and curiosity. I am fascinated by the process of acquiring new collaborators».
A question arises on how shape, matter, and time will change in NERO’s stance on design. Michele Seppia thinks that, over the years, the importance of shape and matter stayed unchanged — they are both influenced and adapted to what surrounds them, and the historical moment we are living in requires fluidity and freedom in form. While progress and technology have innovated the choice of materials, the world of art is undergoing a rediscovery and revaluation of materials that have been protagonists in past ages, like concrete, marble, ceramic tiles.
When asked about the future of Nero Design Gallery, Michele Seppia shares that he is developing a number of interior design projects and is considering showcasing their most iconic works through social platforms. In an era where maintaining both digital and physical archives represents the most valuable asset, Nero Design Gallery found its unique proposition in the global panorama: a design narrative that becomes a space for thoughts, meetings, and innovation.
Piazza S. Francesco, 5