People by Maria Cristina Didero

People by Maria Cristina Didero

Milan-based design curator and journalist Maria Cristina Didero shines a light on people behind the design, with a new limited edition book designed by Prague-based creative collective OKOLO.

‘My mantra is that design is about people, not about chairs,’ says Milan-based design curator and journalist Maria Cristina Didero. A fitting credo, considering Didero’s new book, People of Maria Cristina Didero, shifts objects to the edge of the spotlight and instead focuses its gaze on the characters behind them — and the interviewer herself.

Conceived by the Prague-based creative collective OKOLO — made up of curator Adam Štěch and graphic designers Matěj Činčera and Jan Kloss — the book compiles interviews and exhibition texts written by Didero over an eventful 15 years as an independent curator and design journalist. Each section is dedicated to a different designer, artist or curator and features the likes of Oki Sato, Maurizio Cattelan, Philippe Malouin and Studio 65. Though the book was launched last month in Milan at graphic design festival Mostro, the project originated as a pop-up exhibition during Prague Design Week last year.

In researching the project, Didero and Štěch dug deep into her archive and extracted the snippets of conversation that best defined her oeuvre. OKOLO’s design wizards then interpreted each text into a playful line drawing, creating a unique visual response to the designer’s work and Didero’s words. ‘This was really something that enriched me so much,’ she says of the opportunity to reflect on a life of writing about design and the relationships that have sprung from or been cemented by those chats, ‘my approach has always been about the intersection and the reciprocity of design, people and communication.’ (text by Laura May Todd, Wallpaper)

Year: 2019
Concept: Maria Cristina Didero, Adam Štěch
Illustration & Graphic design: Jan Kloss, Matěj Činčera
Client: OKOLO, Mostro Graphic Design Camp