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Original Design with Lucia Rota

AFTER AN MBA AT SDA BOCCONI, LUCIA CREATED AN ONLINE PORTAL WHERE YOUNG DESIGNERS CAN GET RECOGNITION FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR PRODUCTS. THE WEBSITE CAN ALSO BE USED TO INTERACT WITH COMPANIES AND ENTHUSIASTS

She has a degree in economics and commerce, she is a certified accountant in Turin and is also a qualified auditor with the Ministry of Justice. She got practice in her trade at her family firm for a few years, then made the big decision to attend a Master in Business Administration at SDA Bocconi, with the idea of making a career out of her passion for design.

Lucia Rota, 32 years old, first worked in the field of furniture production in limited editions with Momu Design, and the Turin-native is now the creator of the portal Inner Design (www.innerdesign.com), an online community dedicated to interior design, which has been online since last December. "The portal began with the realization that there is a gap in the level of communication between the various actors in the furniture industry, such as producers, designers, experts and customers, who speak with different jargons and who find it difficult to interface with each other," says Lucia. "Our aim is to put them in contact with each other." The months at the MBA helped Lucia fine-tune the project and acquire the frame of mind and network needed to implement it, as she says. "In particular, faculty members Mikkel Draebye, Antonio Catalani and Luigi Proserpio helped me develop my business plan, and they helped me improve my skills, especially in terms of strategy and marketing."

In just a few weeks, Inner Design recorded over 1,500 registered users, in part due to a widespread promotional campaign using targeted initiatives: "An early initiative was a contest, where we asked designers to present an existing product. 90 designers from 17 European countries participated and the eight best products were exhibited at the Rossignoli store on Corso Garibaldi in Milan. In addition, during the Salone del Mobile, three Italian designers, Dario Riva, Matteo Cupella and Danilo Leonardi, rode bicycles made for the occasion, leading a fun bike tour around Milan to visit the areas of the fuori salone."

The portal created and produced by Lucia Rota brings together stories, interviews and products from young designers, focusing on business leaders who have left their mark on the culture of international design, "but also," explains Lucia, "images from private homes seen through the eyes of their owners, providing the opportunity for everyone to actively participate." On Inner Design you can also find information on main events around the world dedicated to design, from those targeting a widespread audience to niche events reserved to enthusiasts.

The portal functions more than simply as a support to creative minds and companies. "There will an opening period of six months, which we believe is important to get our name out. Our attendance at the Salone del Mobile with a stand is an important step in that direction," says Lucia Rota. After this time, there will also be the objective of turning a profit. "An initial method, which was included in the business plan drawn up during the MBA, cold be to allow designers to sell their products on the portal," she says, "but we're still working on it. Designers are disorganized by definition, so we could also give them a hand with that."



by Davide Ripamonti
Translated by Jenna Walker


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