Fabio Novembre Reimagines Scavolini’s Best-Selling Kitchen of the ‘80s for an “Amazon Generation”

Rosario Spagnolello
·4 minuto per la lettura
Photo credit: Courtesy Photo
Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

From ELLE Decor

A “speaking” and connected kitchen with a pop aesthetic is conceived for new generations in Dandy Plus, emerging from a creative collaboration between Scavolini and Fabio Novembre, who reinterprets the historic model and best seller dating back to the ‘80s. As the offspring of Scavolini’s celebrated Dandy kitchen, this updated version is a clear homage to a more expressive Italian design distinguished by soft curves, decorative textures and vibrant, colorful accents.

“My work is similar to what Ettore Sottsass did with Olivetti: thoughts on colors, surfaces, and contrasts. In the Dandy Plus furnishing systems, we find 60% background color, 30% contrasting color, and 10% chromatic details, with which you end up interacting,” explains Fabio Novembre. “We worked on the kitchen like it was a computing machine whose commands were to reorder, reorganize, and simplify. What is technology if not simplification?! I think of Steve Jobs with the iPhone, where all functions were integrated and incorporated in a single device.”

Photo credit: Courtesy Photo
Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

Meanwhile, the company’s CEO, Fabiana Scavolini, spoke to the experience of witnessing a hit from the ‘80s transformed and adapted for the needs of millennials: “very often, the myth and the success of products entering the collective imaginary become elements to redefine spaces for everyday life. It’s happened with countless design masterpieces and even in the world of motors, including the 500, the Vespa, and the Mini. With Dandy Plus, we started from our heritage, from Dandy — a best-selling model from the ‘80s — to evolve it in a new interpretation that reflects the spirit of the times. Together with Fabio Novembre, we reflected on the increasingly pervasive role of technology in everyday activities and we created a project conceived for those who, even at home, want to live an all-over digital experience. It’s a process rereading the historic Dandy collection and celebrating its evolution as furniture design applicable to the living area and bathroom as well.”

Dandy Plus is not only a kitchen, but a furnishing system for the entire home. According to Novembre, “today we experience domestic spaces much more fluidly and without differentiation. The Dandy Plus pieces then re-examine the entire home, creating connections between the kitchen, living area and bathroom, although the kitchen remains the central environment of our homes, because the animal-man continues to feed three times per day. For the Italian culture, meals are a fundamental moment of sociality. We are still very connected to food, its preparation, and the care of ingredients. What’s more, all the most beautiful stories have been written around a table.”

Photo credit: Courtesy Photo
Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

Updating the kitchen with avant-garde technological solutions is perhaps the most relevant innovation brought forward by Scavolini and Novembre. Dandy Plus is the first system of furnishings integrated with Alexa, the voice-activated personal assistant developed by Amazon which, built into the BTicino Living Now controls, allows for a total command of all smart appliances in the home.

“I might be 54 years old, but I’m hyper-sensitive to the emerging dynamics linked to the digital world. I almost consider myself a digital native. To bring this world to Scavolini, for me, has been like opening the window and allowing everything new and contemporary in. In the Eighties, Raffaella Carrà was on TV talking about ‘Italy's most adored kitchen’. Today the equivalent would be Chiara Ferragni. The years pass, the medium changes and the habits change, but the kitchen remains the core of the home,” says Novembre.

“Imbuing the kitchen with technology was fundamental to close the circle. To tradition, we've added innovations that simplify everyday acts and respond to the new needs of contemporary life. The presence of Alexa is paradigmatic in this sense. What’s more simplifying than a voice? ‘Alexa, turn on the light’, ‘Alexa, turn the oven on to 200°’, ‘Alexa, call my son’. Using vocal commands means going to the root of everything. The most advanced technological point is that which can help the widest possible range of people, even the elderly.”

The relationship between Scavolini and Amazon goes beyond the integration of new technologies in furnishings, adding new sales channels. “When it comes to the shopping experience, we wanted to adopt an approach that could integrate the online channel to its more traditional counterpart. Through a landing page realized and promoted in collaboration with Amazon, you can see the project and its main specifications before finalizing the purchase on the Scavolini Shop. In this field, we’re the first Italian company in the world of kitchens to approach that of the e-commerce, which, with Dandy Plus, opens up for the first time to the online sale of bathrooms and living rooms. The design is also available in stores, which will always be involved for the delivery and assembly, even in the case of online purchases,” explains Fabiana Scavolini.

Novembre is also enthusiastic about the new innovation that broadens and integrates the retail channel, however fundamental: “now we all buy online, so why not get your kitchen there too? This perfectly represents the transgenerational design that I want to present in my projects.”