Two designers working in a nook surrounded by Swiss mountains have realized something special: a table which some people have identified as the newest “icon of Design”.
The news start travelling, curiosity pushes it up. There are people talking about a story made of odd coincidences, about a mysterious dream. You need to know in order to understand: I am asked for an interview. I leave to meet them, with some unquenchable curiosity and a good amount of skepticism: a fortuitous coincidence can pay very well if you call it a premonition and two professional workers surrounded by peace in the Swiss mountains must have had enough time to think a profitable fairy-tale up.
At three pm I get to a quiet and tidy place, matching perfectly the features of the Country where I live, and I find myself in front of two people with welcoming and measured ways, who aren’t suggesting anything extraordinary.
They invite me to get into their showroom.
I give way to a neighbor coming to say hello.
The table is out of sight: I had expected that. The “secret room” where it should be hidden is part of the odd stories I heard about.
The two of them ask me to follow them into a room overlooking the back of the building. It all goes as planned.
My reasonable, rational and also a bit cynical side is standing apart from the rest of myself and, without even waiting for my gaze to detect the shape of a table- whatever it is- it comes up with a sharp question: “How much is it?”
“Before YOU can get to know if you can buy it by your wallet, WE must get to know if you can have it by your heart.” Their answer can knock me down. I hide my wound behind some loud laughter. Then I see it. I can’t find the words to describe it, and a simple photo couldn’t give me back what I saw. I can just remember a lightning-fast consideration settling in my mind like a boulder being pushed to the valley by some landslide: a synchrony between what we think and what we know can really turn into the value of the things we produce. A geometric matching and a series of numerical ratios could turn into such a perfect concrete result, thanks to a two designers’ unique intuition.
In the background, like some distant echo, I can hear one of them say that there isn’t any catalog, but there are different versions in a limited edition, which are already highly appreciated on the market. The second voice is clarifying that this work is the centerpiece in extra-luxury locations scattered all over Europe and the United States. He says that some re-edition in the catalog have been foreseen, but not for everyone, obviously. I am shaken by an uncontrollable rush of jealousy for something I fear I won’t be able to own, so I provoke them: “You must be selling lots of them…”
“We could have sold really a lot: the table is highly appreciated and they have been talking a lot about iconazéro in our circle lately… and that’s very helpful. Anyway, we made a choice working again any rational commercial policy. Something has changed, since we launched this table: we met extraordinary people we had never thought we would get to know. It looks like fate is bringing them here. They see the table and buy it. For their homes, their offices. For themselves. They seem to discern something they have been looking for and they can’t leave it where it is. These customers are turning unawares into our best advertising channel. That is the way we are selling. More and more”.
“You are selling online as well, I guess…”. “There are photos online, but iconazéro cannot be bought on the website. We use the Net to make a connection: the table is appreciated and we, who built it, know how to be found. We want people to see and touch what they are going to buy, if they are. We want to learn their stories, find out how they reached us, get to know why they are longing for this table and not for a different one.” “Is that your way of identifying the ones having the heart to buy it?”
“I can see that you are starting to understand. You’ve already learned our language.”
It’s a suggestion, it can’t be anything else, but since I walked through that door, something has changed in what I considered real.
Who I am doesn’t matter anymore, since I could be anyone.