Alessandro Sarfatti – “We must work in all directions, and in each one find a small amount of innovation” – my father used to say this, and he was right; because as long as we move forward, towards something that’s more meaningful, more respectful and more relevant – each step is as valuable as the other, deserving the same consideration and respect. I like to think of this capacity to capture the best of what’s been, and turning it into the heart of what’s to come, as the essence of evolution.
As such, I also see it as the starting point for Astep, the company that I have just created. A company that looks at the future yet also continues on the path devised by two great entrepreneurs: my father Riccardo Sarfatti and by his father Gino Sarfatti.
Astep is a design company that brings to the domestic landscape, the experience, knowledge and the future-oriented outlook that has been nurtured in my family for three generations, and bridges it with the latest developments in digital technologies.
Our name “Astep” indicates the necessary motion of a never-ending journey – the journey of evolution. It points to a natural but essential move towards the creation of something that’s better, more substantial, more worthwhile. Astep represents our admiration for timeless inventions: objects that – regardless of when they were designed or made – retain their edge, their capacity to affect our lives, advancing the manner in which we live.
Like all good Italian tales, mine also starts a long time ago; and is, of course, a family affair. In 1939 my grandfather Gino Sarfatti founded Arteluce, a company that – for the first time – introduced design to the lighting business.
In 1978 my father Riccardo went a step further: by creating Luceplan together with my mother Sandra Severi and architect Paolo Rizzatto, he linked design with technology and envisaged a new business model – working with specialized, talented and carefully handpicked industrial craftsmen – that became synonymous with “Made in Italy” quality and innovation. Both Arteluce and Luceplan created one icon after another, luminaires not only of timeless beauty but that also embed the meaning of evolution.
Astep creates new products for the home – objects that give digital technologies a more meaningful standing in our domestic lives. Honoring evolution in design, we also re-edit iconic objects: timeless works by Gino Sarfatti and Vittoriano Viganò that were born from the same optimistic forward-thinking attitude that continues to inspire us today.
In a world in which digital solutions are increasingly pervasive in our daily life, Astep aspires to combine the quality of life that new technologies offer, with the respect for people, objects and the environment that has always been at the core of good design.
By embracing the new while maintaining the utmost reverence for what’s been – coupling the work of great minds of the past and great minds of the present – we aim to advance the relationship between people and their homes. A fluid landscape of products that can bring the warmth of domesticity wherever people need it.