Text description provided by Sergio Mannino: A few years ago, researchers found what is believed to be the oldest surviving testimony of human drawings in a cave in South Africa. It is around 74,000 years old. Lascaux in France is a lot “younger” at just 20,000. And they are both breathtaking. I am sure that even before these examples, our ancestors were already painting the walls of their caves, trees, tools, faces, bodies, and ornaments.
It doesn’t matter how or what, but we have been drawing for a very long time. It could be a gesture in the sand with a stick, the intricate decor of a cathedral facade, or a kid drawing for her mom, but we need to draw.
Drawing is first of all a form of communication, and that’s likely why we developed the capacity to draw in the first place. Someone argues that we developed it in order to attract mates, just like birds developed colorful feathers. Maybe we did it because we needed to address the mystery of existence, the darkness of the night, the fear of the unknown, or the joy of love.
Who really knows?
We can’t stop drawing because drawings are what make us human. They testify to the ability to symbolize our inner thoughts into stories. By sharing them, we affect the environment around us and also ourselves. Maybe we need to draw to put a reference point in our existence, some sort of a compass to find our way, to know where we stand, or to cope with life and with the idea of mortality.
At least it is for me, and it doesn’t matter what I draw: a piece of furniture, a building, or just a pattern. The pattern or the décor is probably the most human type of drawing we can conceive because it’s detached from a specific function other than producing pleasure and expressing our inner desires.
And so, we draw.
I draw, and that drawing changes me, then I draw again, and I change again. It’s almost like the work I produce is an extension of myself on paper. In a way, it’s more myself than I am, in an eternal vibrating cycle.
When you think of all the people around the world, these vibrations, sounds coming from a single individual integrated into a symphony played by millions of others, are at the core of what Design is. It is not functions, not problem-solving, not marketing. It’s the desire to make sense of the symphony or even just acknowledge that we can never grasp its essence at all. This is why I draw or make rugs, objects, and interiors.