Flying into the future
It would be an oversimplification to say that someone who flies his own self-designed drone is looking to the future. The remotely-piloted plane is yet to be named; he, on the other hand, is called Pietro Anelli. Yet whilst he is in close contact with the future, his look is one very much linked to the past.
Futuristic passions live alongside his love of culture and tradition: “I am constantly attempting to strike a balance between the ultra technological and our roots which, by contrast, often seem to crumble”. Question: “What one thing would you do away with”? Answer: “Technology, it has to be able to adapt”.
As a child he would immerse himself amidst the mechanical mysteries of our times by dismantling and reassembling things. Anelli is now co-founder and general manager of NexKon, a Milan based company that makes and sells Home & Building Automation systems, better known these days as domotics. A tertiary-oriented spinoff of the more sartorial business DUEMMEGI, the family company in which he first started out, its aim is to devise means of controlling buildings that are geared towards optimisation and energy savings. They include systems for managing lighting, temperature, alarms, audio and video systems capable of regulating where, when and how much is needed, even via mobile.
Whenever he can, he checks how his drone is flying, just as if he were on board. He has been testing it for two years now: “There is no assembly kit, and there aren’t any instructions”. His dream is to create an interface using his PC and render it autonomous, mapping out the routes using Google Earth; in short, he wants to build an electronic carrier pigeon. He pursues his dream in the little spare time he has as follows:
Something just for him: “I walk. I take time and mental space for myself”.
The route: “I set out from Corso di Porta Vigentina in Milan and head as far as the Duomo, then I go down Via Dante and around the side of the Castle. I reach Arco della Pace and then I decide how to go back”.
His love of the past: “I developed a passion for all things classic going around second-hand markets, looking for pieces of often-forgotten history. Everything I have found is now part of my own history. For this reason I like to think that they have reacquired their rightful value.
A mania: “Diecast model cars. I have at least 50, and I only choose very detailed ones. My favourite one has velvet interiors, even in the boot”.
High-tech habit: “I don’t have one, or rather it’s my everyday job”.
Classic-style habits: “I often go to art exhibitions, a routine I cultivated with my mother”.
The style: “As casual as possible. Every so often say to me: “Where have you left your plane?” Let’s visualise the aviator: brown leather jacket, sand-colour trousers, shoes in earthy shades”.
For the weekend: “When I go away I take my bowling bag with me. Inside it are 3 shirts and 2 pairs of trousers, my monogrammed wash-bag, and my iPad when I remember it, I have a tendency to neglect it. I wear the jacket as it won’t fit inside”.
In the suitcase: “Mostly destructured jackets, shirts with a tight collar, classic English-cut trousers, if there is a tie it’s made of silk with a dark blue background, and for shoes anything made by Tod’s”.
Your favourite? “It’s always the latest thing I have bought”.
The favourite city is Paris. The walk: “from Notre Dame to the Louvre, I walk straight to the Arc de Triomphe, then I go as far as the Eiffel Tower before turning towards Rue Royale. I stop for afternoon tea at Ladurée then I come back. It makes a perfect four”.
Travel according to Pietro: “Going by car to Mongolia to see all the changes in the landscape, the borderlines and the nuances which are hard to see nowadays. Even simple attitudes, the sensations you experience which get lost along the way when you cover long distances by plane”.
Always: shirts, even on the beach
The book: “Shantaram. It feels like it is talking to you as it tells the story of this man who escapes from a top-security prison in India. It is a lesson in life which puts everything I had sensed into words: seeing two such different worlds collide and yet remain intact in spite of it all.”
Alongside the domotic talent there is much that is existential in the mind of this young man who wants to fly over the world, but also cross it – metre by metre – in search of nuances.