A look as pragmatic as it is a dreamer is Atelierzero about the role of the designer today, as the three partners entrust the task of “knowing how to combine beauty and honesty”. Piermattia Cribiori, Stefano Grigoletto and Alessandro Triulzi they founded their studio, as is often the case, after participating in a competition together (and winning it). From that moment on, they continue on the same path and have carried out projects of all kinds, but above all home interior, into the home realm of their customers. We asked them to tell us a little about how their work works, from A to Z.
Can you tell us how your studio was born?
Our collaboration was born at the Politecnico di Milano, at the Faculty of Civil Architecture. During our studies, we have often worked together on curriculum and extra-curricular projects, and at the end of the training course, while all three gained experience in Italian and foreign studies, we found ourselves in some competitions. Atelierzero was thus officially born in 2013, when, after winning the competition for the Civic Gallery of Trento, we had (and wanted) to commit ourselves full time to guarantee a result that was up to expectations and the MART institution.
How would you define the type of projects you are facing?
The first years we worked a lot with the scale of the building and the landscape (especially during the period we worked in Oman), while in recent years we have studied the interior design more deeply. We like to believe that regardless of the scope, the architectural project can be approached with the same analytical and creative process.
A separate chapter deals with the product design projects we are working on recently and which have led us towards the creation of a dedicated startup, which we have called De Rerum. In interior design projects, we often experienced that we had to design custom-made furniture for particularly demanding customers, so the idea was born to create a collection of products that are very flexible and adaptable, while finished products, but also design platforms for other designers. We presented these products at design week, in the project in our dressing room 10 for the Arcimboldi Theater, and in the coming weeks we will realize it with a dedicated website and a relative store.
If you were to describe your way of imagining space, what are the most important elements for you, essential to giving a place identity?
Our design method is always the same, regardless of whether the theme is an interior space (office, residential, retail, etc.), regardless of whether the project relates to a building or a piece of the city. In all our projects, the first step concerns the definition and construction of space through simple but rigorous architectural movements: the most important components always have a “structuring” settlement value for the definition of the project hypothesis; it does not matter so much to the construction of the concept that these elements are, for example, buildings or fixtures. The material and color choices then come at a later date to consolidate the architectural idea through hierarchization of the elements and improvement of the space.
Where do you find inspiration and what do you allow yourself to be infected by?
We have always been fascinated by design schools that prefer simplicity and materiality, that know how to excite with seemingly elementary compositional games, where light and materials are both figures and protagonists at the same time. However, it can seem trivial, inspiration can come from anything – the scenography of a movie, the composition of a dish at a restaurant, a famous project or a specific place on a journey. The idea for a new lamp can come from a sample of a new material that we want to improve, or from a problematic technical situation that needs to be solved. Furthermore, we can say that we have had very different work and personal experiences, and we often confront and encounter to find a balance between the project concepts and the resulting choices, which generates solutions that are often very different from each other.
Many of your works are of a residential nature, space is therefore weighed in every detail and designed to hold over time for the service of those who are to live there. From this point of view, how would you describe your relationship with customers?
We deeply believe in an informal, exchange and support relationship, openly cooperative and committed, as long as it is always friendly. We believe that in order to guarantee the creation of a personal and fulfilling project, it is absolutely essential to create a relationship of trust that allows the customer to express himself sincerely and without reservation about what his tastes and needs are. The interior design work is very “tailor-made”, the main goal of the project is to make the customer feel comfortable, in an intimate relationship with the new spaces, the new materials and the new colors.
What is your personal vision of living? And that with the customers you communicate with? How are they united?
Our goal is always to try to combine beauty and honesty by seeking the subtle balance between the shape and structure of the room through a measured and defined approach by reading, interpreting and transforming the project context and customer needs. We have always set ourselves not to have a fixed style to impose on customers, but on the contrary to use a method that is flexible to the different situations we have to deal with. We strongly believe in a simple and intimate dimension of life, but also rich in experience and variety, where the space, the light, the materials and the chosen atmosphere are the framework of a social framework that suits the client’s way of living, whatever it is.
Is there a project you have a special memory of that you would like to share?
The project we remember the most is definitely Galleria Civica di Trento, which was our first “real” project. First and foremost, it is a work that has actively involved us all from start to finish, in contrast to what is happening today for many projects, which due to obvious organizational dynamics see us sharing only a few moments. Secondly, the exchange with the then director of MART (Cristiana Collu) and with all the personalities we dealt with gave us the opportunity to grow very professionally and meet the work with very different perspectives (from the artistic, organizational, financial, etc. ), all equally important to the success of the project.
And what is it about a project you dream of being able to complete one day?
We want to embark on a project where the landscape and architectural components can be polluted and infected down to the last detail, where the components tradition, way of life, social interaction and culture are naturally intertwined with harmony and balance. It could probably be a winery with an extraordinary location.
What do you see in the future of home decor? What rooms should we live in?
While it is true that human primary needs have always been the same, in the last 20 years it is clear that some automatics and habits have changed greatly because technology has also deeply polluted architecture and interior design. In our sector, the easy and fast access to information and the ability to “know everything” brings interest and taste back to artisanal building procedures and processes, appreciating their uniqueness and personality, improving techniques and products that respect the ecosystem and the project’s historical, cultural and environmental context.
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