MFL 57 – Ludovica + Roberto Palomba: “We create spaces that welcome, like a hug”

Roberto Palomba and Ludovica Serafini with the Rituals lamp designed for Foscarini (photo Peppe Tortora)

They are the golden pair of Italian design because everything they touch turns into something extraordinary, new, unexpected. I am Roberto Palomba And Ludovica Serafiniarchitects and designers who, in almost thirty years of design partnership, have revolutionized living habits, transformed service environments into living spaces, rewritten the outdoor rules and worked on hybrid projects that can be rejected in various contexts thanks to the numerous collaborations with companies such as Poltrona Frau, Cappellini, Flaminia, Foscarini, Artemis.

You are among the modern masters of design, what do you send to young people and vice versa?

Roberto Palomba. What we can give to the new generations is the experience of our mistakes. Instead, they give us energy and vision for the future. In the studio, the boys are our interpreters of the present, they are our watchdogs of change.

Ludovica Serafini. Ours is a factory where views are exchanged. I do not think it is only a generational issue, but a cultural factor. Each with their own origins, the studies they have done, their experiences contribute to the definition of the projects. We do not want to be anyone’s masters because it’s a concept that contradicts what creativity is, we can be inspiring.

What role does man play in your way of designing?

LS We put the person at the center of the project because it will be he who will enjoy our work. We do it in design and architecture with the aim of creating objects and spaces that know how to welcome, like a hug.

RP The designer’s task is to understand the end user, accept him as a partner and not as an individual to be forced a solution. In this complex work, the idea of ​​couples and teams helps us: each of us has our own differences, and being able to synthesize them in a project means trying to understand the diversity of users, empathy with the people we address us to.

What does the object you show in the picture represent to you?

LS We chose this lamp because we have the fixation of light, we are interested in how it behaves in a room and what is the relationship with man. This lamp has been rejected in three sizes and the light can be dimmed: we wanted the end user to be able to modulate the object according to their needs.

Where does the inspiration come from?

RP It is a project that represents us a lot because it contains the theme of the relationship between craftsmanship and industrialization, which is a priority for us. We started with Washi, the Japanese paper used for lanterns, we recreated the effect of the material and the wonderful imperfections in the paper, hand-engraving the vibrations created by the lantern on the surface of the blown glass.

What does Milan represent to you?

RP We both arrived in Milan many years ago and we did it because there are companies, entrepreneurs and other designers here. It was a necessary step to grow in our work. Over time, the city has changed a lot, it has evolved, and this metamorphosis represents the condition of being a designer: one cannot stand still.

What are you presenting at the design week in Milan?

RP Many projects, including a particularly interesting …

Which one?

RP The collaboration with Versace. The house’s choice to want its home collection designed by designers and the desire to declare it means the fashion world is officially crossing the threshold for furniture. Designing the house or a collection of clothes are very different experiences, specific skills are needed because it is not enough to translate fashion codes into supplies. The furniture collection, produced by Luxury living groupinterprets the values ​​of the fashion brand, but also takes into account who will experience these objects.

How’s the Versace home collection?

RP It is very large and complex. Versace was a revolutionary company in the field of fashion, and we accompany the brand to have the same influence in the field of interior design; we bring the color and the energy, the will to live and the eclecticism that is typical of a house, into the house.

The design at the start was colorful and innovative. Is it time to return to this?

LS Safe. Design means bringing a feeling to a well-made, well-structured object. It is necessary to bring joy back into the design.

And the irony?

RP It should be one of the cornerstones of the design profession. It does not mean to be superficial, but to use intelligence, as evidenced by many passages from the past that have written history. Irony was one of the tools through which cultural renewal was defined. We must have the courage to give it back to the project. (All rights reserved)

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