Decoding Mr. Marco Corti – An Episode of Arcedior Interview Series, Design Leaders Decoded
In this episode of Design Leaders Decoded, we have a successful architect and product designer from Milano, Italy – Mr. Marco Corti.
This Milano-based design and architecture expert has an established presence in the industry and is known for not just his brilliant design and architecture projects, but also for his state-of-the-art product designs.
For 19 years now, Mr. Corti has been displaying admirable standards of aesthetics in commercial and residential spaces. But underneath this success is years of groundwork and experience. After graduating from Politecnico of Milano in Architecture in 1987, he collaborated with various architecture companies such as Tecno Spa, Cappellini Spa, and B&B Italy, and worked as a shop and marketing manager. He continued gaining experience in this line of field and invested 13 years in creating a powerful foundation for his business.
In 2001, he established his firm Kemistry of Style, through which he completed several architecture and interior design projects around Italy, Singapore, Asia, and the Middle East. And the firm today is renowned for its intelligent analysis of prevailing trends within the market.
On being asked if all of this just happened or if there was a plan all along, Mr. Corti says, “Since the beginning, when I started to work, my decision was to have my own company in the future. And all this experience was necessary to learn how to become an entrepreneur when it comes to interior design, architecture, or rather a design office. I collaborated with some furniture businesses in Italy and gained some experience. And when the time was right, I established my firm Kemistry of Style, dedicated to interior design, product design, and small architecture, for example, villas and houses.”
“It’s a natural road to get, in some way, what you’d to like to have; your own office, your own strategy, your own concept of architecture and interiors.” Mr. Corti said.
A Symphony of Aesthetics and Functionality
To understand, Mr. Marco Corti better, we asked him how he perceives aesthetics, functionality, and aesthetics, and functionality together. And his answer was, “aesthetics and functionality should go together. In the past, there was a gap between beauty and function, and architects privileged beauty. Now, with technology, we can achieve high levels of beauty as well as function. With improvements in technology and knowledge, we can get to a point where beauty and functionality can work together. But I understand that beauty is the main reason to live. If you have to walk 10 km to see a beautiful place, you go 10 km.”
All About the Favorite
Every designer has some favorite projects, and we were curious to know what Mr. Corti’s favorite was out of the many exciting projects that he has done. In his answer, he said, “I did some projects that I still like, but generally, my thinking is that the best project is still to come. In the future, I hope to do even better projects than the ones I did in the past than some projects that I am particularly proud of, such as some houses in Singapore.
“It is about some unique touches, some details that I still see in some of my projects. I visit the houses, the clients that I became friends with, and they still say, ‘wow, these details are amazing, very nice!’ That is what I like, something that I want to continue. This is why I hope that the next one will be much much much better. That would be my favorite one.”
Some of Mr. Corti’s Most Stylish Projects
Spa and Fitness Centre, Abu Dhabi
Bals Shopping Mall, Tokyo
Responsibility as a Design Professional
We wanted to know what drives Mr. Corti to do the kind of work he does. What keeps him delivering great projects one after the other. So, we asked him what he feels his responsibility is, and he shared that feeling satisfied with your work is very important. “I feel a responsibility towards myself. I try not to downgrade my level. In my projects, I always want to maintain a standard at the least. I like to give people something that has a high aesthetic level. That’s my responsibility. At the moment, I don’t feel any responsibility towards humanity or people, but towards myself. I don’t want to see my projects 4, 5, 10 years later, and say, that’s so outdated. I would like to see a project that I did ten years ago and say, hmm not bad, still good!” he explains.
Don’t Copy, But Steal
Mr. Corti shares with Arcedior how he relates with Quentin Tarantino’s words, “Don’t Copy, But Steal.”
On being asked how to go ahead with time in your profession, he says, “By working. By doing things, looking around, always trying to learn things, being curious, curiosity, overall, about things you like, that may not always be your creation. Inspiration could come from other architects, from something totally different that makes you think about how to manage something very beautifully, how to manage it in your style. I always try to remember the sentence by Quentin Tarantino, who is a very interesting man, don’t copy, but steal.”
“You must always steal something from everybody that’s interesting for you. ‘We have to steal to upgrade our level,’ I always say to my people. Steal, don’t copy but steal. That makes me and my style, I hope, up to date. It is a correct idea because in the world everything is already done; what we have to do is make it better. You shouldn’t restrict yourself to your environment.” said Mr. Corti.
Thoughts on Design Product Sourcing
Talking about sourcing, Mr. Corti says, “Sourcing of interior design products is easy. It is a matter of budget and consistency. And I feel that in the future, a lot of the market will belong to local manufacturers and craftsmen of loose furniture or finishing from areas like Italy, a major producer of furniture and finishing products like stones, accessories, etc. But there will be a mix and match of these things. Some products will be local, and some will be global, majorly from Europe, France, and Italy. And for all of this, sourcing has become easy. You can simply do it all on a website.”
Continuing, he explains that design is not just about sourcing, “When designing, you have to keep a lot of things in mind regarding finishes and products. It is a matter of how you mix and match, for which you need the knowledge to mix colors, fabric, hard, and soft. People sometimes underestimate this quality or skill. In fact, in some young countries, it is not so understandable. However, it is an essential skill for a business, which comes from knowledge, experience, and background. Background here means the academic culture and where you grow up.”
Mr. Corti continued, “Moreover, I always say to my people that working in the streets of Paris and Milano is very different from working in the streets of Beijing. I don’t underestimate Beijing, but with the feeling, the environment you get in European places, every step you take is totally different than in a modern new city, and this makes a big difference.”
Mr. Corti on Global Sourcing Platforms like Arcedior
Talking about how Arcedior hosts global brands together and has over 55,000 products listed, Mr. Corti shares that such platforms are the future. “It is absolutely positive because the future will be taken over by this kind of platform. In India, Europe, China, etc., these platforms will allow people to learn how to make their own spaces charming, beautiful, and cozy, easily with a design professional’s support. And these platforms will be the future of our business.”
We completely agree!
It was amazing talking to the super talented and experience, Mr. Marco Corti. We dearly hope to work with him in the future. We are sure it will be an insightful experience.
We will return soon with another episode of Design Leaders Decoded. Till then, stay tuned!