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Designer Stories

Marco Corti

An Episode of Arcedior Interview Series, Design Leaders Decoded
Welcome to our new Featured Designer section at Arcedior! In this section, we bring you inspiring stories of some of the leading players in the Interior Design industry; introduce you to newcomers on the block and bring you information on all the latest and hottest events & happenings in the world of Interior Design and Decor.

This time, we are happy to feature an exclusive interview with Marco Corti.

Designer Marco Corti

Marco Corti needs no introduction in the field of interior design. Born in Milano in 1960, he graduated in architecture at Politecnico of Milano in 1987. The next year he joined Tecno Spa Office Furniture Company. Later he went on to spread his wings wider; joining hands with the likes of Cappellini Spa, B&B Italia and so on.

In the year 2001, he established the Kemistry of Style in Milano. This was the major turning point in his life, from where there was no looking back. Today, he is one of the biggest and most awe-inspiring names in the design industry.

Here are excerpts from our interview with Marco Corti:

Tell us about your journey so far in the design industry.

“After I completed my graduation in architecture from Politecnico of Milano, I began to work as a draftsman in a very well-known office furniture company called Tecno Spa, also based in Milano. That was the year 1988. It was through the course of tenure there that I realized that I was meant to work with furniture. I then worked with famous companies such as Cappellini and B&B Italia. 17 years ago, in 2001, I founded my own company, which I christened Kemistry of Style. It is now a well-established name in Switzerland, Singapore and Shanghai.

“Through the years, I offered product design and interior design consultancy services across many countries spanning South East Asia, Japan and, recently, China. My journey over three decades has been very interesting indeed. I’ve been fortunate to work with several varied peoples and cultures. However, my aim has always been just one thing – the research of beauty through the path of lifestyle and living.”

FROM YOUR PREVIOUS PROJECTS, WE CAN SEE YOUR GREAT CREATIVITY AND INDIVIDUALITY IN DESIGN. TELL US ABOUT THIS SIGNATURE STYLE OF YOURS.

“Right from the very beginning, my concept of design has been influenced by simplicity in terms of volume, shapes, functionality and use of materials in the most natural way, achieving an elegant and sophisticated interior decoration.”

“To me, furniture design is the best starting point to develop an interior design project. Planning and creating a good product design allows you to get a better knowledge of proportions; also giving you an understanding of how to best manage and decorate the volumes of the interior space.”

“Any space; be it public or residential; is the same to me. I approach each project with the same feeling and style. In terms of decoration and organization of spaces, I was highly influenced by the design icons of the ’20s and ‘30s, such as Jean- Michel Frank, Ico Parisi, Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Marcel Breuer and Mies Van Der Rohe. All of them had done furniture designing, interior designing and even Architecture. So for me, the right way to work is to achieve the beauty. I personally feel that the period was very interesting and very contemporary; where humanity in Europe and the USA developed a new style and way of living that is truly timeless and are prevalent even now.”

WHICH PROJECT IS CLOSEST TO YOUR HEART? PLEASE GIVE US AN INSIGHT ON IT?

“The latest ones! This year I did few furniture and lighting collections for Italians and Chinese companies and I am very happy with the final result. Here are some of my latest product design projects.”

“Regarding interior design, my personal favourite and the one I most enjoyed doing was the concept design project done for a Winery in Alba-Piemont.”

HAS THE FAST-CHANGING WORLD OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY HELPED YOU IN ANY WAY? ACCORDING TO YOU, WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE THAT TECHNOLOGY BRINGS TO YOU AND YOUR WORK?

“Technology influences our work a lot, but that is only in terms of communication and sourcing. For example, we can now transfer a soft copy of the 100-megabyte of a project from our office in Switzerland to our office in Shanghai, in just a few minutes. Further, the Internet allows us to research good ideas for a new project and get information about thousands of products, thus helping our job in an amazing way.”

“Technology instead is relative present in the furniture world in terms of production. Our job is closest to an artisan’s job. So, while you can use technology to know about or source some new material such as quartz tops for kitchens, glass finishes or domotics for residential spaces; in reality, a sofa or chair or cabinet is made the exact same way it was made about 30-40 years ago. There is nothing new in terms of technology that can change the way of living.”

FINALLY, WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE FOR TODAY’S BUNCH OF YOUNG AND UPCOMING DESIGNERS?

“Well, my advice to the young designers of today is to stick to your roots and study the past; especially the works of the 19th century! Also, understand and explain to your clients that beauty is not subjective but objective. Try to educate people about the beauty of living, even if they are not rich or millionaires. Beauty in a domestic environment can be affordable for everyone, if there is a culture behind and if you use the various aspects of design, that is, colours, shapes, volumes, proportions, materials, light, matching them all together in the right way. Something that must be analyzed and studied, to have the tools that allow you to understand the real beauty.

“Beauty and simplicity are the two words that are most important to me. So, if you want to create a good project, do these things:

  • Go back to your roots
  • Study the past in detail
  • Focus on your present work and ….
  • Forever strive to create a better future!

Marco Corti
Kemistry of Style

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