● You have designs for architecture, interiors and products. At first glance, all these seem to be a little bit different from each other. What kind of a relationship exists between industrial design practice, interior design and architectural practice? How are they affecting each other?
When I opened my studio in the early 80ies I was working, as many architects in Italy, from spoon to city, from micro to macro. Eversince, this has not changed. Today, after having founded Matteo Thun + Partners in 2001 with my partners Luca Colomba and Antonio Rodriguez we work with a team of about 80 architects, interior-, product- and graphic designers. The strenghts of the studio is to work interdisciplinary and realize projects from architecture to styling.
● How do you manage to create an interior design that reflects the spirit of the interior and meets the expectations of those who will use the space as well as carries your own signature at the same time?
We highly respect the surrounding of the site, the purpose of the building, the people that will live or wok inside. The ‘genius loci’ determines the style of our projects. Is it a 5 star plus hotel, an urban city hotel or a hotel with medical support? We do not intend to be recognizable by a special architecture handwriting but by a sustainable design.
● What is your design philosophy? How do you define your style? What makes you stand out among other designers?
We aim to design durable projects and products. We do not pursue a “design modernity”. For us, design is not just something visual, not just a matter of zeitgeist. We go for a different strategy: it is called timeless.
● In your opinion, what is good design, in terms of product design? What should be the features of good design?
For us good design means: simplicity, sustainability and stylistic longevity. No wow-effects but technological innovation. The design of Matteo Thun + Partners is not based upon a design that is a wow effect. Rather being impressing at first glance the design or about finding new technological solutions. Matteo Thun’s design-teams always search for the iconic form and create things that people can understand intuitively.
● You have many restaurant and food & beverage space designs. What design challenges are unique to food and beverage space design?
Designing a restaurant or food & beverage space demands total knowledge of the surrounding, of the location and it must reflect the philosophy of the kitchen. It should be the stage for the food that is served and must be easy to navigate for guests and staff.
● You are also known as an “authority” in the hotel design. What do you attribute to being so successful in hotel design?
We believe in a strong dialogue with our clients and dedicate a lot of time to find solutions within the budgets given.
● Which interior design details make a home comfortable to live in?
Natural materials and colours, lots of daylight.
● Can you explain your “three zero” philosophy to us?
We call it ‘Three Zero’ buildings – both in its construction and subsequent management. This means Zero kilometres in terms of nearness of construction materials, Zero CO2 emissions and Zero waste, in terms of life-cycle management in the building process.
● What will be the most significant design trends in the near future for architecture?
Health. Healthy living and botanical architecture will play a decisive role. Nature will be an integral part of architecture and interior design.
● Can you tell us what you have been working on recently & what are their prominent features?
We work on two challenging and exciting healthcare projects – in Switzerland the Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence and in Germany a Patient Bed House and REHAB for the largest University Orthopaedics Hospital in Europe.
And – we established a service for FF&E: Matteo Thun Atelier. It is a digital B To B Platform inspired by the long experience developed over the field’s architecture, product design and interior. Iconic furniture and lighting collections can be “dressed up” and customised with various combinations of colours and fabrics. Matteo Thun Atelier blends Italian historical know-how, tradition and the demands of hospitality budgets.
● Finally, what advice would you give to new designer just starting out their practice?
Reduce complexity, do it simple, bring emotions to your life.