Interview | Paolo Frello & Partners
Paolo Frello & Partners is a studio actives in the world of architecture, interior design and communication. Since its foundation has been able to juggle various fields, collecting international recognition and prizes.
Tell us a little about your studio. We have seen that you juggle in different areas, even very different from each other.
Our studio has now passed 30 years of history and has always remained open even during my American stay which lasted about two years. The succession of young collaborators has always marked an updated spirit in the world of design. In fact, we started drawing with the drafting machine and razor blades and we came to draw with mobile phones… so the DNA of the studio is always very young.
It has always been of great help to work with young people under 30 because sometimes the world of the project doesn’t just need experience, it needs freshness.
You have won numerous awards, gaining recognition globally. What can you tell us about it? What did achieving these results mean for you?
Awards and accolades are part of the journey. The ones I remember most are those of private customers who after years call or write to us to thank us for how well they live their spaces.
For years you have curated some design columns as well as creating themed magazines. At the moment you also manage your own blog. What led you to try the field of communication? What is your experience like on paper?
Collaborating with design magazines was a way to learn from the best ones. Those were times when sector publishing had a predominant role in the culture of the project.
You are also very active in the field of industrial design. What can you tell us about this branch? What is it like to approach product design?
In the graphics we have created some highly prestigious things such as the graphics for the Franco Battiato l’Imboscata record and the art direction for the Notebooks Ogami brand where we were selected for the Compasso d’Oro. In short, it is always funny to explore various areas where the project is at the center.
Let’s talk about design. Your work is divided into installations and projects all over the world, architectural works and interior design. What is your general approach to this heterogeneous world?
In recent years we have worked in various fields even if the interior architecture has remained the sector of the main project. In addition to residential interiors in Milan and other cities in the world, we have created offices. The most important and recent are the special spaces inside the Allianz Tower in Milan, shops such as Piacenza Cashmere and Mediterranea Cosmetics. in Turin we made public places and installations such as the exhibition dedicated to Miles Davis at Umbria Jazz, lamp design for Martinelli Luce, boxes of chocolates for Pejrano, ties for Ermenegildo Zegna, golf shoes and stands for the magazine Abitare.
Let’s take the CityLife apartment furnished in collaboration with Salvioni Design Solutions as a further example. How did this project come to life?
It was not a simple project because working within a volume designed by Zaha Hadid gave a sense of awe. I think that interiors are always the core of any architecture. The first time I entered the interiors of city Life Hadid I admit I was a little disappointed as apart from the common spaces that reflected her thoughts, the interiors of the apartments were left with an anonymous and banal cut. It was also thanks to the enthusiasm and intelligence of the clients that we cut out the spaces by creating a space that somehow highlighted some values of the Iranian architect’s thought. Subsequently, in addition to designing many pieces, we have chosen for each room a piece of some great masters of architecture and design such as Le Corbusier, Giò Ponti, Albini, Magistretti and others with the idea of paying homage to the values of the project. In this sense, the relationship and professionalism of Salvioni Design Solution was fundamental.