Marco Piva




The effortless contribution to his passion took him to the height of the achievement. Marco Piva- the master of making masterpieces, gives life to product. Marco is such a dedicated designer that every project he designs, it produces authenticity and originality.


FAE: How was iSaloni? Share with us something about your splendid collection at this year’s iSaloni, especially ‘The Glass made Crown’.

MARCO PIVA : As always, iSaloni gave the opportunity of making Design the protagonist of Milan scene.
This year, along with Italamp Crown collection, I have also introduced an office collection for the Russian company Nayada and a technical light source for Linea Light.

Usually, I introduce many products during ISaloni, but this year was a very particular one, as the historic Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan reopens after years, and I have managed both the architecture and the interiors for this hotel, and 80% of the furniture was made custom for this project, so I was especially involved in an “Excelsior Design Tour” for my clients and journalists in those days.

FAE: How would you define ‘design’?

MARCO PIVA : Design, to me, is a strong synergy between culture and history, research and project, originality and authenticity. I am not interested in a project without any terms of reference, I instead think that we must increasingly find a root on which to base the design project hypothesis. The terms of reference may come from the local surroundings, from history, from customs – it is necessary to find a story.

Moreover, design is nothing without functionality. I like to work on the definition of new components and usable objects to define updated standards of quality. At the end of my design process I like to propose to my clients and guest not just an object/project, but a synesthetic experience where the most of their senses would be involved.

FAE: How did you get into design? Was there a defining point of your career?

MARCO PIVA : When I was a child, I used to look at the constructions/objects that surrounded me, playing with them and imagining how they could be different. I have started drawing before learning how to write. Becoming a designer was an inner inspiration.

Although, when I started my career, in mid ’70, promoting one-self work was much more difficult than now. There wasn’t internet, just few press, “word of mouth”, and public occasions.

What happened, in the early ’80, is that I attended with my partners at Studiodada Associated to an “ideas competition “, organized by “Triennale di Milano” and curated by Alessandro Mendini.

Our project – a complex of very detailed drawings, writings and images, won the selection and was proposed for the exhibition.
Then I realised my first prototypes and I was contacted by one of the best and most dynamic companies in the furniture sector, which acquired rights to develop it. That was my beginning!

FAE: How has been your association with the Italian brand, ‘italamp’?

MARCO PIVA : Italamp is an Italian company deeply rooted in the Venetian tradition of glassmaking. The company is reinterpreting the glass, merging this traditional material with the contemporary technologies, to create a very unique, customisable and innovative project.

This year is a very important one for the company, as it celebrates its first 40 years, and so wanted to introduce a new hanging lamps family, related to the thousand year old history of glass, but contemporary.

Italamp knew that our studio developed several studies on new lighting technologies, so they have contacted us and we started a very good relationship that generate the new Crown collection.

CROWNS is a line of lamps characterised by an elegant beauty, designed for indoors, public or private ones.

It is a very innovative collection, as permits the combination of modules, creating also considerable size lamps, to fit any space need, to add value to monumental, historical or contemporary, architectural environments.

FAE: How did you manage to get involved into several major projects at a time?

MARCO PIVA : My team is fundamental!

Studio Marco Piva is composed by 20 highly qualified professionals in Milan, and also has branches in China, Emirates, India and Russia.

I like to be always involved in my projects, so my staff always give me punctual feedback about the status of works and developments. Even abroad, I stay in touch with them constantly, keeping the project leadership while delegating executive aspects.

FAE: If you have the option to choose between industrial, interior and Architecture, what would you choose and why?

MARCO PIVA : My design work cuts across architecture, interior design and design – a characteristic that is typically Italian. Architecture, design and interior design merge in a synchronous process – My style is a unitary work that assure continuity and fluidity of language in both stylistic and functional terms. It’s important to take care of all this aspects when designing a new project.

All my work is interesting in its different phase but, If I have to choose the one I prefer, I would say the Architecture concept, when the project, and its inspiration, born.
Then, from macro to micro…

FAE: What is the most satisfying project in your life till now?

MARCO PIVA : Surely the last, Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan, reopened last month, because it is related to my city and permits to work on it in the whole: Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape, Design and also Art works.
The new Excelsior Hotel Gallia, property of Katara Hospitality and managed by Starwood Luxury Collection, is linked to Milan’s history of excellence. A “special” place integrating and enhancing its architectural, design, customs and fashion values.

FAE: What are the recent projects you are working now?

MARCO PIVA : I am now working in China for a masterplan and for an interior design, as well in Albania for two villas interiors and new developments in the UAE.
In my country, I’m working in the interior design of a project called “DomusAventino”, in Rome, for BNP Paribas, a leading bank in the euro zone, and I’m continuing my collaboration with the fashion brand Bulgari for the design of its worldwide window. I have another very important project..that I can’t still speak about!

FAE: Finally, what would be your piece of advice to the young designers?

MARCO PIVA : Young designers are the future, most of them. They arefull ofcuriosity and open-mindedness, this are their winning-cards.

But, it is fundamental that they try to reach sincere and authentic solutions, in which research is recognizable which is necessary and useful to generate them, not just “design”. The research is essential,and this is the key for them to activatea newchallenge for a good design.

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