Design Thinking, People, Interview, Art and Photography | Design Dekko Editorial

Ironic Art leads to Iconic Designs: Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba

Design Dekko contributor, Priyal Sood, speaks with Italy based designer, Marcantonio
Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba

Born 1976 in Massalombarda (Italy), Marcantonio attended the Art Institute and the Academy of Fine Arts. After graduating, Marcantonio not only began working as a theatrical set designer he also started collaborating with various architects. He created unique design pieces while working on artistic production. Gradually, the two careers began to complement each other, and his designs were rich with artistic concepts. In the last 20 years, Marcantonio has been converting his thoughts and expressions into sculptures, art objects and design projects, and he continues to do so.

Man and nature's connection is his favourite topic, with his original interpretation of nature's dynamics and beauties showing Man's attitude to alter the original. He learned from Art how an idea could be elegant, so he constantly seeks pure and synthetic concepts.

"I never give up irony; the irony is a serious thing. If a good idea is also funny, I can't resist to realize it."

He loves the idea that his job is a continuation of what he used to do as a child: to play around with anything he found and put a shape to the creative thoughts fleeting in his mind.

Nowadays, seeking the aesthetic component and the concept, he gets his ideas from the same sources he created when playing as a child, daydreaming with what is usually around him every day.

From iconic art pieces like Giraffe in Love and Love In Bloom, Marcantonio has left his audience mesmerized and in awe of his new work. Design Dekko contributor, Priyal Sood, had the opportunity to interview Marcantonio and learn more about his design journey. Excerpts from the interaction:

Design Dekko: How do you define the artist Marcantonio? How did you make space for passion in your life and convert it into your profession?

Marcantonio: Today, just like my childhood, the desire to do things prevails, to discover new forms. I never stop observing ancient art, contemporary art, and crafts -- including the desire to create something new -- is exciting for me. I like to do both small and large things; both art objects with costly productions and smaller and inexpensive objects. I take the same care.

Design Dekko: You derive inspiration from your childhood. What keeps you always motivated to create groundbreaking designs?

Marcantonio: Actually, children have bizarre ideas; strong and free, not conditioned by the rules that adult life dictates. I have kept that part alive in me. We have all been children, and therefore it often happens that my visions are appreciated.

I was lucky to be able to appreciate nature as a child. Stones, branches, river leaves, animals, plants, fossils etc. have been my wonderful pastime. As an adult, I added a little bit of poetry because I'm a little melancholy.

 

Design Dekko: Your favourite theme is the connection between man and nature. Could you tell us more about this?

MarcantonioYes. See, when you asked me this question too, you have distinguished between man and nature. We all do it. It's normal. It is a form of thought. In reality, man is the highest expression of nature. Today, we dissociate ourselves from the nature and lead a life increasingly artificial and alienating. We often forget who we are and get confused with our work.

What leaps to the eye is that nature is right, and man less. If we respect nature more, we would also respect others and ourselves; it's simple. Sometimes, I prefer to use a shape that evokes natural shapes because they make me feel better. After all, that is from where we all come.

Design Dekko: We have seen some beautiful pictures of your lab (where all the magic happens). Could you walk us through your design process?

Marcantonio: It all starts with a need of mine, which basically stems from my insecurity. [He chuckles]. I need to be amazed, excited, and over time I have learned to do it myself, trying to come up with ideas that I like. It is as if I set my head on 'amazement', and then I allow myself to free my mind in a random, casual way.

I try to put a poetic component in the elements I choose to combine. Sometimes it happens that I imagine a combination that excites me, such as the giraffe with the chandelier, after which we find a way to make it, either with sculpture methods (clay and moulds) or with more modern technologies by creating a 3D and then additive printing the same.

Design Dekko: "Giraffe in Love" is one of your most famed concepts. If you had to choose your five favourite art pieces, which one's would they be and why?

Marcantonio:

  1. Monkey Lamp (Seletti) because it created a new language, now copied all over the world.
  2. Giraffe in Love (Qeeboo) because it is a challenge won, an incredible object
  3. Gorilla chair (Scarlet Splendor) personally, I like it very much
  4. Infinito sofà (Natuzzi) because it is a new sofa, it was challenging to create one
  5. The next work of mine: because the next job will always be the best, every time