Atelierzero is an interior architecture studio based in Milan. Sartorial approach, research on form, ways of living, materials and furnishing components are the fundamental aspects of the studio’s approach.
Why do you use laminate?
The main characteristics of resistance and practicality, as well as ease of cleaning and maintenance, make the laminate a pleasantly reliable material. For those who work in the field of interior design like us, the most interesting point is certainly the possibility of declining its use in a multiplicity of variants that can be adapted to different contexts.
How did you use laminate in one of your most recent architecture or interior projects?
We used laminate in a very dear project, Pibi House. This is a medium-sized apartment designed for a young Milanese designer, located in the heart of the financial district of Milan. The particular conformation of the plant has allowed the interiors to be treated as a sequence of spaces connected together. Crucial in the design process was the definition of the long wall that acts as a background to the kitchen, living room and bedroom, defined by custom-made furniture completely covered in matt black laminate, which allowed us to perceive the continuity of spaces through the sophisticated monochromaticity of this material. In addition, the kitchen island was also covered with the same laminate, to complete the space with consistency.
Ettore Sottsass said that we must not be afraid of artifice: even in nature there is wickedness. Laminate is a man-made product that has allowed design imagination to be released. What are its potential today?
The potential of the laminate lies in its extreme versatility. Creating an interior project means finding, in the frame of a given context, the best possible combination not only of spaces and shapes, but also of colors and materials: the possibility of combinations in laminates is practically infinite.
What is the relationship between artificial and natural in your projects?
As far as we are concerned, we are supporters of the honesty of materials, therefore we do not usually choose camouflage materials that simulate effects other than themselves. Within the world of laminates, we prefer monochromes, abstract patterns and geometric patterns
How important is sustainability in your design thinking?
Unfortunately in the world of Italian interiors it is still difficult to talk about real sustainability, our cultural background linked to the world of the home still often refers to noble or natural materials, such as stone and wood. What we strive to do is undoubtedly use products from companies whose headquarters, production facilities and processes meet international sustainability standards.
Surface design is part of the iconography of the history of Italian design. How do you imagine it can evolve from a graphic or chromatic point of view?
What we are waiting for is a real return of the 80s and what made its interiors so strange and iconic, that is, no fear of seeing boldly matched colors, bizarre geometries, a touch of kitsch and self-irony. The 80s were a fantastic historical period, in which even in furnishing the house everything was possible.