KBB - August 2009 - (Page 30)

Profile Architect and designer Matteo Thun was born in Bolzano, Italy, in 1952. While Thun’s celebrated career has garnered him much acclaim and respect, his early years put him in contact with such luminaries as artist Oskar Kokoschka, under whom he studied at the Salzburg Academy; Aldolfo Natalini, with whom he earned his architecture degree in Florence in 1975; and, of course, the legendary Ettore Sottsass, whom he met in Milan in 1978. This meeting and their collaboration thereafter led to the founding in 1981 of the Memphis Group, a design movement that helped shape art and design in the 1980s. In 1982, Thun was appointed to the chair of product design and ceramics at the Vienna Academy for If someone had asked you when you were a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” you would have answered… A designer. My main influence comes from my parents. My father helped me to develop as a creative entrepreneur, and I worked with my mother in our family company of handmade ceramics. So from that, you have where I am today. What learning experience has had the most impact on you? Probably my work with the Memphis Group in the 1980s. We just exploded preconceived ideas and made up stories. It was an emotional time when simple things like lamps or chairs or tables were being completely rethought. What “words of wisdom” can/do you share with others? Be a generalist, not a specialist. Be able to design cutlery on the same day you design a skyscraper. Who are your role models? I learned so much from Ettore Sottsass, who created a loving narrative between himself and his objects. Simple shapes and a warm love story are all you need for good design. Are there any examples of art or architecture that move or motivate you to design? Pissoir Fontana chosen by Marcel Duchamp in 1917. Do you have a signature style? Personal design philosophy? I guess I would say that my style is no particular style at all. I can’t use the language of design in the same way for every different project. I adapt and use a style that’s necessary for whatever I’m working on. And that’s where the ONE Collection for Rapsel comes in. We Q&A Matteo Thun, MATTEO THUN & PARTNERS Applied Arts, and two years later, left the Memphis Group to form the Studio Matteo Thun in Milan. Since then, he has served as creative director for Swatch (1990-93) and won the ADI Compasso d’Oro Award for design excellence three times, as well as numerous other accolades. These include a 2001 Hotel of the Year distinction for the Side Hotel in Hamburg, the 2004 Wallpaper Design Award for the Vigilius Mountain Resort and recognition by the Worldwide Hospitality Awards for the best hotel opened in 2005 for the Radisson SAS Frankfurt. Thun was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2004 and is a member of RIBA, the Royal Association of British Architects. eliminated the language of the bath. It’s not fashionable, it’s not styled, it’s just there. I love organic sustainability and not just in an ecological context, but in an affordable, logical one as well. What do you hate about your job? The overconsumption. Designers make things that people don’t need. I make things that fill a need and improve the comfort of life. What are some of the proudest experiences in your career? Collaborating and designing the Vigilius Mountain Resort. I was raised in the mountains so it was great to design in and around them. What is your favorite color? The color of dawn. What is your favorite place on earth? I love my home in Engadine, Switzerland. What is your greatest strength as an architect/designer? My strength, which I try to use the most, is my ability to find the “genius loci,” something that respects the soul of the location where I am designing. What was your most difficult design challenge? A small budget. What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet? I would love to solve the unsolvable problem of time. Maybe it’s smart that I was the creative director for Swatch. I —Alice Liao 30 + K BB August 2009 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com July 2004 http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - August 2009

KBB - August 2009
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Focus
Trends
Products
Profile
Design
External Analysis
Southern Comfort
Tech
Additions
Education
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

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