Product Design
Arts & Culture
Ludovica & Roberto Palomba

The Art of Know-How by Ludovica & Roberto Palomba

The present defines the future, the future builds on the foundation of the past. Ludovica and Roberto Palomba know this and they know how to utilize it. Milan based architects and designers founded their own firm Palomba Serafini Associati in 1994. Palomba Serafini Associati expertised on architecture, interior, exhibition, marketing consulting and industrial design worldwide and quality is their signature even in serial production. Majority of their timeless designs are still in production since 1994 and they’ve received many global awards. What makes them peerless is their approach to design; blending past with the future.  Their designs are formed by needs, and their method to create lasting designs is combining creativity and function, innovation and longevity.

From your perspective what makes Italian design culture unique?

Hic et nunc is the Latin phrase that means - Here and now - it means that human beings must live in the present to be happy.

So why if the human being is happy to lives in the present what value does the past have? The past is the value that serves to build our present and consequently our future. If the past did not exist there would be no history, there would be no memory just as there would be no critical spirit and evolution, this extends to every reality even in design and architecture.

Historically,Italian culture is a culture accustomed to doing with great creativity. So we are talking about the art of know-how, of creativity applied to materials, even if we are talking about serial products therefore linked to industry and the creativity of Italian companies, a magical mix that belongs to us that we have in our DNA as a people.

Considering Palazzo Daniele how do you keep old and blend it with new?

Some aspects of the past really have great value, and those are the parts that must be saved and kept in the project. A creative, an architect, a designer is not an inventor but an evolver, perhaps making contemporary what already exists, thus retaining its emotional and poetic part and discarding all that we consider superfluous and that we do not need. Thus mixing the past with a respectful function represents the perfect synthesis of this union. 

I see that you preserve the historical touch when designing, what kind of challenges does it bring?

 These are not random choices or made on the spot, working on a historic building means first of all knowing it, therefore being aware of all the possible information, from the survey to all the historical researches made ad hoc on the project. When you have overlaps of multiple historical periods, in the end what you go to select is the language you want to keep. Choices always involve clarifications and subtractions. At the base of everything, however, there is a careful analysis. Obviously the historicity that will be highlighted will be the one most in line with the character of the building.

Which period of history inspires you the most?

I would love to do an intervention on archaeological site, for example, or on a medieval building, we really love to work on the 700/800 – I think I answered.

As a studio we are naturally dedicated to everything that has to do with culture and history.

How does one evolve its creative journey?

Doing! The figure of the architect is that of a dreamer, but with a great sense of practicality, otherwise he would be just an artist.

The architect is the person who then marries the material to his own dreams, so he has a great knowledge of materials and their applications. So the only way for an architect to evolve the creative process is to do. Let us remember that Wright designed the Guggenheim in its most mature age.


What makes a product timeless?

A timeless object is and object that become classic the exact moment you are making it. An instant classicism!

What do you suggest to new designers?

 To have a lot of culture, to read a lot, to deepen, to discuss it. Study philosophy, aesthetics, literature, only in this way will your mind remain curious and free.


The Art of Know-How by Ludovica & Roberto Palomba
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