In 2008, Matteo Ugolini took over the reigns as art director of the Italian brand Karman, designing some of the company’s first lighting lines and setting the company’s branding on its current creatively avant-garde course. A+A recently interviewed him via email:
Your background in design?
I studied at C.N.I.P.A institute in Ancona, Italy, graduating in industrial design. Once out of school, I have been working in a design and architectural studio based in Pesaro, Italy.
Your design philosophy?
I love my job very much and I am happy to be able to concentrate on projects that thrill me. My point of view is quite emotional so I gravitate toward things that move me. I simply never begin a project that doesn’t inspire me.
The intent of your designs? The inspiration?
The main source for my inspiration is Nature, as you can see from my designs. It’s deep in my DNA, probably because I live steeped in nature in my surroundings—the elemental always by my side. I love the natural world and my aim is to try to involve it in every space by designing it into products and projects, putting it front-and-center for humankind.
The challenges involved?
The main challenge is simply that what will be designed is supposed to arouse emotion and amaze. That’s where I stay in my focus.
What kinds of materials do you favor?
There is not really a material that is better than others to me: on the contrary, I like to explore new ones since this brings a great excitement to creativity.
What is your target market?
What I design is supposed to be available for those who look for something different: all those who are still able to dream.
Where have these been installed so far? (a few examples)
Some interesting projects in hotels are Hô Marais in Paris and Diamonds in Zanzibar; restaurants are Les amis de Messina in Paris and the Hard rock café in Ibiza—among others, of course.