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Carlo Colombo for Giorgetti

The Italian designer talks to Luo Jingmei about his designs for Giorgetti at Space Asia Hub’s newly christened Giorgetti Atelier.

Carlo Colombo for Giorgetti


July 30th, 2013

Perhaps it is not surprising that Carlo Colombo would highlight the Asian woman as his source of inspiration for pieces he has designed for Giorgetti’s 2013 collection. “Asia is my second home; I have come here for 15 years, one week every month… Singapore, Bangkok, Beijing, etc.,” he rattles on.

One of the most respected Italian designers in the world of contemporary design, Colombo has designed for the most prestigious international brands like Flexform Mood, Serralunga and Poliform, just to name a few. Asia is a major pit stop in his travels around the world for work – he is also an architect and educator – and currently, he is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Beijing.


“I like the Asian woman, because she’s very elegant. With this inspiration, I started to move the hand on the white paper, to [follow] the shape,” says Colombo as he points to the Vittoria sofa, whose back- and side-frames continue in one fluid motion to the front in a subtle scoop. Similarly, the defined shell of the Diana chair wraps the upholstery tightly, like how a cheongsam would the feminine silhouette.

Carlo Colombo


But, says Colombo, inspiration did not come just from the female body. “When people [here] walk, or give business cards with two fingers, or the eyes, the face, the skin, the culture… many things are totally different. If you’ve been in Asia [for] many, many years, you can understand; [everything’s] very gentle and I like [that].”

Carlo Colombo


This sensuality expresses itself not merely in aesthetics, but also in how technology is applied. An example is in the Minerva armchair, which considers multiple ways a chair is used. “It’s very funny, because in one chair, you buy three chairs,” Colombo comments candidly. It’s high back can be flipped horizontally to create an armrest when the user leans to the side; when pushed all the way to the front, it becomes a low-backed chair.

Carlo Colombo


Typically, such a movement would incorporate some awkward mechanical gymnastics, but here, a new material from the USA enables the fluid motion minus the mechanical parts. “We tried this before with a mechanism but the problem is when you put your arm [up], you feel the steel. It was not comfortable,” says Colombo. That’s quintessential Giorgetti, incorporating the latest technology and finest details to create seemingly effortless elegance.

Carlo Colombo


Aside from furniture, Colombo lets on that he is also designing some of the brands’ new Ateliers, including one in Beijing, and another in Guangzhou. The Giorgetti Ateliers are unique Giorgetti showrooms that present the furniture in an intimate atmosphere and curatorial style. Also within is a technical area where customers can learn more about the materials and processes. Recently, The Villa of Space Asia Hub in Singapore, where Giorgetti is housed and where this interview was held, was recognised as the fourth and latest Giorgetti Atelier worldwide, and visitation is only made available via appointment.

Carlo Colombo

The Giorgetti Atelier in Singapore

Clearly, this collaboration with Giorgetti is an exciting one for Colombo. Proof is in the ideas that keep coming. “It’s a nice [relationship] because many projects were born immediately during our meetings. We discuss new ideas and I start to work immediately with the pen… for me, [it’s a great] opportunity because Giorgetti doesn’t have a lot of competitors in the world. It’s unique because the shape, the details, the material, the atmosphere, the elegance is totally different [from other brands]. It’s an icon in the world, no? And I think I can do a good job with it,” he laughs.

Just with the first five simple but exquisite pieces, we can’t help but affirm that he already has.

Carlo Colombo


Space Furniture

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