Tell us about your background and the establishment of STUDIOFORMA?
Since my childhood, art, architecture, and design have been my source of inspiration. I’ve always seen them as a magnificent way of expressing myself. In fact, I still do. So, I started pursuing my passion as an architecture student in 1992 at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. In the subsequent years after my studies, I worked for roughly two to three years before I founded my own firm, STUDIOFORMA.
In the early stages, STUDIOFORMA was a regular office with a handful of design creations which, thereafter, transcended into bigger architecture projects. Furthermore, my love for luxury and fashion motivated me to collaborate with prominent retail brands, designing various store concepts for them across the globe. At present, we cover the fields of architecture, interior design and product design, which enables us to convey our vision of what design entails.
What elements do you consider as essential when designing a space?
If you are talking about architecture, then light is certainly a paramount design element. The way light floods a building or even how it reveals its characteristics is crucial because light can breathe new life into any space. In relation to light, there are different materials and surfaces that are equally important and can be used to create a desired ambience. Additionally, working with details makes the difference, whether in architecture or interior design. It is also how we express our passion and quality through our work.
What inspires your designs?
Basically, everything inspires our designs, which entails everything I see throughout the day in magazines, on the internet, and in museums. Then colour combinations, textures, materials, spaces and light, to mention a few, inspire me. So, everything in our daily lives serves as a source of inspiration for the designs we create.
Are there any signature design elements in STUDIOFORMA’s work?
I would not say we have a signature design element across all our works. Yet, if I were to point out something, I would say our strongest signature is the quality we deliver in all our projects and how we skillfully combine materials, surfaces, textures, and colours to create volumes and spaces.
Tell us about the life cycle of a project from conception to execution?
I am glad you asked as this is something very particular in our business. The life cycle of a project is quite volatile, depending on the size of a project. In architecture, for example, from the first contact to the execution of a project, it could take roughly three years. The process includes sketching ideas, multiple meetings to bond with the client, then generating and developing concepts in an iterative cycle, searching for appropriate materials and so on. Through it all, my team and I are involved in the process for as long as the project continues.
Any ‘wow’ moments in your career so far?
Of course, we have had many wonderful moments since the firm’s foundation. We have just completed a beautiful retail project — a real gem. It is a luxury piercing studio at Bahnhofstrasse Zurich, one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. We were quite free in the creative process as the client was extremely open to new ideas. Despite it being the first of its kind we have ever designed and executed from scratch with few adaptations, it turned out to be one of our most remarkable projects. It was and is truly an inspiration. Another extraordinary large-scale project is the Hublot Tower in Ginza, Tokyo, which we designed some years back and has a significant meaning for the brand.
How do you source the products, materials and craftsmen for the projects?
Thanks to our experience in the luxury retail market, we have established a significant network of partners in countries such as France, Italy, China, Japan, and Germany. We continuously seek to work with family-owned businesses and, likewise, with huge corporations that offer special materials or products. This is due to the profound savoir-faire these entities have as well as the excellence and high quality they offer to match the principles and philosophy we express in our designs.
How do you hope your designs will impact those who interact with the space?
Our vision is for our designs to offer a higher quality of life to our clients in their environment. Be it by the details, use of light, materials, textures or surfaces, we constantly aspire to evoke a feeling of comfort and satisfaction through the spaces we create and design.
What are important aspects to consider for the future of architecture and design?
Without a doubt, quality, but also the choice of partners one decides to work with and lastly, giving full scope to one’s fantasy. The latter is inevitable despite the many rules and regulations that seem to limit new creations today, especially in architecture. It would be nice to see daring projects across the world in future.
Find out more about STUDIOFORMA and their projects at their website.