I had the enormous pleasure to have a talk with Chiara Di Pinto and Arianna Lelli Mami, the two Italian designers behind Studiopepe.
Trendland, an outstanding online magazine, gave me the chance to meet Studiopepe, and now it’s finally online. Here’s just few questions, but I assure you’ll really enjoy reading the full article on TL pages.
TL: I know that there’s an interesting story behind the beginnings of Studiopepe that starts in Milan and ends in Mexico! Can you tell us about it?
Chiara Di Pinto: How did you know?! Yes, Arianna and I attended the same university in Milan and studied industrial design at the Politecnico. We knew each other, both worked as assistants in the university, but we were not close friends. After graduation we both went on vacation to Mexico – not together – and in a very small town on the Pacific coast, where there’s really nothing outside of the hammocks, we met by chance! We did the rest of the trip together, and once back in Milan we decided to try to collaborate, and that’s how the editorial of the rebus for Case da Abitare was born. And then it was even chosen for the cover! It was great! Everyone told us it was not the right time to start something, but we went on, and since then many things have happened! We were very lucky to have met there; probably if we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have started to collaborate, or at least not in that very moment.
TL: According to you, what is it that creates irony and magic in your works?
CDP: We always try to reveal the unexpected without being forceful. A project can be something very correct and clean, but must have that “unusual spark” to create the unexpected. All the elements – the colors, the objects, and the furniture – put together give this sensation. I don’t see these elements as pieces of furniture, I perceive them as forms, from a geometrical point of view, that can be displayed together. I think that magic comes also from the differences between me and Arianna.
First we talked about being fluid, even issues and inconveniences related to that. They give you the extra push to do something you normally wouldn’t do, because we wouldn’t seek an alternate solution, a plan B, which then becomes the detail that marks the difference. We’re something like funambulists!
TL: Chiara, if you would have to make a styling project representing Arianna, what would you use?
CDP: Arianna is black&white. And a compass table by Jean Prouvè – rigorous but soft and sophisticated.
TL: Arianna, design objects and common things that best describe Chiara?
ALM: One of the nicest things you need to know about Chiara is that she never gives up, she’s always ready to try to do things even if they’re absurd. She is very good with DIY, she manages to put pieces together to create geometrical shapes. So, rather than a specific object, I choose “materials”: colors, tools, all these things that are used to build, a sort of an ‘ABC of creativity’.