The Architecture+Design team recently got a chance to interact with Matteo Cibic, Italian trans-media artist, designer and master in luxury fun. He is known for his objects with hybrid functions and anthropomorphic and joyful shapes. Read on tete-e-tete with him…
With the Vanilla Noir Collection for Scarlet Splendor, and for your collaboration with Jaipur Rugs, you presented Indian influences in your own unique style. Tell us about your inspiration for both the collection and the experience?
Matteo Cibic: For Vanilla Noir, I thought to match the decorations of the Florence renascence buildings with black and white marble stripes, with the iconic intricate inlay works of India, in order to create a very sculptural and architectonic furniture that could be produced only by the experienced hands of Indian carpenters and inlay masters. In India and in Jaipur especially you can find a strong visual heritage; many architecture icons are not known around the world. I just used the rugs as tool to share with the world these amazing places. I have been inspired by the Jaipur sundials, the shades of pink, the Mogul miniatures, the Jaipur Palace and Gorka theatre, the water-wells, the flying peacocks and the lakes next to the castles.
What about India/Indian crafts fascinates you the most?
Matteo Cibic: It’s the place where the unimaginable and dreams can turn real as by magic.
Which Indian city inspires you the most? And why?
Matteo Cibic: I love Jaipur because the urban guidelines and the architecture is coherent around the city, the colour pink makes everyone happy and looks like to be in a Wes Anderson movie. The archaeological site of Hampi is huge, silent and mysterious, I just hope it will stay like that and it doesn’t turn into a mass tourist Luna Park in few years.
Very often, you are referred to as a trans media artist. How do you switch from one media to another, and yet leave an indelible signature on each of your designs?
Matteo Cibic: I get bored easily; I need a challenge every day. I like to experiment new production technics, new tools or media, it means taking risk even for the clients that decide to work with me. When you do a research project you never know where exactly you reach and how, that is what keep me alive.
Sustainability seems to be the buzzword these days. Everyone is talking about achieving zero carbon footprint. What are your views on that? Are you also working towards it?
Matteo Cibic: Sustainability is a universe. It’s not an easy topic. In Europe, the social sustainability is somehow regulated for the internal market even though most of raw materials and textile products are sourced in the country where welfare and social responsibility standards are unacceptable for the final consumers.
About the environment and global warming, I believe that only by investing in innovation in new energy production fields, and by changing our diet we could slow down global warming fast.
Plastic is not the problem, it’s much easier to recycle and cost efficient than paper if the waste system is properly organized; the problem is the disposable culture. The take away food package in paper cannot be recycled with the paper, I believe that soon fast food will have to find a better solution. Microplastics in soaps and cosmetic, for example, is poisoning but not very fashionable to talk.
It would be wrong to ask a designer his favourite collection. But I would still ask, which collection has been the most satisfying to work on and why?
Matteo Cibic: I always dream that my next one is going to be the one. Domsai and Donky are my most Iconic sculptures, Vanilla Noir the most iconic collection and Jaipur Wunderkammer my best storytelling project.
Your dream project?
Matteo Cibic: I’m currently working on a big project for a recycle management consortium. Very challenging.
The Dermapolieses Project is so intriguing…tell us more.
Matteo Cibic: It wants to inspire young students to study physics, chemistry and neo-genetics in order to rethink how we will produce and distribute products in the future. Plants or other organic machines will produce products in our houses– such perfumes, hamburger, marshmallow, etc.