architect & designer mariapia ruggerini

When I recently asked architect and designer Mariapia Ruggerini about her favourite place in her home in Modena, she gave me an Italian type of answer. She said, "Marcello [her partner] likes to stay in the studio upstairs and see all of the house - megalomanic. I prefer to sit on the stairs and watch outside the window, the trees - claustrophobic." But there was a lot of sense to what she said - on design, too. She said it was important for architects to add poetry to a space. And Mariapia sited Russian literature and Roland Barthes' Empire of signs as inspirations. I interviewed her for the latest issue of real living. The name of the studio she runs with Marcello is Amorfo, which translates to "formless" in English, and reflects their cross-disciplinary approach.

Which five words best describe you? I would rather be described in five words by someone else. But I think that the words that best describe me are oxymorons, hyperrealist-pragmatic-dreamer, chaotic-essential, and completely incomplete.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started working during the first degree course, every kind of work, from town planning research (collaborating with different architectural offices) to interior design and graphics. Now with amorfo (my studio), I decided to focus on the handcrafted approach to my work. I feel at ease with every order of scale, I mean, it's all a question of proportion (mathematics), harmony (musicality), functionality (engineering) and beauty (art); somebody said that architects are the last exponent of renaissance humanism, they work with both technology and art, I think it is a great challenge.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To be humble and curious.

What’s your proudest career achievement? The publication of my home all over the world but not in Italy. (Nemo propheta in patria...)

What’s been your best decision? To stop studying the pipe organ at 12, and seven years later going to Florence to study architecture. (I believe they are connected.)

Who inspires you? All illogical, taciturn people.

What are you passionate about? It would be easier to list what I'm not passionate about. However - typefaces, empty spaces, Bauhaus, mat objects, neuroscience, books, asymmetry, rust, weed plants, drawing, liquorice.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? All my forefathers. I heard so much about them over the years that they miss me, and the other versions of me in all parallel universes (if possible).

What dream do you still want to fulfill? To solve the Goldbach's conjecture, design a baker's shop and see the polar lights - not necessarily in this order.

What are you reading? The unofficial autobiography of Maurizio Cattelan and The tell-tale brain by Vilayanur Ramachandran.

images courtesy of amorfo