by Zohra KhanJun 04, 2021
"We have to start from the beginning if we have to tell a great story."- Roberto Palomba
The founder of Palomba Serafini Associati – architect and industrial designer Roberto Palomba - shares warm stories from his childhood and student days at the University of Rome on UNSCRIPTED, all along reminiscing the changes that he has seen in himself over the years.
“I am still a child and I hope to remain a child forever. Growing up means losing curiosity, and I am still growing. A designer or a creative cannot grow up. We are like what Peter Pan calls, ‘Children Forever’…” says Palomba, who will turn 58 this year. Having graduated in architecture together with his business partner and wife, Ludovica Serafini, Palomba shares that though people today perceive him as boring and serious (something he disagrees with), he looks back to the time in college, which was "a long party". “When I was in college, I was a disaster. I was an awfully bad student who was partying every night and who didn’t study at all. I don’t know how I have done my graduation,” he says with a hearty laugh. “Later I became very serious. I think you have to live your life in the moment. There is a moment also to be stupid and that for me was a good way to be stupid,” he continues.
I am serious in my job, but I am a very normal person with a special life.
Palomba's creative career defies easy categorisation. Having established his studio in 1994 that straddles between interiors, furniture design, exhibition design, and marketing consultation, it is owing to his approach that doesn’t follow trends and defining styles that Palomba Serafini Associati has made its identity in the global world of design. In the last 25 years, the studio has collaborated with leading bespoke brands such as Zanotta, Foscarini, Poltrona Frau, Bosa, Elmar and Lema, and majority of their products designed since 1994 are still in production. Beyond objects and spaces, the Milan-based practice has also undertaken several architectural projects, of which particularly noteworthy is the recent restoration of Palazzo Daniele - a nine-suite boutique hotel housed in a 158-year-old palazzo in the Italian region of Puglia.
“I try to design feelings and not just useful things,” says Palomba when we ask him what design means to him and what he thinks is the most exciting aspect about his practice. “We have to start from the beginning if we have to tell a great story… Design for me is a starting point to make something bigger".
On UNSCRIPTED, the multiple award-winning designer talks about hobbies that he is addicted to, things he is afraid of, a design advice that he swears by, and how he would like to stir up the future.
Hit the cover video for complete conversation.
Curated by Pramiti Madhavji (Consultant, Content Adviser, STIR), UNSCRIPTED is a STIR-original series of quick-witted video interviews with 30 leading design professionals who give us an undiscovered peek into their lives. A melting pot of quests, revelations and quirks, the series spans 30 weeks with a release every Sunday as designers reveal unheard and unknown nuggets from their lives, in response to 30 questions.