UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba: The Mad Balance of Design and Stupidity

The Milanese designer takes us through his creative inspirations and daily life on UNSCRIPTED – an original video series documenting stories that are not scripted yet.

by Zohra KhanPublished on : May 21, 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.

  • Architect and industrial designer Roberto Palomba | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
    Architect and industrial designer Roberto Palomba Image: Massimiliano Sticca
  • Roberto Palomba with his dog | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
    Roberto Palomba with his dog Image: Courtesy of Palomba Serafini Associati
  • A photo of Roberto Palomba from early years of his career | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
    Palomba from early years of his career Image: Courtesy of Palomba Serafini Associati
  • Roberto Palomba at home with his wife Ludovica Serafini and their dog | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
    Roberto Palomba at home with his wife Ludovica Serafini and their dog Image: Courtesy of Palomba Serafini Associati

“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.

  • Ex oil-mill renovation, Sogliano Cavour. 2013 | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
    Ex oil-mill renovation, Sogliano Cavour. 2013 Image: Francesco Bolis, Courtesy of Palomba Serafini Associati
  • Palazzo Daniele, Gagliano del Capo. 2018 | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
    Palazzo Daniele, Gagliano del Capo. 2018 Image: Adrian Guat, Courtesy of Palomba Serafini Associati
  • Argo Collection, Talenti. 2020 | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
    Argo Collection, Talenti. 2020 Image: Courtesy of Palomba Serafini Associati
  • Roberto Palomba’s home in Milan. 2021 | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
    Roberto Palomba’s home in Milan. 2021 Image: Carlo William Rossi + Fabio Mureddu, Courtesy of Palomba Serafini Associati
  • Noli Chair, Zanotta. 2018 | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
    Noli Chair, Zanotta. 2018 Image: Courtesy of Palomba Serafini Associati
  • Birdie Lamp, Foscarini. 2011 | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
    Birdie Lamp, Foscarini. 2011 Image: Courtesy of Palomba Serafini Associati
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. 

We have to start from the beginning if we have to tell a great story: Roberto Palomba | UNSCRIPTED with Roberto Palomba | Interviews | STIRworld
"We have to start from the beginning if we have to tell a great story" - Roberto Palomba Image: Courtesy of Palomba Serafini Associati

“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.

UNSCRIPTED:
Curated by Pramiti Madhavji (Consultant, Content Adviser, STIR), UNSCRIPTED is a STIR-original series of quick-witted video interviews with leading design professionals who give a peek into their undiscovered lives. A melting pot of quests, revelations and quirks, the series releases a new episode every Sunday as designers reveal unheard and unknown nuggets from their lives, in response to 30 questions.  

All photographs © Palomba Serafini Associati. Images may not be downloaded, copied, reproduced, or used in part or whole without obtaining permission. The photographs in this video are not licensed for personal, commercial, or public use, or use in the public domain in any form.

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