The Design Duo Bringing Discomfort to Classic Interiors

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Dining RoomCourtesy of DIMOREGALLERY / Mazzoleni

Milly Burroughs meets the prolific Dimore Studio, ahead of their new exhibition at Mazzoleni London

Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci are your favourite designers’ favourite designers. The American-Italian pair, better known as boundary-breaking duo Dimore Studio, pull the most creatively articulate of crowds with their interior and design projects. Mostly recently, mobs of design tourists and professionals alike descended on Milan to indulge in the enveloping richness of Dimore’s Salone del Mobile showcase. Their work spans many sectors within the design industry, but the “Dimore DNA” – a potent reflection of the pair’s contrasting classical and contemporary influences – thrives within them all.

Moran and Salci are proudly international, welcoming briefs that see them working on any continent, and this month, in conjunction with the London Design Festival, are set to launch DIMOREGALLERY | (UN)COMFORT ZONE at Mazzoleni London. Each year Mazzoleni invites creative practitioners from the fields of design, fashion or architecture to respond to the gallery’s collection of Italian modern and post-war art. The duo have been inspired by post-war Italian art for many years, and the show will see them reimagine the gallery to “amaze and provoke”. We spoke to Moran about process, growth and the power of juxtaposition.

On collaboration and working internationally
“Most of our work is international. I think the best thing about working in Italy is that we have a supplier base that we draw from, who do all of our projects. We work with artisans there, which I think is an amazing part of what we do – to have that opportunity. But I also think the international clientele gives us a chance to experiment a little more.

“This collaboration with Mazzoleni isn’t the first one we’ve done; we had a collaboration where one of our clients was Fendi, which started in Miami for the design show, which then moved on to the VIP apartment we created for them in Rome. They allowed us to choose some pieces from their collection for us to use in the space. It was all post-war, contemporary and Italian — some of their very important pieces. We got along really well with Davide [Mazzoleni]; we continued speaking and said it would be fantastic if we could do something together. He has an amazing space in Turin and also an amazing space in London. Oddly enough we’re doing several amazing projects in London right now, all in the same area. Once [Mazzoleni] approached us about the design festival we thought this would be a good chance to do something. That’s kind of how this all started.”

On finding inspiration in London
“I always go to the Victoria and Albert museum. I try to go there every time I visit London, I think it’s such an amazing place, I just love the richness of the museum. Emiliano is much more contemporary than I, so we always try to make a visit to the Tate galleries too. I think that is actually very representative of how we are; I’m into more classical things and he is more contemporary. I think that’s why we work so well – we have these different interests, but when you put them together you get a very nice mix.”

On British design influence
“As far as Britishness is concerned, we love that the British have a fantastic way of decorating. We always really admire the way Brits layer so many different things to create a really rich environment, I think that’s one of the things we’ve really drawn from British design – not so much just one designer, but the overall approach to creating a space and creating atmosphere.”

On staying creative and hunting change
“Emiliano is very good at having a wide scope on everything that’s going on, project-wise, and everything that’s going on – I don’t want to say globally, because that’s kind of very pretentious – but he’s very good at knowing what’s happening in terms of trends, particularly in regards to colouring and materials. I think that’s one of the ways we’re able to stay ahead of others, we have a good intuition for what’s going on, and we’re good at observing things. We see that certain things are kind of repetitive, and then we decide that maybe it’s time to make a change, time to use new colours and materials. But it may just be, simply, that we get bored, and are always looking for change.” 

MAZZOLENI INVITES: DIMOREGALLERY | (UN)COMFORT ZONE is at 27 Albemarle Street from September 5 until September 24, 2017