ABOUT ALESSANDRO MUNGE
"I thrive in the unknown, in the never-seen-before and what feels uncomfortable to most is exciting to me. That’s why I love when a client comes to us at the earliest stage of a project. We’re able to influence programming, architecture, landscaping, and interior to create a truly holistic experience that engages and connects human beings."
Today, CovetED has the pleasure of share with you an exclusive interview with the top interior designer Alessandro Munge. Born into a world of design, he quickly transcended his teenage sketches to become one of North America’s most sought-after designers. Through his inquisitive nature and fundamental drive to provoke profound emotion, Alessandro has reshaped the preconceived notions of interior design for over 20 years. “As a first-generation immigrant, I came from very humble beginnings and grew up fast. I never had much to lose, and that made me fearless. Creators need a voice. They have to be curious and brave; it takes courage to question the norm and bring forth uniqueness.” – he stated.
With an innovative point of view earning him over 150 international design awards, including Contract Magazine’s Designer of the Year Award and Interior Design’s Hospitality Design Leader, Alessandro has inspired countless noteworthy projects worldwide, such as The William Vale in Brooklyn and Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver. Strengthening his ties to a host of top-tier hospitality brands and clients, Alessandro continues to establish himself as a multidisciplinary visionary through design architecture, landscaping and product design. His boundless passion for art, culture and travel, inspires his international team of over sixty to sculpt spaces into distinctive, signature experiences that reflect the essence and vibrancy of their inhabitants. “Our responsibility is to give unique design solutions that are honest and relevant. No formula that will force us to do the same thing over and over because, in my world, I call that insanity.” – said, Alessandro.
Asked about what he loves the most about his work, Alessandro Munge made it very clear. “Although my love and passion have been residential and hospitality maybe the better answer is I’ve always been in love with watching human beings within spaces… The colours of walls so to speak never mattered to me as much as the people within the spaces and how they emotionally connect with the environment and each other. Designers have an opportunity and somewhat a responsibility to drive innovation and create uniqueness. I never replicate my projects and starting every project as a blank canvas constantly keeps me engaged and motivated. I thrive in the unknown, in the never-seen-before and what feels uncomfortable to most is exciting to me. That’s why I love when a client comes to us at the earliest stage of a project. We’re able to influence programming, architecture, landscaping, and interior to create a truly holistic experience that engages and connects human beings. We’re then able to deliver a truly unique and powerful project.” – said Munge.
"I have no interest in award-winning projects that fail because they don’t make business sense. I am interested in producing work that is successful. We design with the purpose to help lift communities around the world, creating jobs and opportunities for many."
For Alessandro Munge, the covid-19 crisis was one of the most challenging times in his career. “The latest global health and economic crisis was a challenge like no other that forced us to completely reimagine our workflow and quickly adapt so we could keep moving forward and help our clients around the world. While this physically split our teams, it brought us closer ideologically and allowed us to integrate innovative ways to communicate design. With all my international travels cancelled, I could also spend a lot more time mentoring our studio. As we move forward into a new norm, this challenge reminds us to always stay flexible to an ever-changing world and remain deeply connected as a team.” – he explained.
As long as the interview was progressing, we got more closer to the designer. And at this point we wanted to know a bit more about his achievements in life if he made it all already and what are his main dreams still. “I’ve been blessed with so many opportunities to express my creativity, travelled the world and met so many incredible people, yet I feel like I’ve only just started. There’s a beautiful open road ahead of me I look forward to exploring further. While my business is in hospitality and residential, I still am very curious about other sectors that may come our way. Ultimately, if I’m interested or curious about the opportunities knocking on our door, I’ll decide then and might go for it.” – said the designer.
“For me, success isn’t about fame or money; it is the freedom to do exactly what you want and bring positivity to the world. Professionally, I am laser-focused on control. I often have a clear vision of the emotions I want to evoke and the human experience I want to be developed. I’ve gradually increased our studio’s range of services, including design architecture, landscaping, interior and product design, to control that experience and create a more holistic journey. Being able to express my creativity from all those perspectives is so rewarding and exciting.” – continued Alessandro.
“There’s nothing more fulfilling than witnessing people enjoy our spaces and learning about the lives we touch through design. Whether improving people’s day-to-day in thoughtful residential developments or creating memorable entertaining hospitality experiences, we touch lives through design and support businesses and communities worldwide. I’m so grateful for all of the international design awards we’ve won and the recognition from our peers, but the customer reviews are often what touches me the most. I love seeing beautiful wedding pictures in our venues, comments on restaurants pages. I also love knowing that our clients’ businesses are thriving because it matters. See I have no interest in award-winning projects that fail because they don’t make business sense. I am interested in producing work that is successful. We design with the purpose to help lift communities around the world, creating jobs and opportunities for many.” – said Alessandro Munge
"There are so many trends popping like champagne bubbles. I try to stay away from that distraction and focus on artistry and high-quality craftsmanship. I gravitate towards timeless designs that evoke authentic deeply rooted emotions beyond fading trends because it’s the only way to connect meaningfully with the audience."
Alessandro Munge explained in a very humble way how he communicates with his audience in order to advertise his work. “We are very fortunate to have our work published worldwide in magazines, newspapers, blogs, and social media. But more than anything, the audience connects with our spaces in person. We have created habitat and hospitality experiences for hundreds of thousands. It is great to see what is being shared by the community on social media as they interact with our work.” – said the designer.
Munge is working on some new projects. So we asked what really inspires him to prosecute them. “Many fabulous projects are opening worldwide; each follows a one-of-a-kind design narrative influenced by the local context and more. Some projects have been inspired by real-life personalities or fictional characters, by fashion garments and intricate artworks. Our Park Hyatt in Toronto, for example, is infused with Canadian sensibilities evoking our beautiful seasons and landscapes; in contrast, our Shangri-La in Nanning is inspired by the rich artistry and craftsmanship of the local Zhuang people. There really is no limit to what can inspire us.” – he answered.
In order to understand better the perspective of Alessandro about design nowadays and all the new trends coming from this hard period, the answer was very simple: “There are so many trends popping like champagne bubbles. I try to stay away from that distraction and focus on artistry and high-quality craftsmanship. I gravitate towards timeless designs that evoke authentic deeply rooted emotions beyond fading trends because it’s the only way to connect meaningfully with the audience.”.
His relationship with his clients is very clear and focused in maintain a trusty character. Besides this, Alessandro likes the type of clients who take risks and love unique design. “We always go through a two-way interview process to understand whether a client and our studio will be a good fit. Because our designs are so unique, and we never repeat ourselves, we tend to associate ourselves with brave, fearless clients and developers that want to push the boundaries. We look for those synergies and clients who genuinely desire to bring forth landmark developments that positively impact cities and local communities. Our clientele is exceptionally sophisticated and well-travelled when it comes to our private residences, which I only take on very few because of how involved I get. They are looking for unique architecture and interior design perfectly tailored to their needs. It’s about creating more than a building – an environment and a home that thoughtfully enhance their lifestyle.”
At the moment, the designer is working on other collaborations, but it is all in the secret of the Gods! “There are many exciting creative and business collaborations in the works; unfortunately, none can be disclosed for now. Stay tuned!” – he said. And we will, for sure!
When asked about craftsmanship and who he thinks is leading the way, Alessandro Munge answered, “We’ve created an entire department in our studio specialised in FF&E and the beautiful layers that bring a space to life. They research and connect with vendors all around the world to execute the design vision. Because authenticity matters to us, we love working with local artisans to produce feature items or unique signature finishes. Rather than highlighting one supplier, we end up collaborating with a myriad of talented craftspeople contributing to the various local economies.”.
Keeping in mind this answer, we thought that the last question should be about the future and specifically about what changes Alessandro would like to see in the future of the design. “Technology and computing are evolving very fast, potentially faster than most humans can comprehend. And so, I believe design must be a connecting point, a dialogue and a bridge between yesterday and tomorrow. A thoughtful and compelling user experience, whichever the sector, is the goal and best possible outcome. It’s about making human adaptation and evolution as smooth as possible, about improving living conditions globally so life can be as enjoyable as can be.” – he finalised.