In this intimate interview with Alessandro Munge, discover what makes our firm a unique design partner led by passion and curiosity.
Studio Munge’s quintessential style?
To me, it’s fundamental that what we create evokes something for those who are going to use it, which is why if you ask me if there’s a particular style about our work here, I don’t think I have a clear answer for you. Because, some of the things I’ve admired the most about some of these amazing artists out there, and architects, is that there isn’t one single-minded answer.
There are people that do that. But there are others that are so diversified and so I always want a client to be able to hire me because they think of me like an incredibly talented blank canvass, ready to be able to show them something that they’ve never seen before. And we’re attracting so many more clients like this; they have no idea what we’re going to give them.
They understand that we’re going to give certain things. We have parameters. There are luxury parameters. We don’t know how to do super traditional interiors because we just don’t do that. There are parameters to what we do.
But within those parameters, I feel like our clients are almost like chomping at the bit to see what’s going to come out of this meeting, to see what is my space going to be like because it’s mine and I want to share this with – whoever is going to use the space – whether it’s restaurants or hotels. But it’s going to be unique. And that’s what I feel our responsibility is at Studio Munge is: that we are able to give unique solutions that are right and relevant for our specific clients, that there is no formula that will force us to do the exact same thing over and over and over. Because in my world, I call that insanity.
How does your heritage guide your designs?
I think that being Italian maybe has allowed me to connect to the emotional side. Culturally, I think we’re very emotional. I think we’re very – you will probably see constantly that I’m always gesturing and almost kind of grab something that’s in the air that doesn’t even exist, but yet I can feel it, right? There’s an emotion there and there are sensibilities to beautiful things.
Studio Munge’s favorite materials?
I tend to lean towards the two key materials in my palette which is always stone and wood. What happens is: we’re able to manipulate those natural materials in a way that evoke emotion, that exudes kind of like a flavor to a space and add to it in a very, very organic way and a very dramatic way. We have control of it. Like we can take stone in the traditional sense and bring it from vertical to horizontal or from horizontal to vertical. We can play with that and texture it from flamed to polished to honed, to hammered, and get a completely different emotion out of that specific material.
What makes a project successful?
We’re often told that our interiors have a certain emotion to them. They can’t really understand it. To me, that’s a successful project because you’re feeling something rather than just judging the colors of the floors, the colors of the walls or the decorative chandelier, whatever it is. I think there’s beauty to understanding something deeper than just color and tone. There’s something beautiful that happens when I watch people react within our spaces, emotionally react within our spaces.
How do projects come to life?
I have visions. I have ideas. But I know I need these amazing talents around me in order to make them come to life and it doesn’t happen with me at my desk by myself, but it happens because I have surrounded myself with some of the most talented people. I think in our city. I think globally as well.
Where do you find inspiration?
In our world of design, we’ve often been told that our work is very international. I think it happens because of my love and passion for this world. And I have no interest in staying put within the four walls; I have to jump on a plane, I have to go to different cities. I don’t mind traveling 5 hours or 50 hours on a plane. I don’t really care as long as it takes me to a destination that I’m able to store something, store a memory, store texture, store a moment that will inspire me to be able to give back through three-dimensional space.