Designer Spotlight

CoContest Designer Spotlight: Matteo Pasquini

January 27, 2017
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When did you start your career as architect? How did it evolve?

I graduated in architecture in 2010 and since then I’ve worked as researcher of the 3D Laser Scanning and as architect, especially as interior designer. I co-worked with a few studios of architecture and design, both in Italy and abroad. Also, I have been working as freelance for two years.

Architectonic inspiration: Which one are the designers or studios that you like or that have been inspiring you? Are there any artists, or publications from which you take inspiration?

I could quote thousands references, indeed I always try to “steal” the elements that are more appealing to me, I always look up at some of the most famous ones (e.g. Loos, Scarpa, Aulenti) and some of the great contemporary architects from Nouvel to UNStudio. Being able to use ideas and concept from the background in which you operate is always important; the background is always unique, from a little restructuration to larger project. Sometimes you succeed sometimes you do not.

What is the style that you generally use on your projects? How did you develop it? We have noticed that you created an artistic and easily recognizable style in the 3D renders. What has been your path from the beginning of your first contests (years ago) to where you are now?

I always try to listen to what the client asks and I let myself be inspired by the project, the space’s potential, and a sight from the outside or a detail to develop. I usually like clean lines, contrasts between contemporary and tradition. Applying to a contest (same as with a traditional ones) made me better in drawing and rendering, to communicate clearly the intention of the project. This is essential when you don’t have a face-to-face relationship with the client that judges your work.

How do you think that CoContest is changing the panorama of the interior design?

I think CoContest is a really interesting tool; it’s a platform that helps the supply and demand to get closer in the design’s world. On one hand, it represents a good chance for the clients that receive several offers. On the other hand, it’s a showcase for the designers that can show their talent and compare themselves to other designers worldwide on the same project. Certainly, CoContest is a platform where clients launch contests and they will judge them. In this way, there are no filters. Any big or small studio of architects can apply to the contest.


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Have the customers of CoContest ever contacted you after winning a contest? How was the relationship with the customer? Have you ever seen one of your projects realized?

It has happened only once, so far at least! Luckily, it was the most interesting contest I applied from the beginning. It’s a bar / restaurant; the client contacted me immediately after the award and he sent me his appreciation for the design of the interior. Also, he charged me to develop it up to the executive level. We have established a friendly and extremely fruitful relationship; we managed, in fact, to propose solutions that are functional, beautiful and achievable. Currently, we’re a work-in-progress.

Schermata 2017-01-27 alle 12.22.09What are the differences between the online and offline job as designer?

It isn’t always easy to design “within distance”, following a few indications of the customer and on the basis of some pictures of the space. Despite offering greater creative freedom, we can’t forget that the direct relationship with the customer is vital for the success of the process, both for the analysis and the verification of the spaces. Thus, I believe that the contest should be considered, both by participants and by those who apply to it, as the first step in the selection of the most appropriate solutions, which hopefully should be detailed at a later stage. Unfortunately, the purely planning stage is only a small part of the designer’s work!

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How do you believe that the market of the architecture will change in the future? How much potential can you see in the Internet? In which manner do the client choose between the online and offline service?

I believe that in the era of digital communication and as part of the global market, the system of selection of an architectural project through open contest should be absolutely encouraged and exploited not only by government but also by private clients (as CoContest) in order to increase the quality of projects through participation and competition processes.

What would you suggest that CoContest could improve?

It seems that often the generic term “designer” can confuse, indeed it can include many professions or different types of skills, thus confusing the audience on what the architects really is or does. Verifying the real professional qualification of each designer could maybe help the client during the evaluation, also it could warn him or her about unachievable proposals (both for technical reasons and/or normative) that sometimes I’ve noticed in contests.

Have you seen any project on CoContest that you particularly liked? If yes, which one?

CoContest is full of interesting projects and talented colleagues that I follow with attention and that not always are awarded: obviously my opinion is purely technical, the client’s opinion comes first. Maybe, it could be helpful to insert an option by which architects can rate colleagues on the platform.

What would you suggest that younger architect should do?

Given that I still count myself as “young”, I just want to recall some advices that some time ago were given to me by a colleague and friend: “Always remember that you’ll be chosen for who you are, how you behave and what they transmit in your projects, rather than for your resume. Although then I minimised what he said, I have to admit that this is what it really takes place when you’re a freelance, so never give up, back straight and forward on their way! We have the best job in the world, so let’s defend it and enhance it!

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