Carlo Donati is one of the hottest designers of the moment, with amazing designs that feel incredibly original, unique, and fantastically intense! Donati’s inspirations range from amazing architectural landmarks to Italian design references of post-war modernism, as well as abstract scenography and the world of cinema. Combining these amazing elements creates incredibly smart, bold, and outstanding works that not only impress, but also award a comfort that is unlike any other one’s ever felt!
Home’Society is a collective of brands, such as BRABBU, Maison Valentina, and Rug’Society, that aims to give a complete solution to everyone willing to create unique interiors within the modern contemporary style. Born from Home’Society desire to explore all things interior design, Design Talks includes interviews with leading architects, interior designers, and showrooms to discover and discuss what’s trending and the whole creative process of any project. Carlo Donati was the guest of the second edition of Design Talks. With an extensive curriculum and experience in several countries, Carlo Donati Studio is a reference in interior design, not only in Italy but also worldwide.
The adaptation to the history, style and materials of each location is also a highlight of his work, as exemplified by his projects in the Aeolian Islands, Maldives and Saint Moritz. As Carlo Donati states, “each project has to be unique, we are focused on doing bespoke furniture and design unique pieces of furniture for every house”.
Carlo has started his career by working for a couple of important firms in architecture in Milan, such as Studio Berlgiojoso and Studio Gregotti. He then moved to the United States and started working as an architecture consultant for Gianni Versace. Although he refers to Versace style as pretty much different from his own, it was indeed a design reference due to its boldness and creativity.
Gio Ponti, Osvaldo Borsani, Franco Albini, Italian design references of the post-war modernism, as well as Mies van Der Rohe, the abstract scenography by Bob Wilson and even the interiors of movies like the ones of Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino are other of the multiple sources of inspiration expressed in Donati’s design style, that he defines as “contemporary but with deep roots in the past”.
The pool of Nero Mediterraneo and the entrance of Loft A, some of his most recent projects, have Kubrick as the main reference, with futuristic interiors and a floating entrance with a flowy space.
After this experience in the USA, Carlo has proceeded to the creation of its own firm – Carlo Donati Studio, working as well for other brands like Aldo Coppola, Liberty of London, Linea Più and Colefax & Fowler.
Attention to detail, a careful choice of colors and textures, and unexpected combinations are common threads the Studio uses throughout all its work. Projects with personality and that express the local style and materials are one of Carlo Donati’s specialities
An example of that may be found on a resort of the Maldives islands, where the roofs of the houses are in the shape of a sail and made of palm thatch or the use of black volcanic stone in a villa nearby the Eolie Islands.
Whether it is residential design, villa, or even commercial projects, the Studio is regarded as one of the most renowned experts not only in Italy but also worldwide.
Despite this, Carlo does not hesitate to confess that if he could only do one kind of project until the end of his career, he would choose hotel and resorts, because of the possibility to design for multiple clients, encompassing different tastes and styles, at a more balanced pace.
Carlo Donati Studio is also responsible for the artistic direction of the Slowear fashion brand and is now developing the new retail concept and design of several stores and showrooms, in Italy and abroad, from Tokyo to New York, London, Beirut and Hong Kong. It aims to be much more than another store, but rather an experience of Italian lifestyle, where the client can take its time, breathe the atmosphere, listen to good music and have a glass of wine (Italian wine, of course) and eventually at the end buy some clothes. This is a philosophy that aims to changes fast fashion.
Every project is unique and includes the design and production of bespoke furniture
In order to avoid standardization and assure that each project reflects a strong personality, Carlo Donati has created his own design furniture line. Craftsmanship is a keystone of this process. Italy presents a well-known tradition of craftsmanship, with some of the best artists of the world, ready to tackle challenging projects and to deal with different materials.
Carlo refers as well the expertise of Portuguese artisans and highlights some of the Home’s Society products he believes to be a good match for the Studios’s Style, such as LURAY side table, KOI rug, GOBI rug and MURSI rug.
When it comes to favourite trends, Carlo refers that after many years of minimalism and now as a decade of maximalism, also because of the COVID and all this period we are passing through now, people are now in need of spaces that can be more fluid and flexible.
Just to conclude the interview, Carlo Donati has left an advice to all designers: being curious about the world, open-minded and courageous to try things.
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