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[Herald Design Forum 2023] Italian architect, designer Cristina Celestino discusses importance of relationships in design

Sept. 19, 2023 - 15:47 By Park Ga-young

Italian architect and designer Cristina Celestino, the founder of the Italian brand Attico Design, talks during the Herald Design Forum 2023 at the Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Italian architect and designer Cristina Celestino, delivering a presentation titled “Intertwining Beauty and Sustainability: From Color to Materiality” at the Herald Design Forum 2023 at the Shilla Seoul on Tuesday, discussed how the design and planning of spaces stem from the relationships established in the design process.

These relationships involve engagement with local history and culture, and a collaborative partnership with skilled local artisans, she told the audience.

Celestino, the founder of the brand Attico Design, said she always takes the broader context of intellectual, cultural and material coexistence into consideration, adding that she tries to incorporate landscape into her interior designs.

When working for a hotel in a coastal city in Italy, she collaborated with an artisan specializing in a tile called Thalassa, which she used in her designs.

"Wherever I work and whoever I work with, I research the local history in depth and work with skilled artisans, because regional character is a very important factor," she said.

"I learned a lot by working with established brands and local artisans ... I put my utmost (into creating) even small items," she said, sharing her philosophy.

“Scenografica," terracotta cladding for Fornace Brioni (Mattia Balsamini)

A graduate of the IUAV School of Architecture in Venice, Celestino, 43, created Attico Design and established her studio in Milan in 2013.

Works by Celestino and her studio range from residential, hospitality and commercial projects to creative direction and product design.

Celestino has been featured in prominent publications, including in the AD 100 best designers list, Domus, Elle Decor, Wallpaper, AD, Ideat and Vogue. In 2016, she was conferred the special jury prize at Salone del Mobile, and in 2022, she was given the best designer of the year award by Maison & Objet.