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Italian designer MARCANTONIO RAIMONDI MALERBA has paved a path in the design industry thanks to his unique approach to design. His projects are a masterful mixture of art, design, sculpture and nature itself.  Malerba’s portfolio features collaboration with noted Italian brands such as Mogg, Nodus, FoDe and Seletti to name a few. For the latest issue he sits down for an interview with Design SCENE Magazine‘s editor KATARINA DJORIC to talk about beginnings, starting a project and future plans.


Can you recall how or why you became a designer?

Well, I have always been a dreamer, one who preferred to imagine things rather than to focus on what surrounded him. Later, I found out I was pretty able to mould what I had in mind. So I started to create things by myself and I have never stopped since then. I can’t remember exactly when it all started but I do recall that when I was a child I used to take toys apart to understand how they worked with their joints and their hidden mechanisms. I reassembled them according to my “experimental” criteria, only afterwards. That was the real game to me!

I have always been very curious; we are all curious we just have to figure out about what.

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Where do you seek design inspiration?

Inspiration is something unpredictable. Let’s just say I’m always waiting for being inspired and surprised by myself. This attitude creates an intimate listening, and the idea often comes if you are ready to recognize it and grasp it. Ideas lie everywhere, in the cinema, in the restaurant, with friends, on vacation or while you’re working on something else… And that is the real work. I like to explore recurrent themes in my works like nature, mankind, our habits and our references. These are all topics that invite us to reflect as they affect all of us.

How would you describe your work? What is your design philosophy?

Undoubtedly, my work as a designer is totally influenced by my artistic career. Art played a key role in my tuition, teaching me how an idea could be elegant. Nowadays there’s much attention to this kind of creativity combining two seemingly different worlds, namely Art and Design. I like to mix together these two worlds and in my case they’re complementary. I think that design can be art, it all depends on the final context but I’m not interested in design without artistic concept.  I love thinking about my work as a direct continuation of what I used to do when I was a child, playing with everything I found and creating what my mind imagined.The design objects I create must be strong and simple at the same time, they’re supposed to create an atmosphere and be a little magical. They must tell a story, perhaps ironically and in a very direct way like images which are explaining themselves in a second.


When starting a new project how do you begin the process. Do you traditionally start with sketches?

When I have an idea, this always starts with an artistic vision and not by projecting. In the industrial production, it is obviously complex to translate the artistic aspect in the serial object butthis is the challenge. I’m very inflexible about this issue because the identity of an idea often lies in this artistic aspect which is not possible to change.

What part of the process excites you the most?

Every part of the process is important: ideation, researching, prototyping and presenting the project to the public.  You can learn something new in every phase. However, it is the initial idea that gives you the energy to develop the project.


How long does it take to develop a product?

Sometimes it takes only a few months, but sometimes it can take years: I have been trying to accomplish the realization of a lamp with one company for the last 3 years and it might happen that we will never succeed… Nevertheless, some other objects that I have designed for that same company have been realized within only a few months! 

What do you do in your spare time?

I barely have any free time but when I have a tiny bit, I do nothing but random things!

via Rocca 50 46019 - Viadana - MN - Italy

What is your dream project?

Art is the biggest challenge for me and my big dream. I take art very seriously, so every time I create a new piece or a new exhibition I’m very tense, full of insecurities and expectations. It’s not like this for everyone, I have friendsartists who make art to relax or to get better with excellent results. it’s very challenging for me, in the choices, in the study of the subject, very often I like to reach realistic effects and this is hard. But design has helped me to make art in a lighter way and to appreciate a simple solution.

What are you currently working on?

At the moment I am working on a lamp and on a collection of plates. I am also creating four sculptures for a gallery in Paris.

What is next for you?

Just wait and see! I plan to continue like this. I’d like to create works of art of great format that I designed.



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