Design studio Mandalaki on innovation, digitization & tradition as a legacy 

Whether concept car made of 80% recycled plastic or a micro-home, the Milan design studio Mandalaki is on the pulse of the times

mandalaki
Image source & copyright Mandalaki Studio, Biró O2 Concept Car 80% recycled plastic and 100% electric

Mandalaki was founded by three friends who were in the Industrial design School: The studio combines analytical research and technical know-how with a love of design to Products to create that enrich everyday life. Essence and Funktionalität are their main driving forces, as shown in each of their creations. We met the trio for you and talked about design & innovation.

1. How can design influence our personal lives and could it be an engine for social change?

Design can do a lot for our daily lives, good design makes objects user-friendly and responds to real needs. Good design enriches life with objects that are clear, essential and durable, and thus environmentally friendly.

2. How do you combine the three aspects of form, material and process when designing new objects? What comes first and how do they play together?

The most important guideline when designing is that the object should be beautiful and correct. And the word "right" is key. First, let's consider whether we want to get an object right for the user. This is how we define a milestone such as ergonomics, features, etc. Second, we define what is right for the customer and which process is best to achieve the milestones we have defined. The final shape should be the result of the maximum simplification of complexity.

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Myeki Ring charging and lighting station
3. Tell us something more about your collaboration with Birò and the Rossana Orlandi Gallery in the project Biro O2?

Rossana Orlandi is a pioneer in the design industry, but also a pioneer in the preservation of the planet. For this reason, we have presented a pilot project for the Ro-Galerie, which aims to take a step forward in electromobility. A car that is 100% electric and 100% made from recycled plastic. She was enthusiastic about the project and decided to use the first vehicle during the design week 2019.

4. Do you exclude beauty and functionality in your opinion?

I believe that beauty and functionality are relative for each person, something beautiful and functional for one person is not the same for another person. Also, I think that things that are well made to work well and made with good materials can't be cheap. We should have fewer things, but these things should last a long time. This way more people can own a “quality product”.

micro cabine

Monocabin a micro house designed by Mandalaki Studio
5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

At night. when everything is quiet and I can simplify all the complexity.

6. How do you combine tradition and future in your design?

Tradition is a great heritage that we must protect and explore. In our work it is very important to understand tradition, but also culture. Only in this way can we design products that are integrated into the present and the future.

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7. What does luxury mean to you and how does sustainability go hand in hand?

For me, luxury means: time, space, contact with nature, the opportunity to travel and live in a comfortable environment. It has nothing to do with things, but with experience. In a sense, the importance of luxury moves towards sustainable living.

8. What do you see when you imagine our world in 2050? And how will the design industry change over time?

In the future, most of the design will be related to digitization. Just as there were so many physical objects to design in the 60s, more and more digital scenarios will have to be defined in the future and the design will have an enormous impact. Traditional design is not going to die out, but there will be a tremendous evolution out of which new design sectors related to the digital world and services will emerge.

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