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Park Associati

— Michele Rossi, founder


Park Associati was founded in 1999 by Filippo Pagliani and Michele Rossi. The firm's activities range from architecture, to interior and product design. [Their] aim is to look at each project with an experimental approach. [They] enjoy putting together groups of specialized professionals to research and to answer complex design challenges on every scale. ... Park Associati's philosophy is to research innovation in every project, concentrating on materials and the opportunities offered by new building technologies, lighting and multimedia applications.

Each concept is developed paying special attention to historical and environmental issues, and to the development of techniques relating to sustainable architecture.

-excerpt from

Interview Ideas

  • Specialization in innovation: Park Associati does not specialize in a single subject or scale -- instead they operate with many subjects and scales in order to be able to inform processes across their work, enabling them to compete with more specialized organizations because of the unique perspective they bring.
  • Collaboration as means to knowledge integration: facilitating a breadth of subjects and scales requires either gurus with unmatched knowledge, or, as is the case with Park Associati, following a process of collaboration that includes many highly specialized individuals organized to respond to a diverse set of problems.
  • Italians are shifting to a global perspective: Italy has been evolving through a shift from a provincial to an international point of view -- understanding that designers, and now, manufacturers need not be your neighbors -- that if you structure your organization appropriately you can collaborate rather than compete internationally with manufacturing and design.
  • Cities are a dialogue platform: each age has the capacity to add to a city, each is worthy, cities should not be a time-capsule preserving them in untouchable states -- municipalities need to open up to more contemporary work.
  • Technology for communication: technology should not be used gratuitously, instead it should help communicate the values of a project -- Park Associati's interest in the use of technology includes use as a material and communicating brand values.

Video/Key Quotes

  1. Richness and Diversityopen link
  2. Milan as an Innovation Centeropen link
  3. Milan as a Contemporary Cityopen link
  4. The Future of Milanopen link
  5. Collaboration Brings About Different Thinkingopen link
  6. Technology as a Materialopen link
  7. The Purpose of Technology in Designopen link
  8. What Makes a City Excitingopen link
  9. Insider's Perspective on Living in a Historical Italian Cityopen link
  10. Being an Architect In Italyopen link
  11. Internationalization and New Forms of Authorshipopen link
  12. Staying Creativeopen link

What We Learned

Young Italian designers and architects are growing increasingly aware that simply being Italian is not enough. This is evidenced by the decreasing trend of Italians leaving Italy to develop a reputation, internationally, as an Italian designer or Italian architect. Instead, this generation of designers and architects are working abroad either through international contracts or in the employ of established firms. They are developing an international view of design.

Challenged by continued competition from their predecessors, this generation is rejecting the idea that a design artifact is created -- is authored -- by a single designer. Instead, they embrace the ability for a collective to respond to design opportunities by bringing a diversity of views and experiences. The hope is to develop innovative solutions to design situations that have otherwise been treated as routine. These collectives seek out new markets and contexts, not only to increase revenue, but with the explicit intention of being able to assimilate knowledge and strategies that they bring to new markets and contexts again.

Park Associati demonstrates this through the way they work and the projects they seek out. They are embracing the benefits that a rich portfolio affords, and have developed strategies to mitigate the confusion it can cause potential clients. Park Associati's professional and innovative process is yielding increasing success for the organization. Additionally, working with these new strategies has afforded them an insightful perspective on how Italy can survive within the global village and remain a center of innovation.