Why Studio Tropicana? The name of the studio expresses our way of thinking, because we firmly believe that sharing a vision is the basis of progress. Studio Tropicana is the expression that defines our continuous state of balance between the reality we live and the futuristic vision of the reality we dream of. It stems from our working experience and daily life.The concept of integration has radically changed in recent years, enriched by the idea of Melting pot, closer to our generation. Integrating into a culture different from yours is a way for us to generate the unexpected. Different lives, experiences and cultures blending together to create new unexplored and surprising projects.Tropical is a vice, it is a way of thinking, approaching and studying life, where it is possible to see the impossible in the possible, a method of designing the unexpected beyond physical and non-physical limits. Studio Tropicana is our vision of the future.
What does a typical client ask for? Through Studio Tropicana we manifest our intention to shape a space “that is not there yet.” As Creatives it is our task to imagine places that do not yet exist and make them real through the construction of the complex relationship between the designer, the client and the work itself. Our enterprising clients ask us to create ambitious and brave projects for them, and often at the first meeting we like to displace them. We present them with our vision, putting sometimes aside mathematical data and constructive feasibility, without any filters…. We like to provide visionary scenarios to broaden horizons. We manage to do this by constantly questioning ourselves. Our design approach is based on continuous research and experimentation, in order to find answers to the questions we are constantly asking ourselves in and out of the creative process. This is our starting point to begin a project, a provocative creative process, to destroy and then to rebuild together. To make a project is for us building a relationship made of balances and harmonies. Cold fusions do not exist, and after all, we like to move in a tropical climate.
Where do you see yourselves in five years? Definitely in the middle of our tropical journey, between German Switzerland, to which we are very close, and Italy where our origins are … and maybe even a little further. Professionally, we grew up in Basel where we have lived and worked for 10 years now. Needless to hide how much our experience in the firm Herzog & de Meuron, Pritzker Prize for architecture 2001, has formed us professionally. In Switzerland, the architect has a fundamental role within society; he is a recognized professional to be trusted and confronted with. This is an aspect that perhaps in Italy has been lost over time, transforming our profession to an almost decorative and stereotyped assignment according to the example of Italian Archistars who little compare themselves with the international Architectural scene. Contributing to the CHANGE is what we imagine for us and for the whole generation of creative people who constantly find themselves in a precarious balance between what they have learned abroad and what they can achieve in their home country. Here, in 5 years, we want to shorten the distance between these two worlds, create bilateral relationships based on the mutual richness of these two realities that belong to us, and lay the foundation for a new tropical vision.
Which Artists have influenced your illustrative and architectural side? The inspiration to start a new project comes from mixing different disciplines. We like to complete the illustrative process by re-constructing the context behind the story by bringing together music, film, graphic arts and architecture.
In the project “The Domestics” for example, the choice to illustrate some houses rather than others was driven by the desire to research what was behind the story of the ‘work made. As in the case of Dante Bini’s “Dome” designed for Monica Vitti and Michelangelo Antonioni. In fact the house was inhabited only for the brief period of their love affair and then abandoned. The idea of illustrating “the Dome” was inspired by watching the film “The Adventure” directed by Antonioni. In one scene the Architect Sandro asks Claudia, played by Monica Vitti: “shall we get married” ? and Claudia, answers a dry” No”… here is the unconventionality of the time that was probably also breathed in the Vitti-Antonioni house and that left this Villa to its inexorable fate. Villa Donegani is another example. It is 1940 and as Italy is about to enter the war; Guido Donegani commissions Gio Ponti to design his summer residence in Bordighera. With the video that accompanies the illustration we wanted to imagine the carefree nature of an Italian summer in the ‘unawareness of what would happen in the following years.
This mixture of Cinema, music, architecture and illustration are the basis of our work both as illustrators and as architects. Among the Artists we esteem we should mention Alessandro Gottardo, whose work has played a fundamental role for us. His illustrations tell hidden stories that are revealed by imperceptible details that suddenly open the vision to other scenarios. Our graphic approach has been deeply influenced by his key to interpretation and especially his love for details understood as clues leading to other possible places. We would also like to mention Olimpia Zagnoli whose geometrically clean and colorful illustrations have certainly inspired our way of illustrating architecture. For architecture the list would be endless…. Albini, Galfetti, and so many others…undoubtedly Gio Ponti occupies a special place because of his multidisciplinary nature and willingness to expand his vision into all fields.
For contemporary architecture, we cannot hide the great influence of Herzog & de Meuron in the development of our creative process. Their passion for continuous research and experimentation where every line drawn has a precise meaning and is the result of a deeper analysis. It is no coincidence that we dedicated ” Blue House” also accompanied by a clip from Jacques Tati’s film, ” The House of the Future”…., a subtle dedication to those who in those years, with a simple blue façade, would forever change the world of architecture. To all of them we owe the love of research, the curiosity to push the envelope, and the ability to be visionaries.
Studio TROPICANA is actively present in Switzerland and Italy.
Hebelestrasse 109 4056 Basel Switzerland
mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Martina@studiotropicana.net