by Rakks | February 18th, 2011
Rakks President David Greenberg sits down with our client and wonderful Boston- and Ithaca-based architecture firm InTAdesign to talk with founders Manuela Mariani and Sirietta Simoncini!
David: Why did you become interior designers?
Manuela: Having trained as architects in Italy, we take great interest in treating interiors as a nodal resolution of the overall spatial design. We view interior design as an integral part of the profession of architecture. Our comprehensive approach to projects allows us to work at the macro- and micro-levels, switching back and forth from larger scale issues such as site conditions and building envelop, to smaller scale ones, such as finishes and furnishings.
David: How did you decide to found InTAdesign and why did you choose the company name?
Sirietta: InTAdesign was founded in San Francisco in 2003, when we met while serving on the AIA San Francisco International Practice Committee. We were seeking ways to create and foster liaisons between Italy and the US. Drawn by a mutual interest in residential and commercial projects, and a common background in design with careful attention and respect for the built heritage, we realized that founding InTAdesign would allow us to join forces and focus more on what strongly mattered to our idea of practice. The name InTAdesign plays with references to our Italian origins, our international work, and our attention to interiors.
David: How would you describe your company’s approach to projects and your design style?
Manuela: The initial approach to our projects could be synthesized in the word “empathy.” We always start from the client. Listening to his/her needs is the generator of each of our projects—after which we set to work, seeking creative and oftentimes unexpected design solutions. We share with our clients our focus on simplicity, innovation, and sustainability, along with our respect for both traditional and contemporary methods of construction.
David: It was a pleasure working with you on the Italian Cultural Institute project. How did you find out about Rakks and why did you end up choosing us?
Sirietta: The Rakks system offers many alternative solutions for open storage while maintaining a sleek, clean appearance that we prioritize in our interventions. For the Italian Cultural Institute in San Francisco, we produced a simple, contemporary design within a limited budget. Versatility was another reason for selecting Rakks. At the outset of the project, the client expressed desire to potentially change and expand the shelving system in the future. Rakks brackets can be adjusted in their placement, and can easily be substituted if the need arises for a different depth for storage.
David: You recently used Rakks again in a Boston home, the Jamaica Plain Residence. Did your previous experience with us affect your choice?
Manuela: Rakks has always offered us careful support and clear communication, reinforcing our interest in the product. Shop drawings are carefully checked and commented on, production is accurate, and delivery efficient. This was one of the main reasons why Rakks was again our first choice in the Jamaica Plain residence for a hybrid bookshelf system that combines nineteenth-century boards reclaimed from the house and new anodized aluminum components.
The renovation reveals early building elements, such as hand-hewn post and beam details, as it adds a contemporary layer through the application of new materials and new ways of using domestic space.
David: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Before we go, what do you think are the emerging trends for interior design for 2011?
Manuela: One exciting aspect to working on interiors is discovering and employing innovative and sustainable materials. We feel that it is important to go beyond the application of materials and methods that have already been tested, and to be willing to experiment with new products.