11 July 2016 / Architecture & Design

The triumph of jungle style

This spring everything went green, from fashion to furniture, with tropical motifs on fabrics, accessories, wallpaper and more.
From green style to Urban Jungle was just one, short step! And now this combination of street and animalier stylesis dominating world fashion.

Urban Jungle style is currently the focus of entire collections, houses and hotels - like the “25 Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin”, situated just a stone's throw from the Tiergarten park in West Berlin - and one of the tiles they have used is from our twin-fired collection, Mash-Up.

This collection is deliberately constructed on monochrome backgrounds (in a single 30X60 format) to let the user's imagination run free. Waves, diamonds, stripes, and rhythmic geometrical patterns create intriguing colour combinations that light up the Mash-Up Jungle with reds, yellows and greens.

But what are the must-haves for the Urban Jungle trend?

A heavy dose of green in all its various tones, furniture and accessories in natural materials, lush tropical plants, like anthuriums and orchids… and above all - in our opinion - a heavy dose of irony.

We asked Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba, the talented Italian designer. Malerba is currently becoming more and more popular - in Italy and abroad - thanks to his creations that fuse sculpture and design into a totally new, and often ironic, format.

Having worked on Luisa Via Roma's Design on Water at the Pitti Uomo tradefair, and the Design Week's Fuorisalone before that, Malerba's latest works continue to enchant and amaze.
We met him on his return from China where he presented his Seletti-produced “Monkey Lamp” - an item that confirms his interest in the animal world and adds a distinctive Jungle flavour to his work.

The Monkey Lamp is a piece from 2015, Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba told us.
«I really enjoyed creating this piece, because it allowed me to bring the process of classical sculpture to the world of design …».

«I didn't start from a design, and I didn't use design tools. I simply focused on the idea of monkeys stealing lamps and walking around the house with them… I identify closely with the animal and vegetable dimension and this natural aspect is in all my work, it's obvious for me…».

«If there were no reference to nature, in the shapes and colour of my work… if there were no poetic references to nature and our past, then there would be no reason for me to do these things. I need these elements, and when I have to picture something, I try to picture its ultimate expression, and the jungle does that in a very powerful way.»

«It would be fantastic if every object had a vegetable explosion, so you could have a philodendron poking out from an armchair or a fern from a table …In “Ordinary Jungle” (the armchair in the photo), I wanted to stimulate people's imagination, and evoke an ordinary, everyday Jungle that would be great if it were all around us.»

How would you define your work and your creations?

«It's a way of being. I need to keep my imagination fired, as if it were a game.
As it is my imagination that lights up the enthusiasm that gives me vitality.»

«My designs are always a bit out of time, anachronistic and retro… they're not trendy because they simply follow the logic of a given situation. There is no study. There is no research. Everything starts from an idea that just pops into my head - a kind of intuition.»

«And I live the enthusiasm that comes from that idea. It's as if I set that wonder in my head and then I work backwards to find what I need to recreate it. It's a bit like a woman who believes in love and wants to fall in love … so things happen because they are influenced by her state of mind.»

«I focus on that wonder and I turn what I see around me upside down …
It sometimes takes me months to understand how to recreate that idea. And I do it, by respecting the idea, and trying to remain faithful to the enthusiasm I had at the beginning, even as time goes by.»

What can't be missing in jungle style interior design?

«Plants, certainly, and incredible wallpaper… The main colour is green, then there are light-coloured wooden furniture and sculptures…».

«Your eyes need to be filled with beauty, different materials and natural references that help you can combat any negativity.»
Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba

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