Bellissimo Spazio

From urban planning to product design, Stefano Tordiglione ups the creative ante across the region

When you call Stefano Tordiglione Design Limited it’s likely because you’re seeking the multi-disciplinary studio’s perfect marriage of Italian design ideals with local culture in your final product. Naples native Tordiglione is an artist as well as the firm’s creative director, and he talks with Square Foot about what is truly trendy and the thrill of finding design answers.

How did you come to open a studio in Hong Kong? Do you have an Italian office too?
I was actually working in Italy but I needed to experience new energies and trends. Having lived many years of my life between London and New York, it is like having a “bug” inside of you that needs to change place once in a while. Hong Kong is the perfect place to be right now and I am very happy to have been here almost four years. I worked in Hong Kong for a well-known Italian architectural firm for almost two years and then decided to open a studio on my own. We are in partnership with three architectural studios in Italy in Milan, Rome and Bari and we can provide all the services in design and architecture. This makes my studio a one of a kind and really strong in order to work on several big projects at once.

Do you have a specialty or do you work in a variety of spaces?
We tend to work on different areas of design and architecture. We are currently designing residences, restaurants, shopping malls, hotels and a line of furniture (but I cannot mention the brand name yet for marketing reasons). In fact we span a large range as we work very much within the Southeast Asian area. This means that we are everywhere, from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City, passing by Chengdu, Dalian, Shanghai, Bangkok and Manila.

What do you find most challenging about working in Hong Kong’s notoriously small spaces?
The small spaces in retail projects are okay. We just need to be creatively functional, and having worked with retail for a long time, solutions are easier to find. When it comes to residences it is a much more difficult task as we are talking about people living in the apartment and each person thinks differently. There are no rules. So it is much more challenging but fun. Every time is such a personal reward and only those who design can understand the huge effort for an apparently small detail solution that eliminates a big problem.

What’s the biggest problem with design in general in Hong Kong?
I don’t see problems in designing in Hong Kong. The only thing, I really hope to find more clients that are bolder in their choices and leave more freedom to the creativity of the designer. Many want to be similar to this or that brand or to be “trendy” with an apartment they have seen on The Peak. In my opinion uniqueness is the real trend. This is something that, as an Italian, I want to bring here strongly.

What would you like to work on that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
I would love to work on private yachts and private planes. I am waiting.