Samuel & Dominic Amoia

The NY based Amoia brother duo, is taking the stage of this issue to present their innovative and bold approach to furniture and design, a combination of Samuel’s vision for design, colour, texture and furniture with sculptor Dominic’s conceptual use of materials, and original casting process.


From the exploration of the geometry and the iconic twentieth design, they developed the new collection MINERALITY, re-contextualizing form and function with materials that are not in the traditional canon.

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Malachite, Amethyst, and Pyrite have never been thought of as materials for furniture, but with a unique casting process that also fuses more traditional materials such as cement or plaster, they create bespoke pieces like nothing else before. Washing and crushing all of the stones themselves, respecting the precious energy qualities of these rare minerals, giving a family labour of love and collaborative energy to create these incredible artisanal and one of a kind pieces.

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Singapore Design Hub


Last year Singapore celebrated its 50th anniversary and the international design arena is looking at Singapore as the undisputed Asian Design hub. Smart Living went to discover what are the key factors of Singapore’s international success in Architecture and Design.


Singapore has faced different challenges since his independence: massive growth, unrelenting urbanisation, demographic changes followed by traffic congestion and significant climate changes. But the Lion City has succeeded in creating great urban environment with a right balance between the preservation of his heritage and his skyline evolution, becoming evengreener, smart and alluring.


Patina Hotel @ The Capitol

This has attracted increasing foreign investments, tourists and global workforce. The city has evolved from Asian mecca for arts and design, into a global city for architectural trends, where design innovation have driven the economic growth and enhanced the quality of life. Today Singapore has a big concentration of creative studios, museums, design and architectural firms. Art dealers and performing arts companies are also prevalent here.


Singapore seamlessly hosts historic buildings and inspiring contemporary landmarks. From the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum to the Learning Hub (The Hive) by Heatherwick Studio. From the Old Supreme Court Building to the Art Science Museum of Moshe Safdie. From the beautifully preserved colonial architecture of the Raffles Hotel, to the upcoming mixed-use developmen DUO designed by Ole Scheeren and the MarinaOne designed by Christoph Ingenhoven. Powerful icons and conduit of artistic and  creative energy.


The ArtScience Museum by Moshe Safdie © William Cho


DUO by Ole Scheeren © Buro-OS

The attention for the heritage, did made shine some ancient buildings, reinventing and reuse    them in new ways, such us the former Traffic  Police headquarters at Maxwell Road reused to host the Red Dot Design Museum. Or the iconic Capitol Theatre that will become one of South-east Asia’s largest single screen cinema, with approximately 800 seats, and will host an in-house theatre and dance productions, surrounded by a luxurious Residences, the six-star hotel The Patina and a premier lifestyle shopping and dining destination.

Red Dot Design Museum Singapore © Shenghung Lin

Red Dot Design Museum Singapore © Shenghung Lin

In Singapore, the inspiration hides around every corner, which fits with his reputation of Architecture and Design Hub.


Smooth lines

Hi-Macs by LG Hausys is a new generation of acrylic stone that bring versatility and purity to a multitude of projects.

Smooth lines and seamless transitions reflects the latest trends in interior design, creating an attractively soft visual effect and a stylish final result.

Hi-Macs allow interior designers to create harmoniously unified ensembles for new interpretation of modern environments by breaking down barriers integrating both architectural and furniture into a single continuous structure and adding an organic- looking with a strong visual impact.

HI-MACS adapts to many ideas, is able to shape even the most ambitious projects, and is able to provide additional passion to designs with highly emotional effects.





is a new hand-made art piece designed by the renowned Korean architect Shi-hyung Jeon from Jeon Associates, created reproducing the extraordinary smooth curved shape of the Horn.







The smooth and clean lines of the new collection Vitrum Sense, showcase how nature can inspire smart technologies.





Sinuous silhouettes and an entirely innovative ergonomic design for the Karim Rashid’s Karan kitchen by Aran Cucine.





curved shapes sweep upwards to meet very functional horizontal surfaces in this kitchen designed to show the material benefits of HI-MACS® by LG Hausys.



Michael Young

Michael Young

Michael Young was born in 1966 in Sunderland, a small industrial city in the North-East of England, and graduated from Kingston University in 1992. The following year, he founded the Michael Young Studio with the aim of providing exclusive, quality design services across an eclectic range of markets – from interiors to technology.



Hacker Watch


Over the past 20 years Michael Young has established himself as one of the leading international figures in his field. The unique nature of his work stems from his constant questioning of typologies and habits, combined with his innate passion for technology and his driving desire to discover new ways to reinterpret space.



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Michael Young quickly came to the attention of revered retailers and institutions such as the Conran shop and the Pompidou Museum. He became known in the industry as a sophisticated minimalist acclaimed for his elegant, pared-down aesthetic design, which was in direct opposition to the elaborate style dominating London at the time.
After nearly a decade working across the UK and Iceland, Michael was enticed to Asia by his passion for pioneering technology, and in 2006 set up a studio in Hong Kong. Today the Michael Young studio is considered to be one of the most exciting and formidable design companies, responsible for designing icons for its clients that last a lifetime, have won awards and are presented in museums globally.



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Michael Young continues to push the boundaries of experimental design. The result is work that transcends design by harnessing some of the highest and most innovative manufacturing skills to create Industrial Art.



Homune Table


Michael Young’s vibrant imagination and his continued ability to innovate and take a fresh approach to a seamless blending of east and west is what keeps his work relevant and increasingly sought-after across all continents.



Diamond Filter


“It is Design as Industrial Art that interests me, not just as a limited edition, but on a scale of mass production.”


Interview: Marco Piva’s vision on Sustainable Design

Exciting, fluid, functional. This is the language that succinctly defines Marco Piva’s architectural creations, his product designs, and also his interior designs.

Smart Living strives to achieve Marco’s vision in such Sustainable Design.

The effort made in material research and technology, and the value of differentiation through design innovation, lead to the establishment of Studiodada Associates, whose production became one of the most representative of the period of Radical Design. In the ’80s Studio Marco Piva was created, with its work ranging from large projects to architectural interiors and industrial design. A traveller, designer, and an innovator educated in rational approaches, Marco Piva studies and creates designed solutions that are pervaded by stylistic freedom and compositional sobriety.




The Studio participated in the design and construction of the innovative complex Next 21 in Osaka, Japan, the Laguna Palace in Mestre (Italy), the Port Palace in Monte Carlo, and the Hotel Mirage in Kazan (Russia). For the Exedra Boscolo Group it created the Suites of Exedra in Rome, the B4 Net Padova Tower, and the Tower Hotel in Bologna (Italy). In Dubai, on Palm Jumeirah, it designed the Tiara Hotel Oceania Hotel, and the innovative complex Porto Dubai.

Currently, Marco is engaged in the design of the new complex of the River Port of Novosibirsk (Russia), the construction of the residential complex of Changzhou (China), on the renovation of a monumental building in Saint Petersburg, and in other prestigious private houses.




In Italy, he is completing the Hotel Excelsior Gallia, and collaborating together with the prestigious fashion house Maison Bulgari to design of all its store windows worldwide.

Marco Piva Atelier Design has designed for many prestigious brands, such as A Project, Altreforme, Arflex, Arpa Industriale, Bross, Casamilano, Ceramica Cielo, Colombo Design, Gervasoni, Jacuzzi, Kvadrat, i Guzzini Illuminazione, L’Abbate, La Murrina, Lamm, Lapis, Leucos, Moroso, Novello, Oikos, Poliform, Poltrona Frau, Reflex, Schonhuber Franchi, Serralunga, Sicis, So Far So Near, Tisettanta, Unopiù, VDA, W52, and Zonca.




What, in your opinion, are the main aspects to keeping in focus the development phase of a project nowadays?

With the evolution of today’s society, there are number of issues that assume an increasing importance in the fulfillment of an architectural project or design product. These issues are related to the use of the materials, the sustainability of the production process, the possibility of recycling the product at the end of its use, and to have the least possible impact on the available resources and the territory.

Beyond such things that represent an added value from a point of view of ethical design, others need also be considered. For example, the capacity of the object/ product to be functional and attractive, from an aesthetic point of view, and embrace the “spirit of the times”.

Today and in the near future, the product/project must be able to establish a series of connections with the end user that are not only functional, but also formal, emotional, perceptive and synesthetic.

What do you consider essential when you develop a project?

In my projects, I have always put first the research on materials and new technologies related to sustainability and energy efficiency themes.

My aim is to construct buildings with guaranteed certification with regard to the architecture, where both nature and architecture meet in order to develop structures that cause the least environmental impact.

For example, in the facades of the Hotel Excelsior Gallia in Milan, which will be inaugurated during the Expo 2015, a lighting study of the façades has been carried out with the aim of highlighting the decorative and allegorical details of the historic building with lighting systems that cannot be seen. So the special elements and detail of the building can be “described” without having an impact on the surrounding areas.

Moreover, LED lighting systems have been used for both exteriors and interiors to ensure a longer life for the systems and therefore creating less maintenance, with resultant and substantial energy and cost savings. In the National Trade Building in Harbin, China, characterized by a harsh climate up to 40 degrees below zero, new strategies were required to be faced in order to reduce energy consumption. The architectural development proposes to introduce new technologies in the field of glass and facade systems, considering the façade as part of the strategic energy containment.




… and during a product design process?

As for design, what has always attracted me is its need to be linked to research and experimentation, not only from the formal and functional point of view, but also from a semantic and social one. For example, in designing the products of Fluid Collection for Ceramica Cielo, I have used the latest technology for the processing of the materials, but have also studied new packaging solutions in order to minimize excess and wastefulness, looking to achieve a maximum sustainability.

Moreover, we have developed a process of rationalization and the reuse of water in the production phases, which have led to a reduction in fuel consumption by about 50%.

How are the increasing needs of sustainability impacting on today’s trends?

From the point of view of light and the entire lighting system, from homes to large structures the theme of environmental sustainability has become unavoidable. It has become a particularly overwhelming trend in today’s lighting world, it moving from efficient lighting to smart lighting.

Therefore, it is fundamental to use programs able to govern the entire space’s lighting system, such as through the use of Vitrum Smart Switches that I am now using within a prestigious interior design project in China called Club House.

Vitrum is in fact a control device system that can manage the entire lighting system in an elegant and intuitive way, where design, technology, ergonomics and sustainability are in balance, in a magical combination of glass and light. The synthesis of technology and design “Made in Italy” at the service of environmental sustainability.




Please, could you specify the key factors of the Vitrum Smart Switches.

The functionality of the ECOSWITCH allows you to set the light in two stages. The first powered control light is set to an intensity of 65%, while with the second pressure it reaches 100%. In Vitrum the design has a fundamental role not only in making technology “legible” and easy to use, but also in defining the appearance of the product, which in this case is suggested by simple, highly elegant lines.

To conclude, I do not think that it makes sense to talk about design as an end in itself today. The trend of the future will be to put technology, and design, at the service of the environment, creating new objects and projects that start from ethics, and subsequently achieve the aesthetics.