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u-light - studio design international

The studio thought as a factory of ideas, where research and planning are interlaced, where hybridization from different branches of knowledge and the experiences’ exchange among people are the focus. The password for Design International is contamination. The architecture studio directed by Davide Padoa, Paul Mollé, and Lucio Guerra has recently inaugurated its new office in Milan. The designated place is an old factory of train transformers led by Ansaldo Group in the Bicocca district. The architects occupied about one thousand sqm of the building, dated the early ‘900, characterized by the brick curtain and typical shed roofs.


Founded in 1965 in Toronto, Design International has built a strong reputation in the designing sector, in particular retail area. The study now works on residential, hotel, retail, and mixed-use projects. The headquarter is in London, but the branches are also in Shanghai and Dubai. The office will work as a kind of campus. “We are selecting from six to eight universities in order to host graduates and near-graduates in an open space for sixteen people”, explains Davide Pado, “The research fields are about new and sustainable materials, the space use following the principles of the circular economy” The universities that will be involved are Cincinnati University, Barkeley University in California and Car Poly (California Polytechnic University of Pomona), Politecnico di Milano and other institutes in Asia and North Africa.


Exactly speaking about circular economy and link between people, the appropriate lighting is our U-light pendant lamps in two sizes and anthracite grey finish. A lamp with metal finishes, one of the many materials used by Axolight, such as fabric and glass.


In the latest generation offices, the trend is working in informal spaces to promote communication and cooperation. Design international campus has got a small theatre, that on one hand creates the space for the public and on the other hand surrounds an open kitchen. The theatre hosts, twice a month, people belonging to Design International Network, developed in over 53 years of business, that consists of entrepreneurs, clients, clients’ partners. They are invited to share their experience, their current challenge, the opportunities they see. Hosting, communicating, exchanging, welcoming are the needs that space has to fulfill.


Project by: Prelios

Project and photos by: Design International