Gio Ponti: Italian innovator

Marianna Picolo reveals her love of Ponti’s living room-the original multi-purpose room.

Extra Soft sofa, by Pierro Lissoni for Living Divani, livingdivani.it

This month we were thrilled when one of the region’s most sought-after designers, Marianna Picolo, agreed to discuss her select her favourite space.

Nowadays, the living room has eliminated the functions of other rooms. As the place where we spend most of our time socialising, working, brainstorming, relaxing, and eating, it’s the soul of the house—a reflection of one’s self.

836 Tre Pezi, designed by Franco Albini for Cassina, cassina.com

As a designer, I create rooms that are multi-purpose. So that’s why when a client asks Mypickone to design their residence we tailor their space according to their aesthetic ideal, but also to their daily habits. Clients want their living room to include a kitchen, play room, office, dining, etcetera because today that’s the place where they express their loves, their joys and their challenges.

I selected Gio Ponti’s living room in his house in Milan because this world-famous Italian architect and designer was one of the first who challenged the notion of what a dining, kitchen, living area should look like– breaking the walls and unifying all of these spaces into one room. He is the reason why, today, when you think of a living room, one automatically thinks of open plan living.

D.153.1 Gio Ponti armchair from Molteni & C., molteni.it

Fearless and courageous, Ponti’s use of colour, patterns and texture in all of his designs, from furniture to surface, always inspires me. This is what I try to do when I design. I am constantly imagining new ways to use patterns in original ways, meshing clashing prints together and experimenting with all kinds of unexpected visual concepts. I love playing with different colour combinations in the same way Ponti did – a way that can also still be seen in the work of contemporary designers such as Patricia Urquiola.

637 Utrecht C90 Limited Edition armchair, designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld for Cassina, cassina.com
081 Réaction Poétique Low table, designed by Jaime Hayon for Cassina, cassina.com

If you’re just as inspired as I am by Ponti, I hope you’ll find just as much joy in my suggestions for re-creating this style. Selected to accommodate any living design, they are all practical and stylish. Most of the pieces are original designs remade, created by famous designers. They are considered “design icons”, but they all have a fresh new look.

And as you can see, I love armchairs – I have a house full of them! It is by far my favourite furniture item. It’s wonderful invention that has endless design possibilities….

Superloon, designed by Jasper Morrison for Flos lighting, flos.com
Deep Sea coffee table from Glas Italia, glasitalia.com

More about Marianna

Marianna graduated from the legendary Polytechnic University of Milan in 2007 and trained under the award-winning Italian architect and interior designer Marco Piva in his eponymous design studio in Milan. Inspired by her mentor to think big, she moved to Dubai in 2008 and worked as a consultant for high-profile firms including RW Armstrong, Sinergo S.P.A and Al Tayer Group before establishing her well-known My Pick One Studio Design in 2012.


Marianna Picolo