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    Stone Stackers

    Stone Stackers

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    Paolo: I was born in Rome, Italy.  I am currently juggling between Italy, India, and the UK.

    Shilpa: I was born in India and currently reside in Rome, Italy, but I spent my early years in Bangalore.

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    Paolo: My first glimpse of art came from watching paintings my parents bought from a family friend who is a painter and sculptor. Growing up in Rome also means being exposed to art every day and moment. You just have to observe!

    Shilpa: Annually, my school hosted arts and crafts fairs where students engaged in imaginative Ikebana, painting, block printing, and art made from waste. India has a rich and diverse culture, heritage, and art that is easily accessible.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    Paolo: No. My entry into the creative field was somewhat later in the day. I joined the design program at the University of Rome after obtaining a degree in engineering, which I realized was not my path.

    Shilpa: Creative field, yes.But art/design, no It’s either unfortunate or fortunate that design has swept through my life unintentionally.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    Paolo: To be honest, I have a basic need for expression. I began to feel the urge to express myself in my twenties. I have since worked to find ways of designing and producing things, whether it is an object or interior spaces.

    Shilpa: I’m a photographer and currently preparing for fine art photography. My husband’s incredible design skills led to the creation of the design. He piqued my interest and guided me into the world of design and its possibilities. The spare time during the pandemic was an opportunity to mold our interests and seamlessly form this collaboration.

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    Paolo & Shilpa: It varies depending on the project. The process for Stone Stackers is entirely inspired by the raw material itself. I am driven by the materials and the rest comes by itself, as if I am possessed by an energy that creates the object for me. Out of Stone Stackers, the creative process is more conventional for a designer. The process of building the concept that will guide the entire project, whether it’s a product, an interior, or a photography project, begins with paper.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    Paolo: Wake up at 6 am, go for a walk and breakfast outside, come back, have a shower, and be ready to go, wherever the day will guide me.

    Shilpa: My life is completely chaotic right now because I have a newborn. Otherwise, filter coffee, check emails, browse books for inspiration, listen to loud music, journal my ideas (if any), and take candid street photos instead. It’s a must to end the day with a glass of wine and talk to my husband or friends.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    Paolo & Shilpa: We were chosen by Marble. The start of everything was our visit to Simeg Marmi, our partner’s factory that uses marble for international furniture brands. These works result in a considerable amount of marble pieces that cannot be used in classical furniture production. We were forced to come up with an alternative due to the pain we felt upon realizing that these materials would be discarded.

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    Paolo & Shilpa: The second phase is when we only concentrate on the technical aspects of each project. Working with different materials and artisans requires flexibility in adapting to technical aspects and trusting the process.

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    Paolo: Don’t think, just create!

    Shilpa: Find a balance in your exposure to other creators’ works. Exposing yourself to other artists’ work can be intimidating.

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?

    Paolo & Shilpa: Because every project is unique, and the inspirations and stories are so different, it doesn’t follow any design movement.

    11. What designers and artists have influenced you ?

    Paolo: Donal Judd, Vincenzo De Cotiis
    Shilpa: Paolo Ciacci, Vincenzo De Cotiis, Vikram Goyal

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    Paolo: Dimore Studio, Nacho Carbonell, Joep van Lieshout
    Shilpa: Vikram Goyal

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    Paolo: Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, Antony Gormley, Michael Jackson, Patti Smith, and many other artists
    Shilpa: Laxma Goud, Joakim Moller, Laura Pasquino

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    Paolo: Creative
    Shilpa: Objects with personality

    Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
    (The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

    Paolo: Being in peace.
    Shilpa:  Being in good physical and mental shape.

    2. What is your greatest fear?

    Paolo: Not being able to overcome the fear
    Shilpa: Darkness

    3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

    Paolo: Not being constant
    Shilpa: Procrastination

    4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

    Paolo: egocentrism
    Shilpa: double standards

    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    Paolo: my wife
    Shilpa: my husband and my baby

    6. What is your greatest extravagance?

    Paolo: fancy pants and jackets
    Shilpa: really expensive shoes

    7. What is your current state of mind?

    Paolo: complicated
    Shilpa: disoriented

    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

    Paolo:  be consistent
    Shilpa: friendliness

    9. What is the quality you most like in a man ?

    Paolo: being able to move on easily on things
    Shilpa: Kindness

    10. What is the quality you most like in a woman ?

    Paolo: Inner power
    Shilpa: modesty

    11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

    Paolo:
    Shilpa: At the moment

    12. Which talent would you most like to have?

    Paolo: Singing
    Shilpa: Painting

    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    Paolo:  I would like to be a badass
    Shilpa: to be more fearless

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    Paolo & Shilpa: my daughter

    15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

    Paolo: I prefer not to choose
    Shilpa: Sachin Tendulkar

    16. Where would you most like to live?

    Paolo: Not discovered yet
    Shilpa: so far Italy

    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    Paolo: my necklaces
    Shilpa: my camera lenses

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    Paolo & Shilpa: loss of a loved one

    19. What is your favorite occupation?

    Paolo: Rock Star
    Shilpa: Travel photographer

    20. What is your most marked characteristic?

    Paolo: making people comfortable
    Shilpa: Adapting to new environments seamlessly 

    21. What do you most value in your friends?

    Paolo: Empathy
    Shilpa: the comfort of friendship

    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    Paolo: Tiziano Terzani
    Shilpa: Jhumpa Lahiri, Salman Rushdie, Leo Tolstoy

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    Paolo: don’t have any
    Shilpa: none

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    Paolo:
    Shilpa: Princess Diana

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?

    Paolo: Myself in ten years. Cit.
    Shilpa: My Grandfather

    26. What are your favorite names?

    Paolo: Shanaya
    Shilpa: Shanaya, Mira, Shefali 

    27. What is it that you most dislike?

    Paolo: Bad food
    Shilpa: Bad smell

    28. What is your greatest regret?

    Paolo: I didn’t hit a few people when it was needed
    Shilpa: none so far

    29. How would you like to die?

    Paolo: Smiling
    Shilpa: I am not thinking about it

    30. What is your motto?

    Paolo: Just do it (taken from Nike!)
    Shilpa: live and let live

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