Cristina Celestino, guest of honor at Maison&Objet 2022

Celestino, a designer and architect from Pordenone, Italy, is “designer of the year” for Maison&Objet’s September edition. She’s presenting her Palais Exotique: one part restaurant, and one part immersive experience in her creative world

Cristina Celestino, Photo © DePasquale+Maffini
Cristina Celestino, Photo © DePasquale+Maffini

Each edition of Maison&Objet chooses a “designer of the year,” and this time the honor falls to an Italian designer: Cristina Celestino. According to Maison&Objet, “Season after season, we celebrate the work of the most important talents of the international design and decor scene. Cristina Celestino is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary international designers of her generation, making exceptional interior design projects as well as highly innovative products. Celestino is a discrete designer who exudes exquisite and dazzling creative flair. It is with great pride that we give her a place of honor in this edition of the event.”

“Connessioni 03”, ceramics for Giovanni Di Maio. Photo © Chiara Cadeddu
“Scenografica”, terracotta cladding for Fornace Brioni. Photo © Mattia Balsamini

The designer’s project for the event seeks to take visitors into another reality ruled by exotic beauty, love of detail, passion for colors, and the desire for contact with nature.

The Palais Exotique will be created in one of the fair’s refreshment areas, the Salon de Thé Mariage Frères (partner of Maison&Objet for several years). This is the place that Celestino has designed for the occasion, a magical, ephemeral restaurant that will include an area with table service as well as a take-away option and will also sell teas, pastries and desserts and have an area with the designer’s products.

“Refined brutalism”, project for a house in Udine. Photo © Mattia Balsamini
“Panorama” loveseat designed for Etel. Photo © Ruy Teixeira

It will open windows onto new worlds, creating bridges between past and present, and giving the audience a new interpretation of concepts like “watching,” “conversing,” and “sharing” with a multi-voiced approach. In this landscape, decorative and architectural design will become a communication tool working through the senses.

Celestino was born in Pordenone, Italy, in 1980 and studied at the IUAV in Venice. Since 2005 she has focused on object and interior design, collaborating with several prestigious studios. In 2011, she founded Attico Design and two years later opened a studio in Milan.

Her approach as a designer expresses her consistent desire for a balance between art, fashion and design, drawing inspiration from the archives of historic fashion houses as well as from the art and architecture lessons of history. “The designer’s skill lies in interpreting all these core ideas and then turning them into a vision that is related to the product’s design,” she says. “It is a time-consuming process, but one that I find extremely enriching.”

Milano, studio Cristina Celestino
Milano, studio Cristina Celestino

She discovered design through interiors by some of the world’s leading architects, from Adolf Loos to Carlo Scarpa. She is fascinated by details, to which she pays close attention, by custom design and anything inspired by the urban context turned into furnishing. Her creative process also includes understanding the present starting from the past, returning to the same place several times to fully capture its meaning.

Another aspect that underpins this collaboration is her huge interest in French history and aesthetics: “I adore Paris with its powerful monuments and its Haussmannian buildings,” she says. “They offer so much inspiration in terms of how surfaces and materials can be used.”