Pierluigi Piu was born in Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy) in 1954 and he studied at the University of Architecture in Florence. Throughout his professional life, he worked in architecture, product and interior design, exhibitions and trade fairs production in Italy France, Belgium and England. Returning to Cagliari, his birthplace, he opened his own office focused on interior design and architecture, while still working on several projects abroad over the years. Between 2006-2007 he carried out the design of two commercial projects in London, for which he was assigned the Russian International Architectural Award 2007 in Moscow, the International Design Award 2008 in Los Angeles and the Archi-Bau Design Award 2009 in Munich, Germany, while, in 2011, he was awarded in Rome with the Compasso d’Oro, for his contribution to DOMO – 19th Biennial of Sardinian Arts and Crafts. In 2012 he received the Premio IED award from the international school Istituto Europeo di Design. Since 2009, he is one of the professional judges at Restaurant & Bar Design and is a member of Italian Accademia del Pensiero a Colori. Mainly based and working in Cagliari, he continues his professional career most particularly in the fields of private residences and of commercial space as well as working on overseas projects.
We caught up with Mr. Piu for a short, but refreshing Q&A on why design projects are like children, what impresses him in the work of fellow architects and what ignited his love of architecture.
INSPIRATIONIST: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Pierluigi Piu: I’m from Cagliari, the main city of Sardinia (one of Italy’s two main islands) where I’m presently based.
INSPIRATIONIST: What’s your background?
P.P.: I studied at the University of Architecture in Florence.
INSPIRATIONIST: How did you fall in love with architecture and why?
P.P.: When I was a kid I wanted to become a painter. Later on, when I was about 14, my father used to occasionally buy issues of the DOMUS magazine for me. I was totally fascinated by their content, I began to regularly buy them myself and couldn’t wait until a new issue was out the following month. The works of the world’s most important architects made me dream.
INSPIRATIONIST: Where do you spend most of your time, and what does a typical day for you entail?
P.P.: At home, trying to get rid of work today in order to have a free day tomorrow….but, can you believe it? tomorrow never comes: every day is today!
INSPIRATIONIST: What is your favourite part of your job?
P.P.: When I see my project taking shape in the building phase.
I think I’m becoming more and more ‘anecdotal’.
INSPIRATIONIST: Can you describe an evolution in your work from when you began until today?
P.P.: I think I’m becoming more and more ‘anecdotal’.
INSPIRATIONIST: If you had to choose one single architect who has provided a source of inspiration for you personally – who would it be and why?
P.P.: Oh, they are too many! Impossible to mention one only. However, what generally impresses me is genius and simplicity. Tadao Ando, for example, certainly performs both, but he’s not the only one.
What generally impresses me is genius and simplicity.
INSPIRATIONIST: Which is your favourite building?
P.P.: Once again, I haven’t a favourite one, but anyone who resolves the architectural program with an unexpected proposal impresses me.
INSPIRATIONIST: Which of your designs is your personal favourite and why?
P.P.: Like with children (which I do not have), the last one is always the favourite, no matter whether it is a building, an interior or a product design. Why? Because unlike with children, it makes you anxious to work on the next one.
INSPIRATIONIST: How do you unwind?
P.P.: I just push a dedicated button located behind my left ear.
INSPIRATIONIST: What kind of music are you listening to at the moment?
P.P.: The noise, in the silent night, of my overheated computer’s ventilation fan.
INSPIRATIONIST: What is your favourite colour?