Interview with Domenico De Palo, Designer, Radisson Blu Atria, Bengaluru

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Domenico De Palo was born in Italy in 1976. After years of being at the stage-managing of several public and private installations. He also started a research-path about the industrial design, creating plans and prototypes in collaboration with national and international designers and companies, among which Antidiva, Viabizzuno, Antonio Lupi, Move, Dimensione Disegno e Officina delle Idee. A key aspect of his designs is the use of Chromotherapy which is the science of using colours to adjust the body vibrations to frequencies that result in good health and harmony.
Each colour possess frequencies of a specific vibration and each vibration is related to a different physical symptom. Magenta helps with a lot of physical and mental well being and also helps us in being calmer during emotional disturbances. Blue relates to self-expression, speech and communication. The ability to communicate our needs and requirements, spirit of truth and purpose. Thus, helps in calming, relaxing and healing. He has used this when designing the Radisson Blu Atria in Bengaluru. He explains this and more in this exclusive interview.

Tell us something of your early years, education etc.
I went to a design school in my Home town Bari, But my real education was on the streets. I started working as manual labourer to pay for my schooling and started working in lighting design studio at the age of 19 years.

When did you discover your interest in architecture and design?
From a very young age almost when I was just about 5 or 6 years old, I started noticing that I was good at art as well as understood design unlike most kids. Also, it was not just architectural design, I actually started of as a lighting designer and got my first real breakthrough when I started working with a company called Viabizzuno which is considered the Rolce Royce of technical lighting.

Domenico De Palo
Domenico De Palo

Tell us about your early career and the kind of jobs you did?
At the age of 18 I started working in lighting design and I got more experience and confidence when I won the second prize for the best light design in the world. This is when my opportunities opened up and I started getting inquiries from various industries and I started working on other products such as wash basins, furniture and yachts. After this I went on to design complete interiors before expanding to designing buildings themselves.

How would you define your design sensibilities?
I believe that I actually don’t have my own personal style as I actually listen to my customers heart and then tune myself accordingly. I believe any kind of design can be beautiful if its well thought through and that is what I do once I understand my customer as they are the ones who will use the final product and the product must express the customers soul.

Whiskey Bar at Radisson Blu Atria
Whiskey Bar at Radisson Blu Atria

Radisson Blu Atria has been designed with Chromotherapy. Can you explain?
As mentioned earlier, I actually started off as a lighting designer and really studied the importance of lights and its ability to control people’s emotions. While we were designing the hotel we spent the first few hours discussing the kind of customers that come to the hotel. Kaushik (Kaushik Raju, Chief Operations Officer) explained to me that Bangalore was business customer driven market who travel an average 100 to 200 days in a year. And one of the biggest complaints most of these people had was their flight schedules and limited sleep while travelling due to the time zone difference and stress levels their bodies go through with constant travel. With this in mind we realised our design should enable guests to relax as well as achieve optimal sleep while they stay here. Hence we created dark wenge wood interiors that gives warmth and allows guests who land at any hour the illusion of night while blue lights in the public areas enables your mind to relax the magenta lights that are used in the room is known to enhance the quality of sleep.

Tell us about some of your notable projects?
Some of my works got awarded as “La Dodo’” for Viabizzuno which won the second prize at the ” LIGHT+BUILDING “, placed at “THE NEW ITALIAN DESIGN” triennial in Milan and Madrid in May 2007. After which many other projects opened up such as “La Casa di Dodo”,“La Stretta”, “La Taglio”, “Silenzio”. Other than that I am working on multiple Architectural projects around italy, Azerbejan, Greece, Albania, Mexico.

Whiskey Bar at Radisson Blu Atria
Whiskey Bar at Radisson Blu Atria

Who or what inspires you?
That is a tough one but one of the people who really encapsulated and pushed the boundaries of engineering,mathematics,physics is Zaha Hadid.

What are your future plans?
I am enjoying the place I am in now I get to choose the projects that I really want to work on and it is great to work in different countries. The people I meet and the culture add to my learning and appreciation for designs of the past.

Radisson Blu Atria
Radisson Blu Atria

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