In the Studio With: Marianna Piccolo of MY PICK ONE in Dubai Design District

Published: 12 May 2020 - 11:18 a.m.
By: Jane O'Neill
Please introduce yourself and your firm.
I was brought up in Puglia, Southern Italy, with a sense of refined aesthetics in my surroundings. I pursued a degree in interior design at the Polytechnic University of Milan. I was lucky to harness my skills under the guidance and mentorship of Marco Piva, right after completing my degree in 2007.

Piva is a renowned designer and architect in Italy. His work inspired me to develop a rational approach to designing and think big. I moved to Dubai in 2008 and worked as a design consultant for well-known companies, including Sinergo S.P.A, RWArmstrong, and AlTayer Group. In 2014, I set up my own Interior design consultancy named MY PICK ONE. We aim to develop functional and sophisticated residential and working environments for our exclusive clientele across the Middle East and Europe.

Apart from our design services, we also supervise the procurement services to meet the budget and time constraints. We don't use templates at MY PICK ONE, but always balance the fine lines between what's innovative, experimental, and what will work. We believe in the "Art of Subtraction," which leads to simplicity and immense attention to detail.

How long have you been in the industry?
I've been in Dubai for 11 years now and have been in the industry for 12, becoming part of it soon after attaining my degree in interior design from the Polytechnic University of Milan in 2007.

Describe your studio

My studio is in Dubai Design District (d3). It is a sophisticated and functional open space that has a friendly-chic appeal to it. The ambiance is comforting, and our clients feel pampered when they sit in our meeting space.

Are you still going into the studio or working from home?
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I am working from home these days in my living space. I have done the set up on the dining table as it is big enough and there is plenty of sunlight in the room during the day. Also, I am close to the sofa, which is my favourite place to make phone calls. As the dining table is closer to the kitchen, I can prepare any meal quickly. I brought the monitor and keyboard from the studio after a week of working from home as I realised I could not work on the laptop only. I need a big screen to revise the drawings and work with various software at the same time. It is difficult to avoid distractions when working from home, but my sturdy headphones buffer the noise when I am on call with my team or clients.

How does your day at work typically start?
The first thing I do is check my emails, then I talk with my team.

What are you working on right now?
I am working on one commercial and three residential projects. Also, I am doing interviews using our lnstagram account.

What are the high points and challenges of the day?
The high point at the moment is to make the most of the time and do some restructuring. I hope to come up with some innovative business ideas. The challenge, I feel, might be to predict what will happen next.

How and where do you seek inspiration?

I derive inspiration from reading books and net surfing. I enjoy going through social media posts and finding out what other people have to say on different subjects.

What's on your desk? What are you listening to?
Michelle Obama's notebook "Becoming," from that, I often write my notes —that's my daily agenda. There is a notebook that received as a gift from Kettal. I also have my super powerful headphones from Jabra (a valuable gift from my husband that keeps me isolated from distractions when working from home).And, of course, my "untouchable pen case" my husband often teases me, asking me if I am going to school.

Tell us some bookmarks on your browser
The Tax Authority website, The Cool Hunter, AXS the Tecom Portal, Shutterstock, Hubspot, Linkedln, my bank's website.

Three must-tellers on design industry social media?
Patricia Urquiola (my guru), Yatzer, and Designmilk

What do you love about your office space? What would you change?
The sense of ownership is what I love the most about my office. Also, I have fewer distractions than before.

When does your day end?
My day ends between 7pm and 8pm. If I complete my work before dinner, it ends at 8pm. If I have my online yoga or pilates class, then I finish the work before 7pm.

What's the best thing you do before you call it a day?
I always pick the easiest thing left on my to-do-list.

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