Marta Sala is a Milanese design editor. Following in the footsteps of her uncle Luigi Caccia Dominioni and her mother Maria Teresa Tosi, who founded Azucena in 1947, she proposes her own collections that blend refined design with the Italian artisanal knowhow.

You were born and raised between France and Italy, with some of the most important names in the architecture and design history, such as your mother Maria Teresa Tosi and your uncle Luigi Caccia Dominioni. Tell us your story and how you developed your passion for beauty.

The passion for beauty is something that arrived later, with that sort of “recul”, or retrospective taste that can be learned with time. At a certain point you understand that beauty and a flawless realization of your pieces are fundamental to be happy and satisfied. I was born in a context imbued with historical design, with great masters and in deep contact with the production sector: Azucena perfectly represents my upbringing. It is the design and home collection created in 1947 thanks to a group of young Milanese architects, like Caccia Dominioni and Tosi. For years it has been the link between designers and producers and taught me the importance of excellence in details. I come from an Italian discipline influenced by the Bauhaus, where the aesthetic side had to find the right balance with functionality, quality and price.

I come from an Italian discipline influenced by the Bauhaus, where the aesthetic side had to find the right balance with functionality, quality and price.

I always try to express an Italian savoir-faire.

Tell us about Marta Sala Editions.

In 2015 I decided to create a new compnay that could allow me to move from the historical evocation to the contemporary production. When you are the heir of great histories it is important to add something new. The continuity and the heritage must be not only preserved but also innovated.

Which kind of aesthetic vision did you inherit? How is it transferred in your projects?

I always try to express an Italian savoir-faire.

Which means, presenting a unique heritage which I try to export, consisting in a felicitous meeting between industrial production and fine craftsmanship: such a dialogue allows us to put together different technologies and competences. It is an Italian culture, made of time-honoured skills that can still be considered modern and competitive.

In my catalogue I have over 40 pieces now, that have been developed in two years and are organized in three collections. They have been designer by architects Lazzarini&Pickering, with whom I collaborate, and they are crafted by skilful artisans working in the Brianza area, north of Milan.

In Carl and Claudio I find that design-inspired DNA that I am so familiar with: all the pieces are designed according to a specific demand, to a particular project, so they have a rich cultural side that I timely transfer to production.

To be a design editor, for me, means to be able to offer on a market, which is more and more standardized, unique pieces: pieces that are outstanding for their design and for their artisanalvalue, but that can be reproduced according to clients’ requests.

Caccia Dominioni deemed that architecture is at the basis of design. Do you share this vision?

Yes, I do. This was their way of seeing it: to solve a problem connected to a specific architectural need, they designed a piece. This gives strength and meaning to the objects.

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How do you blend design and craftsmanship in your creations?

When I see a project or a sketch I immediately understand if it works, and I try to figure out how much it would cost and in which material it could be realized. Then I speak with my artisans, because I deeply value this exchange of mutual competences and visions.

How do you select the artisans you work with ?

The best artisan is the one who is also the most intelligent, because he or she can think about unexpected solutions. Some of the artisans I work with have been collaborating with me for years: I can say that we grew up together. Sometimes, one of them presents me a new craftsman. These collaborations are always based on a mutual feeling of confidence and respect: luckily this world is still imbued with ethics.

Do you have any new project at the moment?

I have many new projects. My catalogue is quite rich now, so I dedicate a lot of time to perfecting distribution (United States, London, Moscow, France…). In September the Bon Marché in Paris will dedicate an exhibition to Italian excellence, and I was selected to be guest of honour. For me it’s a pivotal occasion, because it allows me to show my way of working to a very wide audience, and it legitimises the Marta Sala Editions brand in the world of fine furniture.