Focus on DWA

19_Wallpaper Alberto strada

Wallpaper Handmade,2018 Ph Alberto strada

DWA Design Studio consists of Alberto and Frederik, who set out designing some of the most immersive installations in Milan – especially in fashion. There then followed offices, commercial spaces and even more experimental projects, as well as obviously, many other installations, all§§ 5 created with great attention to the tiniest details. They tell us about it in a quick-fire interview from their studio in Milan’s Nolo district, in one of the most evocative old spaces at the historic Giovanni Cova panettone-making premises.

0_Frederik De Wachter e Alberto Artesani

Frederik De Wachter and Alberto Artesani (DWA), Ph Alberto Strada

Name: Frederik De Wachter – Alberto Artesani, who make up DWA Design Studio.

Where do you work? In the north of Milan, in a large open space that served as a small chocolate factory last century.

Your Instagram account: @dwa_design_studio.

Describe what your studio does: we work on interior design for commercial spaces (retail, hospitality, offices) and residential ones; installations, for fairs, events and exhibitions, and temporary installations for shop windows. Every so often this work triggers objects that become projects with new identities.

Where did you study?
AA: At the Faculty of Architecture at Milan Polytechnic University.

FDW: At the Faculty of Architecture at the Sint-Lucas Ghent Campus in Belgium, with an Erasmus stage at Milan Polytechnic University.

3_Elle Decor at Work

Elle Decor at Work, 2019, Ph Alberto Strada

What are you working on right now? The interiors of the Proworking office building in Milan for Wellio/Covivio, the second floor devoted to Men’s Fashion at La Rinascente in Piazza Fiume in Rome inside the iconic building designed by Albini and Helg, a private residence on Lake Come and a hotel in Grado. 

Your dream project:
AA: a prefabricated house.
FDW: a museum.

The project that’s influenced you most:
AA: Le Corbusier’s projects and anonymous design.
FDW: perhaps subconsciously Aldo Rossi’s fountain in Segrate. To be admitted to the faculty we had to draw up the plans and a scale model – it helped me get to know Italy.

A crucial element/detail in all your projects:
AA: colour.
FDW: an unexpected material.

13_Elle Decor Onlife

Elle Decor Onlife, Ph Matteo Imbriani

City centre or off the beaten track?
AA: A remote city.
FDW: Living in a city centre, holidaying off the beaten track.

Something in your home designed by you:
AA: a table, a rug, a wardrobe, a vase.
FDW: a ceramic vase I made during a course held by our friends in Rio Grande.

What presents do you like to give? Flowers.

If you could build a secret passage in your home, where would it lead?
AA: onto a beach in Greece.
FDW: onto a boat.

15_Il Lazzaretto_ph. Anna Bratveit

Il Lazzaretto, Ph Anna Bratveit

What do you usually do on Sundays?
AA: I let myself be transported by time and people.
FDW: A boat trip or a mountain hike. When it’s raining, at home with the cats.

Your favourite place in Milan?
AA: sitting at a table in a bar people-watching.
FDW: the roof of the cathedral.

Emmanuelle Simon asks: what is the favourite part of your job?  Each start of a new project means a deepening of a new theme. You always learn something new!

Would you like to ask the next interviewee a question?  Designer or anonymous designer?  

6_Rinascente Roma Fiume_ph. Alberto Strada

Rinascente Roma Fiume, Ph Alberto Strada

8_Swarowski_ph. Alberto Strada

Swarowski, 2018, Ph Alberto Strada

9_Hacker, Alcova

Hacker, Alcova 2019, Ph Alberto Strada

12_Elle Decor Next

Elle Decor Next, Ph Tommaso Sartori


Milauraph, Ph Alberto Strada

17_studio DWA,

DWA Milan Studio, Tides Wallpaper for Texturae, Ph Coco Maximilian

G10_Silipol Studies

Silipol Studies,  Ph Italo Perna – Polifemo fotografia

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23 December 2021