Interview with designer Adam D. Tihany and Matteo Vercelloni (AM), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Code Italian Design Museum.

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Interview with Adam D. Tihany and Matteo Vercelloni at Monday 4th of May 2020: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
AM : In a few words- Italian pride. Since its inception, Costa Crociere has come to represent Italian travel, and thus a piece of Italian identity shared with the world. Anchored by the theme ‘Italy’s Finest,’ Costa Smeralda is a 6,600 passenger celebration of Italian spirit and creativity designed in part to re-ignite a sense of national pride at home in Italy and from a global perspective. Just as every major international city has proud displays of cultural heritage, CoDe was created to serve as the metropolitan epicenter of the cruise ship Costa Smeralda; the concentrated summary of the ship’s theme. I wanted to crown Italy’s Finest with a direct celebration of modern Italian design, from fashion and film to transportation and household objects. Expertly curated by known Italian scholar Matteo Vercelloni, the museum is interactive and engaging, inviting guests to step into Bel Paese through the most iconic design of Italy. As Creative Director of Costa Smeralda, CoDe is the only space onboard that I designed directly. - Adam D. Tihany

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
AM : The vision was to create an interactive, cultural and educational space onboard targeted to the ship’s wide audience. Costa clientele are primarily Italian nationals and travelers from Greater Europe; families, couples and solo adventurers. The museum itself is an exciting and engaging space that appeals to everyone. - Adam D. Tihany

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
AM : As the very first design museum on a cruise ship, CoDe is truly one-of-a-kind. Unlike museums on land, visitors can return to the exhibits every day – even multiple times a day- during their cruise. The ship and museum feature products and furniture from some of the most notable Italian manufactures including Kartell, Poltrona Frau, Alessi and Flos, infusing an authentic ‘Made in Italy; sensibility to each space onboard. - Adam D. Tihany

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
AM : The name CoDe, Costa Design Collection, takes inspiration from the major international contemporary museums. - Adam D. Tihany

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
AM : The museum is located between two popular entertainment and dining venues onboard, making CoDe both a captivating destination as well as an interactive ‘pass through’ attraction, encouraging guests to visit the museum multiple times during their cruise. Unlike any other passageway onboard, the museum’s highly contemporary stainless steel portal meets the unique design challenges of the high traffic space with a series of arches lit from the inside. As the rings of the tunnel separate, guests can veer off the pathway to explore the exhibition spaces to the right and left of the arches. - Adam D. Tihany

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
AM : CoDe offers Costa Smeralda guests with a cultural, educational and entertaining experience while traveling. Truly a labor of love, the museum aims to tell a 'history made of many stories' and celebrate generations of Italian talent and passion for design, craft and creation. As the first design museum at sea, it opens the door for much more cultural and design focus in the future of the cruise industry. - Adam D. Tihany