What IS MOTOElastico?

MOTOElastico is the Best Italian Architecture Office in Korea founded in Seoul by Simone Carena and Marco Bruno.

After graduating in Architecture from the Torino Polytechnic and receiving their Masters Degree from Los Angeles SCI­Arc, in the beginning of the new millennium, Simone and Marco moved to Seoul: they never left ever since. In the last 15 years MOTOElastico grew from an home-based freelance consulting firm, to becoming an experimental Space Design Lab working on architecture, interiors, exhibition and art projects.

Every MOTOElastico project is a new research opportunity: our goal is to challenge local cultures through the unexpected combination of original ingredients.

모토엘라스티코는 시모네 카레나와 마르코 브루노가 서울에 설립한 국내 최고의 이탈리아 건축사사무소이다.

시모네 카레나, 마르코 브르노 소장은 Torino Polytechnico를  졸업한 후  Los Angeles Southern California Institute of Architecture에서 건축 석사과정을 마쳤다. 새천년을 맞아 두 사람은 서울로 이사를 했고, 그 이후 아예 정착을 하게 되었다. 홈베이스 기반의 프리랜서 컨설팅 회사에서 시작하여 현재는 건축, 인테리어, 전시 및 예술 프로젝트를 진행하는 공간 디자인연구소로 성장하였다.

모든 프로젝트는 새로운 연구를 할 수 있는 기회다: 모토엘라스티코의 목표는 예상치 못한 조합을 통해 지역 문화에 도전 하는 것이다.


Who are the current members of MOTOElastico?
모토엘라스티코의 구성원은?

MOTOElastico's current line­up includes Simone Carena, Marco Bruno, Minji Kim, Juneho Kim, Quentin Leroy, webmaster Rachel Shim and modernist consultant Cesario Carena.

All MOTOElastico team members provide valuable contributions to all our projects. In the spring of 2009, Minji Kim joined us as an intern and she never left ever since. Her role became more and more important and she is now the first MOTOElastico Partner. Minji played a key role in the completion of the Borrowed City Book; for all our projects she is the main cultural interface between foreign designers and local clients.

MOTOElastico welcomes designers from all over the world. Diverse backgrounds converge and collide to research and produce exceptional space projects.

모토엘라스티코의 현제 회원은 시모네 카레나, 마르코 브루노, 김민지, 김준호, 쿠엔틴 리로이, 웹 마스터 레이첼 심 과 현대 컨설턴트 세사리오 카레나 입니다.

모든 모토엘라스티코의 팀원은 각 프로젝트에 상당한 기여를 했다. 김민지 건축가는 2009년 봄에 모토엘라스티코의 합류했고 그대로 눌러앉았다. 그녀의 역할은 점점 더 커졌고 이제는 모토엘라스티코의 첫 번째 파트너로 성장하였다. 김민지 건축가는 서적 빌린도시를 완성하는 데에도 커다란 역할을 하였다. 모든 프로젝트에 있어 그녀는 외국인 디자이너들과 국내 고갠들 사이의 주요한 문화적 인터페이스이다.

모토엘라스티코는 전 세계의 다자이너들을 환영한다. 우리는 세계에서 디자이너 를 환영합니다. 다양한 배경들이 수렴하고 충돌하여 뛰어난 공간 프로젝트를 연구하고 생산하도록 만들기 때문이다.

Where do you come from?
모토엘라스티코는 어디에서 왔는가?

We are from Torino, a little known but very creative hub in northern Italy. MOTOElastico's Italian Headquarter is there, and we often travel to visit our families and take care of the Italian projects.

We left Torino more than 15 years ago but we carry with us some of its precious heritage. The mummy at the Egyptian Museum on display with all its flying sarcophagus: that's why we like assembly axonometric drawings. The iconic cars designed by Bertone and Gandini in the 70's and 80's: that's why we like designing aerodynamic facades for our buildings. The popular saying "I am a fool but I am not crazy" (mi sun mat ma ai sun pa fol): that's why we like irrational visions more than predictable solutions. We are also constantly inspired and supported by friends and family still living in Torino.

For all the projects in Italy, and not only for those, we take advantage of Cesario Carena's 50 plus years of experience as a practicing architect/artist.

우리는 북부 이탈리아 토리노 출신이다. 토리노는 한국에는 잘 알려지지 않았지만 북부 이탈리아의 매우 창의적인 중심지이다. 모토엘라스티코 이탈리아 본사는 토리노에 있으며 우리는 이탈리아 프로젝트들 진행하기 위해, 또한 가족을 방문하기 위해 종종 방문하고 있다.

우리가 토리노를 떠난지 15년 이상이 되었지만 우리는 우리 안에 그 소중한 문화 유산을 항상 지니고 다닌다. 예를 들면 다음과 같다. 이집트 박물관에서 봤던 날아다니는 석관과 함께 전시되어있는 미라: 이것이 우리가 부등각 투시도의 조합을 좋아하는 이유이다. 7,80년대의 베르토네와 간디니에 의해 디자인된 상징적인 자동차: 이것은 우리가 건축물을 설계할 때  공기역학적 입면을 디자인하게 되는 이유이다. 토리노의 유명한 속담 중 “나는 바보야. 하지만 난 미치지 않았어" : 이 속담 덕분에 우리는 예측가능한 해결책보다는 비이성적인 비젼을 더 선호한다. 이외에도 우리는 아직 토리노에서 살고 있는 많은 친지들로부터 끊임없이 영감을 얻고 많은 지지를 받고 있다.

모든 이탈리아 프로젝트,  사실 그뿐만 아니라 모든 것을 위해, 우리는 건축가/예술가로서 경력이 50년을 훌쩍 뛰어넘은 체사리오 카레나의 경험을  활용한다.

Why is your office in Jongno?
사무실이 왜 종로에 있는가?

Because it is the most creative area of Seoul. We love being surrounded by people doing things: blacksmiths, tailors, woodworkers, watch fixers and gold merchants. We are constantly inspired by their skills and their ingenuity.

We like the Euljiro/Jongno market area because it is a huge open-air materials display facility where we often work with local artisans to prototype our projects. We enjoy the rich humanity of the place. Our craftsman are true makers because they have no idea what a maker is: they just do things without bragging about it on design magazines. They wear full make up while working at the steel press or they rest laying over their delivery motorcycle: they belong to a popular (Jannacci) song rather than to a Wired article. But unfortunately the overall area is on the verge of extinction. Large corporation buildings are slowly taking over and it seems there is no interest in developing alternative urban strategies. It is a pity.

The mix of functions and activities right in the center of a metropolis like Seoul is a unique feature so rare to find in other cities around the world.

왜냐하면 서울 전체를 통틀어 가장 창조적인 장소이기 때문이다. 우리는 무언가를 하는 사람들에게 둘러쌓여 있는 것을 좋아한다. 대장장이, 재단사, 목공, 전기기사, 시계수리공 귀금속 판매자 등 많은 사람들이 이곳에 있다. 우리는 그들의 능력과 창의력에 끊임없이 영감을 받는다.

Where do you teach?
어디서 가르치는가요?

Simone has been teaching Space Digital Media in IDAS­ Hongik University for the past 15 years. Marco has been teaching at several Korean Universities for 10 years and is currently teaching Interdisciplinary Design at Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha, Qatar.

School is a gym where we train our creativity and our perseverance. It is a place where we work side by side with students in developing research and generating ideas, the same way we do in our studio. Sometimes the research takes off and becomes a successful publication, like in the case of Borrowed City; other times it lands in a drawer waiting for the right opportunity to be utilized. Working with students keeps us in good shape and slows down our aging process. Research is also a great way to connect with other prestigious universities around the world. In the past we have been cooperating with RMIT in Melbourne, MIT in Boston, Kingston University in London and Polytechnic in Torino.

We constantly combine teaching and practice to expose ourselves to extreme conditions: the freedom of academic exploration versus the pragmatism of professional practice.

시모네는 지난 15년 동안 홍익대학교 국제디자인전문대학원에서 공간 디지털 미디어어를 가르치고있습니다. 마르코는 10년 넘께 여러 국내 대학교에서 가르치다 현재 카타르에서 버지니아아 커먼 웰스 대학교에서 학제 디자인을 가르치고있습니다.

What does MOTOElastico mean?
모토엘라스티코는 어떤 뜻 인가요?

MOTOElastico is a harmonic motion between two different realities: Korea and Italy, research and business, dream and reality, quality and quantity. We constantly swing between all of them without losing any of our design energy.

We are Italians living in Korea, we have clients but we also teach students, we do architecture but also interiors, exhibitions, art, and lots of other things. Our daily experience is very diverse and most of all, our families are mixed and we are always exposed to multiple points of view. All this is embedded in our practice, and also in our company name. «MOTO» in italian means motion/movement/ uprising or motorcycle, MOTOElastico can be translated into elastic+motion, elastic+movement, elastic+uprising or elastic+motorcycle. It is a form of Harmonic Motion that describes a phase, a return-trip from A to A. Our optimistic and dynamic vision of the trip will transform A into A+. So when MOTOElastico escapes the pull of Korea it is captured by the mother-planet: Italy. The Escape-Capture and Sling system between Italy and Korea offers a fresh and dynamic view of both cultures.

MOTOElastico puts the S in Pace and the E in Motion.

Why do you like motorcycles
왜 오토바이를 좋아하는가요?

Motorcycles for us are not only means of transportation, but real exploration tools constantly supporting our research.

It is true that the best way to discover a city is to walk its streets, but is also true that adding two wheels and two cylinders to your equipment allows you to broaden the boundaries of your territories. On a motorcycle you can feel sun and rain the same way a pedestrian does but you can also experience the unnatural speed an engine can generate. The city becomes smaller and much more accessible and you end up knowing it better than anybody else. Motorcycles are also minimal tools: they quickly cut through traffic and they use little space. We would feel so guilty to drive around an empty SUV with all those useless cubic meters behind the driver seat.

Motorcycles only work when they move, they are useless when they don't: which is a great metaphor to describe our design activity.