Interview with Massimo Roj
Milan, Italy
Massimo Roj (Milan, 1960) graduated in 1986 in Architecture at Politecnico of Milan. After working in several international companies he founds Progetto CMR (1994), an Italian company leader in integrated planning.

Founded in 1994, Progetto CMR was born from the meeting of three professionals whose main goal was to provide flexible, efficient and sustainable design. At present, under the leadership of architect Massimo Roj, Progetto CMR continues to grow and has over 150 employees. 

On the occasion of Progetto CMR and Cosentino Group recent collaboration during Milan Design Week 2018, Massimo Roj, leader of the first one, tells us about Inhabits details and how both Smart Squares and urban technologies are closer than we think.


Is Smart Square design on human scale?
Absolutely yes. I wrote that book many years ago, the title was design on human scale, the man is the center of our thought. All the projects must be designed around the person that will use the space that we have to design. 

How do people interact with Smart Square?
This is a square, first of all. The square is the place where humanity grew during the time. So it is part of our history, part of our background. And this square has some tools. Some important tools that are in line with the actual era, so it is a smart square. Smart Square means that people can meet here, they enjoy, that is the most important element for the square, they can use technology to improve their life. So some technologies are based inside the bench. There are technologies on the floor using different materials and different elements to let the people enjoy better their life in the square.

What is important for you when you choose materials?
Materials are, really, important technologies, and the evolution of them are part of our thought. So every time we have to design something new we try to find new elements, new materials and new technologies. It is really part of our design; the research and development is really an important tool for our company.
Every time we have to proof the quality of our products, our design, so we need to find the best solution for each project. Each project is different because each client has different needs, has different mind and different dreams, and our job is to transform in reality the client dreams.

Dekton® Radium is a sustainable material made out of up to 80% recycled material in its composition. Did sustainability influence your choice of Dekton®?
Absolutely yes. Sustainability is a must, it is not anymore a marketing tool, it is the only way to design. We start designing green, let me say more than 20 years ago, and now all the projects are really related to the sustainable material. When we talk about sustainability we cannot talk only about technical elements, we have to talk about the sustainability for the human beings, for all of us. And materials if they are composed by recycled materials it is one of the most important elements. We just designed a few products in the last year, done all by recycled materials, so it is a really important tool.

Progetto CMR is an architects’ studio that works globally, with its headquarters in Milan, Italy. Do you consider Smart Square global architecture or Italian architecture?
We are living in the globalization era, but in my mind we have to remember our roots, we have to remember where we are when we design, so this square is a Smart Square, but it is done in Milan and is for Milan. Each place has their own elements. So we have to remember our origin, our background our culture. So when we design in another country, we try to understand better what is their history, before trying to find a solution, so finally this is the place for this square.

What is your top design?
The best design is always the last. Every project is like a baby, and when you start thinking about the project you start defining all the elements, if it is a glass, an object, a tower or a masterplan in a part of the city, it does not matter. At the same time, it is the most important project.

May be here in Milan the most visible project of ours are the two first green towers in Italy, we call them Garibaldi Towers. They were designed some years ago, but they are still the best project of ours here in Milan.

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