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Seven Questions for Ambra Medda

Ambra Medda‘s name is familiar to design lovers from her tenure as director Design Miami, which she founded in 2005 with Craig Robins. Three years after leaving the fair, she is back in a big way with L’ArcoBaleno (“the rainbow” in Italian). The new site is devoted to collectible design—from top galleries including Galerie Kreo, Carpenters Workshop, and Demisch Danant—that visitors can learn about, browse, and buy. “Creating the ultimate marketplace for design as well as a platform for the design community to congregate (virtually), share, and push design discourse forward is what stimulates me,” said Medda, who co-founded the site with eBay veteran Oliver Weyergraf. “After the incredible experience with fair it seemed natural to scout the best design pieces and creative talent and promote all the incredible quality and stories surrounding them.” Here she discusses rainbows, covetable objects, and words to live by.


“Fuzz 2010″ by Study O Portable, available from Gallery Fumi on L’ArcoBaleno.

How did you decide on the name L’ArcoBaleno?
Coming up with a name was fun and torturous at the same time. I love language, and there were so many great options but we either couldn’t own the .com or it wasn’t this enough or that enough. When I thought of what gives me the most electrifying feeling. I thought about love at first, but i couldn’t call it love.com, because that’s just silly. So then the next thought was rainbow! Looking up at the sky and seeing a rainbow is an extraordinary sensation, the most powerful natural experience. Add to that we wanted to present the whole spectrum of design from limited-edition design, technology, food, science, fashion. “L’ArcoBaleno” sounds beautiful and stands for a jolt of energy, which i believe the design world needed at this point in time.

What are a few of your favorite limited-edition products available on the site?
I love the Sedimentation Urn by Hilda Hellstrom, Fuzz 2010 by Study O Portable, and Peter Marigold‘s Calendula Cabinet. If I had the cash in the bank that’s what I would buy right now.


Poul Kjærholm’s PK 24 Chaise Lounge, available from R 20th Century Gallery on L’ArcoBaleno.

What are some of your favorite places to shop online (besides L’ArcoBaleno)?
I’m not a big online shopper to be honest…mainly food shopping and books up until now. But that’s also why I set out to create the website to change people like me who are a little more old school. My technological skills are from the Stone Age. I realize so much is happening online, we live a lot of our lives online: whether you’re consuming culture, commerce, or connecting with your friends…it’s just the way we interact with the world today.

What is the last thing you bought and loved?
The OP-1. it’s a portable synthesizer by Teenage Engineering. I’m not a musician, but this object is so well designed and so fun to play with I simply had to have it.

What’s on your summer reading list?
A book on Hopi Indian Kachina dolls

What’s the best creative, business, or life advice you’ve received?
Be open minded, work hard, and be honest. The genuine is what sparkles and what people connect to.

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