Paints according to Irvine, art direction
Matteo Brioni 2023
Paints according to Irvine, art direction

Matteo Brioni 2023

PAINTS ACCORDING TO IRVINE Researching the beauty of natural colour.

Paints According to Irvine is a story in 14 rooms, 14 inspirations and 14 colours, imagined by the architect Marialaura Irvine to recount Skinclay© powder paint, the new MATTEOBRIONI product.

The research begun in 2013 – when I started my art direction for MATTEOBRIONI –  continues today with the project named PAINTS ACCORDING TO IRVINE. The story about a material – clay – which produced Earth According to Matteo, is now enriched with a further chapter: a survey of colour. This new project springs in fact from a reflection on the beauty of natural colour, its capacity to guide the perception of space and to restore to architecture its loftiest faculty: the power to excite.

From it springs a personal story that rotates around the subject of colour, paint, and surfaces, to explore the potentialities of the new MATTEOBRIONI product: Skinclay© powder paint. Paint According to Irvine concerns a selection of 14 colours – natural pigments – which, according to the percentage of powder used, can be transformed into a huge variety of marvellously imperfect, three-dimensional surfaces. Every space has its corresponding colour, stated in varying densities and tones.


When I first approached the theme of colour, as an architect I considered it in terms of space. For me, a story about colour can only be told from a three-dimensional viewpoint. I was looking for interiors that would match the chromatic and perceptive quality that I had in mind. And I found those references by rereading the works of a number of twentieth century pioneers, in what was not so much a statement as a necessity. From our schooldays we are confronted with male examples, and men were the architects that we admired at university. I asked myself: could the points of view be reversed? Is it possible to reveal a typically feminine trait? It’s hard to answer, but aside from their gender, these female visions are certainly powerful.


My imaginary architect’s world began when I was a child, while playing with a doll’s house. In my head, I reconstructed its space and architectural features, chose its colours and furniture, and imagined the people living in the house and their stories. When I enrolled at the Faculty of Architecture, through the history books by De Fusco and De Seta, I encountered for the first time the great pioneers of modernity: Behrens, Le Corbusier, Gropius, the BBPR, Persico, Tessenow, Loos and Sant’Elia, to mention just a few of those that have most influenced my work as an architect. All men? And what about the women? From this question springs the 14 rooms project. The rooms are inspired by the work of 14 pioneers of twentieth century architecture, art and design that taught me to deal with architectural design constructively and sometimes combatively; 14 inspirations to describe a tactile, three-dimensional, iridescent, imperfect subject.


PREVIEW of the new catalogue ready for CERSAIE in OCTOBER 2023

Art Direction for MATTEOBRIONI

Photo Delfino Sisto Legnani

Press review about the project: