Agence Michel Tortel was created in 1987, initially focusing solely on product design but later moving into the design of urban spaces and projects. In 2002 a new architectural practice was created.
The practice employs both architects and designers, resulting in a twin culture that brings a varied approach to design scale and product life-cycles and a broad range of expertise, creating openness and efficiency in its creative solutions.
This blend of cultures is reflected in the practiceís architectural design portfolio; in lighting, urban lighting and street furniture for cities like Milan, Rome and Paris and international companies like Artemide and Schreder, as well as in our work on vehicles and the industrial design of everyday objects.
Architecture and architectural design need to be carried out through the filter of simplicity, the interface with landscape and transparency. Spaces are designed on the basis of their sensory components, creation of perspective and the sensual relationship between the masses that surround them: light and walls both perceived and created as objects rather than as parts of a structural system. Each element defines itself freely in relationship to the others, creating solids and voids to produce the quality of silence on which the entire edifice is constructed like a musical score.
Harmony is the greatest mark of respect that one can show to a public who need to feel a space unfolding and revealing its rhythms like a piece of music.
City-dwellers are ever more demanding in terms of quality of life. Urbanisation of lifestyles needs to meet certain emerging values such as individuation, the individualís right to well-being, balance and their ëshare of natureí. Urban spaces need to find harmony, create spaces for silence, relaxation and friendship. The functional networks necessary for efficient working need to be interwoven with spaces for living and services that match the rhythms of families, culture and personal development. Cities need to find a subtle blend between history and a new environment that gives real access to the huge range of services and events they offer. The organisation of spaces and their components, such as lighting and urban furniture, needs to seek to prove a commitment to quality of life and a renewed respect for individuals.