Decorating with vehicles, yes or no?  It depends on whom you’re asking of course, and how crazy they are for their wheels.  For most, the objections of partners at oil/gas/wheels in the home precludes the use of our favorite industrial design objects as home décor, or Décor Motor as I’ve coined it.  For me, it’s an obvious yes, but then again, I don’t have a motorcycle in my living room for exactly the reasons mentioned (no names, no recriminations). I am certainly sympathetic to those who would love to gaze at an extraordinary vehicle in their home, but cannot for the sake of domestic harmony, or space.  We share this tragedy. Perhaps a few sterling examples of Décor Motor will tip the scales in our favor?  So, here we go with a new series of interior design with vehicles.

Décor Motor: a vintage Yamaha TT500 in a Baroque palazzo in Turin, with furniture by Tommaso Spinzi. [Luisa Porta]
Furniture designer Tommaso Spinzi is showcasing part of his collection in ‘Design of Today 2.0’, an exhibition hosted in Turin through June 23, 2022.  His work is an homage to the city’s automotive heritage: Fiat, Lancia, Iveco, Pininfarina, Bertone, Giugiaro, Ghia, and Cisitalia were all founded in Turin.  Design of Today 2.0 is the second design exhibit held in the Baroque Palazzo Martini di Cigala, and is hosted by cultural center Projec_To.  The Palazzo Martini di Cigala was designed in 1716 by Filippo Juvarra, one of the most influential Italian architects of the Baroque period.  It was bombed twice in WW2, but was fully restored to a mixed residential/commercial use from 2012-14, and is now a gem in Turin’s city center.

Context is everything! And placing a Yamaha in a Baroque palace is just fantastic. [Luisa Porta]
“With his design cross-contaminating industrial shapes and the automotive world, Spinzi showcases pieces that are the manifesto of his studio’s creative attitude.  His Meccano line, designed to be essential, celebrates the world of mechanics and the lines of Milanese industrial buildings.  His Lamè modular seating can be turned into a sofa, and is influenced by sharp lines of cooling fins, borrowed from the world of air-cooled engines.  Totem, a sculptural composition of worn-out tires, is instead an art installation conceived to shed light on the themes of upcycling and recycling waste from the automotive world. Fusion, finally, is a sideboard from the 1950s that Spinzi turned into a contemporary piece by hand-applying metallic finishing on the front panels, to give a fresh look to the dated panels of this amazing cabinet.”

Spinzi’s ‘Meccano’ line celebrates the design heritage of Milan. [Luisa Porta]
A few quick questions for Tommaso Spinzi:

PDO: Is the bike yours?
TS: The Yamaha TT is mine of Course 😉
PDO: How about the Lancia?
TS: The Lancia Fulvia is borrowed from a friend.  As I’m obsessed with Italian number plates, I wanted to be with the TO – from Turin – I always tend to have mine either with the CO (Como) or MI (Milano) –  that is where I’m from and where I live ( … I’m a pathologic case I know … )
PDO: How about designing with vehicles?
TS: Every Interior that has a style should have cool sculpture in it, right? And sculpture can also be in a form of a car or a motorbike, don’t you agree ?
PDO:  Clearly!  Do you keep your Yamaha indoors?
TS: It was parked in my loft before the exhibition, so of course !
Fins! A novel inspiration for furniture on Spinzi’s Lamé line. [Luisa Porta]
Tomasso Spinzi with his vintage Lancia Fulvia in semi-rally mode. [Luisa Porta]
We just might have to make a trip to Turin to check this out; it isn’t every day you see a cool Yamaha in a Baroque palazzo!


Paul d’Orléans is the founder of He is an author, photographer, filmmaker, museum curator, event organizer, and public speaker. Check out his Author Page, Instagram, and Facebook.


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