Ar­chi­tect and de­signer

Elle Decoration (South Africa) - - VISIT -

Milan De­sign Week project: Plouf bath­tub, Splash wash­basin and Wow mir­ror for Bisazza Bagno

What’s been driv­ing you through your life and ca­reer? My main driver is that I get up­set with ug­li­ness. There’s a right to ug­li­ness, of course, but there’s a cer­tain kind of ug­li­ness that both­ers me. Since I was young, I’ve pro­jected my­self into a fu­ture where there’s some kind of aes­thetic value. That’s what re­ally made me move for­ward. I needed to have beauty around me. Maybe at some point my con­cep­tion of beauty was about per­fec­tion, but it evolved with time and now it has more to do with au­then­tic­ity. What did you present at this year’s Milan De­sign Week? We’ve been work­ing on this bath­room with Bisazza Bagno for nearly three years. I de­signed it think­ing about what I’d want if I had to redo a bath­room in my own apart­ment, and also think­ing about peo­ple who don’t have an in­te­rior de­signer. We cre­ated a small, round bath­tub, a mir­ror and a small sink that can be opened and hide stor­age. These three pieces alone can cre­ate a whole bath­room with a strong iden­tity. I wanted small el­e­ments, be­cause I be­lieve that most peo­ple live in apart­ments with lit­tle space avail­able, and also be­cause I don’t like the idea of wast­ing too much water. I wanted ev­ery­thing to have colours: there are very few colour op­tions in bath­rooms – ev­ery­thing’s so white and clin­i­cal. I be­lieve in the power of colours to put you in a good mood in ev­ery­day life, so in­tro­duc­ing the coloured el­e­ment to the cleans­ing rit­ual brings an ex­tra pu­rifi­ca­tion ef­fect made by the colours them­selves.

Does be­ing a woman in­flu­ence your work in any way? When I think of my­self, I think of a hu­man be­ing who hap­pens to be a woman, who hap­pens to be a de­signer. When I look at this bath­room, I wouldn’t think it could have been de­signed by a man. Maybe be­cause it’s round and soft, not sculp­tural and mas­sive. Cre­at­ing an ob­ject is more than just an ego trip – func­tion­al­ity al­ways has to be there. I hate to say that women are more prac­ti­cal, but ac­tu­ally, I think women re­spond to func­tion­al­ity in a dar­ing way. Dar­ing to use colours, for ex­am­ple. Func­tion­al­ity is about the way I’d like to use a prod­uct, but I want to add a dream to it at the same time. For me, de­sign is about func­tion and dream­ing. Are there any chal­lenges for you as a woman in the de­sign world to­day? I al­ways say that when I started out, it was a great help for me be­ing a woman be­cause there were no women out there. I got at­ten­tion as a woman and be­cause I was ‘ex­otic’ at the same time. Also, most of the in­dus­try’s pro­fes­sional press is run by women and they al­ways re­ally sup­ported me. There was also a time when com­pa­nies wanted to be ‘orig­i­nal’ by choos­ing a woman in­stead of a man for their projects. I think I’ve proven my­self in my ta­lent, but I still don’t have ac­cess to larger projects – I al­ways get con­sulted for smaller projects or for some­thing they call ‘fem­i­nine’. Es­pe­cially in the con­struc­tion field, peo­ple still have con­cerns about me be­ing a woman in terms of struc­ture, or the amount of work I can carry out. Some peo­ple don’t un­der­stand that I have enough flex­i­bil­ity to do well in ev­ery field. in­,

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