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Interview with Claudia Sigismondi

Home > Designer Interviews > Claudia Sigismondi

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Claudia Sigismondi (CS) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Claudia Sigismondi by clicking here.

Interview with Claudia Sigismondi at Monday 24th of April 2017
Claudia Sigismondi
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
CS: A sense of history and beauty is part of our background, since we both were born and studied architecture in Rome. We certainly love to reinvent tradition. Our experience in the field of artistic exhibitions also explains our being focused on the context as well as on innovative solutions.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
CS: We moved to Switzerland in 2011 and we set up our company PlusDesign, specialized in interior design and decoration. PlusDesign offers services ranging from design and development to the fitting out of hotels, boutiques, art galleries, conference rooms, offices and private homes.

FS: What is "design" for you?
CS: Design involves creativity. That's why at Plusdesign each project is different. Our main intent is to enhance the existing space and we have a creative approach when designing rather than a preconceived style.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
CS: The harmony between natural and artificial is essential in our projects. We like to combine local materials and traditional craftsmanship with innovative design solutions and creative decor. In our projects in Rougemont we used lumber salvaged from old Swiss chalets to give an authentic look to the interiors. The clean shapes of contemporary design gain life and charm from the rich texture of the aged wood; the contrast between the pureness of the lines and the rustic irregularity of the timber conveys a natural and sophisticated effect.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
CS: Being a pair of architects, every time we design a new home for ourselves, we experiment new solutions and we bring our creative tests to the limits. In our previous home in Rome the challenge was to get rid of all the corridors; in a micro holiday apartment in Tuscany the challenge was to design the interiors as those of a yacht; now in our cottage in Switzerland our goal was to transform it from a holiday home into an efficient living and working space.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
CS: Light has a key role in interior design, being one of the most effective tools used to shape an environment, visually and emotionally. Our experience in the field of art exhibitions has taught us to consider light as a magical tool. Light can alter the space, change proportions and colors, create atmospheres that affect people’s mood and emotions.

FS: What makes a design successful?
CS: In the end, designing interiors is very much like cooking: what you need is the balance between the ingredients to make the right mix.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
CS: We constantly keep updated visiting fairs and exhibitions, consulting specialized manufacturers, cooperating with other designers, as well as reading magazines and searching the specialized websites.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
CS: The harmony between natural and artificial is the key to the philosophy of the project. We work through every stage of the design process, from concept to completion, our goal is a style that blends timeless elegance and modern luxury, combining local materials and traditional craftsmanship with innovative design solutions and creative decor.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
CS: Being based in Switzerland, in the heart of the Alpine region, offers us the opportunity to propose original projects which combine tradition and innovation. The design has to find a common ground between the traditional Swiss chalet style and the glamorous appeal of the world-famous ski resort of Gstaad. We search for a contemporary yet timeless style that reflects and celebrates the authentic charm of the region and the untamed beauty of its landscape – and we add some twists to it, by combining the traditional materials and elements with more innovative solutions and contemporary details.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
CS: We work through every stage of the design process, from concept to completion, developing the idea from mood boards, freehand sketches and 2D drawings to photorealistic 3D renderings. Interaction and teamwork play a key role in our projects. When the client is involved in the process, he can add something personal to the final result and his feeling about the outcome will be totally different.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
CS: Some furniture pieces follow us from one home and office to another, being part of our life. I’m thinking about Le Corbusier’s long chair, Noguchi’s coffee table, Castiglioni’s Parentesi lamp or Alvar Aalto’s lake vase, but I’m also referring to our collection of designer’s model chairs, which are easier to pack up and are a great way of being surrounded by designer’s masterpieces... even in a limited space!

FS: What was your most important job experience?
CS: The Hotel de Rougemont has been a very challenging project, both spatially and stylistically. The hotel was an existing building with many space constraints; besides there were facilities to be added and new technical installations to be integrated. Our concept had to fit to the size of the previous rooms, which were really limited, especially in their height (2.20cm!) so we had to find solutions that could improve the perception of space. We started from the concept of the standard room, which was the smallest. We imagined it as a wooden box, opened on a side to the exterior landscape, and we placed a mirrored glass shower box in the middle of the space: its presence could provide multiple reflections and a visual link between the indoors and the outdoors, enhancing the sense of well-being while maximizing the sense of space. The second challenge was finding the right style for its interiors. Being situated in Rougemont, a picturesque village in the same ski resort of the world famous Gstaad, the hotel and its facilities were meant reflect the spirit of the place, while offering something new and up-to-date in order to fulfill the desires and expectations of an international and sophisticated clientele. The existing building has been transformed into a contemporary boutique hotel, with a discreet sense of luxury and a cozy atmosphere, and we found a common ground between the traditional Swiss chalet style and a contemporary, glamorous alpine resort. The interiors were designed to convey a discreet sense of luxury combined with a warm atmosphere. Premium materials, such as salvaged lumber and natural stone, clean shaped lines, customized details and a skillful use of light helped us to conjure up the desired result. Contemporary touches of design, unexpected pieces of artwork and photography added interest and a twist of surprise. Plusdesign has been granted with the bronze A’design Award 2015 for the interior design of the Hotel.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
CS: We provide our services to private, corporate and institutional clients. Working in Switzerland gives us the opportunity to deal with an international clientele with varied background and expectations. Every time it’s a challenge for our creativity, we have to recognize the need behind their requests and provide them with customized solutions which will fit them as a tailor-made suit.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
CS: We enjoy most of our work, but we have a soft spot for exhibition design works which allow us to experiment more. Having worked for a long time in with museums and galleries, we are very keen on art and we are personally in touch with talented artists and photographers.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
CS: We have established our activity in Switzerland and we are working on local projects as well as on projects elsewhere. We are now working on the renovation of a chalet here in Pays d'Enhaut; we have just finished a project for a micro home with transformable furnitures in Zurich and the interior design of an attic apartment in Rome. We’re mainly focused on interior design, but we’re also involved in furniture design and in architecture projects: we have just taken part to the architectural competition for a Wine House by the Leman Lake and to a pilot project concerning the urban signage in Canton Vaud.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
CS: We are working on a new exhibition space for an artist, to be opened before the end of 2017.

FS: How can people contact you?
CS: By email: info@plusdesign.ch Website http://www.plusdesign.ch Blog http://www.plusdesign.ch/blog.php Plusdesign is also on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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