Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Tiago Curioni (TC) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Tiago Curioni by clicking here.
Interview with Tiago Curioni at Tuesday 28th of February 2017
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?
TC: From a very tender age, my parents encouraged and cultivated my artistic capacity. My father, seeing potential, forged industriousness and craftsmanship by teaching me the proper use of many small tools including a wood atelier that I still use on my projects today. I also spent time at our large family farm surrounded by my ultra creative sister and cousins. We constructed tiny log cabins where we camped and played. Later in life I discovered my true life’s calling through a brand new college course entitled Architectural Language. Following my newly found passion I graduated with an Architecture degree in 2006. And I started working for a few of the Brazil’s top architecture and interior design offices based in São Paulo. Six years ago I opened my own architecture studio and one year ago, I added product design to my thriving businesses.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
TC: Tiago Curioni-estúdio de Design is based in São Paulo, Brazil. Coming from all over the world’s seventh largest city, our projects are mostly interior design, however, our newly formed furniture division is growing rapidly. The difference? Custom designs hand crafted to each clients’ wants and desires. Patrons and casual window shoppers watch our social media offerings globally on Instagram and Facebook.
FS: What is "design" for you?
TC: Design is premier quality, optimum efficiency and peerless elegance. Because of our great synergy with local suppliers, we recycle one of widest range of materials in Brazil. Our most important, in-house priority is to custom create each piece with charm and ergonomic elegance while respecting nature through conservation.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
TC: Whether it’s a small lamp or an expansive installation of multiple lighting systems, one of my greatest passions is to create quality lighting and stylish custom fixtures. Currently we are focusing our efforts on chairs for exhibitions during the São Paulo design week.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
TC: The Chaise Longue Rio by world-renowned designer Oscar Niemeyer. There is obvious inspiration from Rio de Janeiro geography and the feminine physique. His humble respect for materials, Brazilian tradition and technique are a design clinic in a single art form.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
TC: Lovely story about growth and progress: We hand made a custom lamp with copper. When I turned on the original prototype it cracked the assembly because a short circuit made the wires too rigid for the pipe’s curvature. We learned from this challenge and through progressive trial and error, refined it into the sophisticated unit it is today.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
TC: While I don’t have a favorite material, I do have a favorite project — the one I am currently working. I passionately use AutoCAD to fabricate the details the artist within me demands. My craftsman side finishes each unique build using an expansive set of laser cutting machines and routers coupled with a combination of traditional tools such as saws and planers.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
TC: When traveling I carry a notebook, pencil and pen to sketch fresh ideas. Observation of cultural city dynamics plus visiting local studios and suppliers add creative inspiration. Additionally I thrive in the company of new and current friends throughout my global journeys.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
TC: Simplicity. Always the goal for new projects — Elegance through simplicity is the universal challenge for designers across the world. Usability. I want people to be inspired while using my products.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
TC: Emotions come full circle. When sketches are initially born there is euphoria. The anxiety to build the prototype immediately follows. During the prototype stage frustration builds when something is not working well or is not the way it should be. Satisfaction comes through refinements. Splendor is derived through a customer’s happiness.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
TC: Joy and pleasure are definite after something born from your own hands. Most of the time emotions become physical, why not?!
FS: What makes a design successful?
TC: While most people say ”to sell a lot” for me it is all about being timeless.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
TC: Beautiful aesthetics and simple ergonomics — In that order.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
TC: Every designer must be concerned about products you deliver to your clients. Cost. Is the price fair market value? Quality. How many times will it work well? Recovery: Easy to recycle materials at the products’ end of life cycle?
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
TC: It’s a dichotomy! Brazil is going through a design renaissance during oppressive political and economical crises. While Brazil is globally known as a barn of good design the necessary structure is not available to develop our nation to its full potential. There are no government incentives and materials are rare and expensive. The future of design in Brazil demands the return to the basics through strategic economic production.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
TC: My last exhibition was in February 2016 at the Sculpture Museum of São Paulo and the next two will be in August 2016 at the São Paulo Jockey Club and Brazil’s Immigration Cultural Centre.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
TC: Inspiration comes from everywhere, especially in the city’s most diverse regions. Many times I work with business partners with studios based in the poorest areas. In those moments I readily absorb the fresh, sweeping energy and correspondingly, many new projects are born. Creativity comes from fresh perspective. The interplay of mental constructs, historic lessons and powerful memories drive results.
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?
TC: There are two powerful components to my style and visions for projects: The first is shear minimalism, clean, bright and intuitive, and the second is authentic industrial, using the bold essence of the materials’ attributes.
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?
TC: I reside in São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil and the 7th largest city in the world. Tradition and cultural heritage do not drive my work because an essential component of my vision is creating cutting edge tension with a plethora of different materials. Because my work is original, acceptance is gained through evolution not revolution. Clients enjoy unique ingenuity and individuality.
FS: How do you work with companies?
TC: I work with a limited amount art galleries and design stores that share core values and beliefs. Exclusivity is essential whether a single unique piece or a whole family of products.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
TC: Invest in us and embrace our visions. Help us to grow our unique businesses by creating a global platform to showcase our work. To find a good designer, see if he or she has deep, abiding passion about their craft. Do they talk about their creations with zeal? Can you still find the sparkle in their eyes?
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
TC: An old United States proverb says “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In other words is there a problem to solve? My process starts by spending time drawing, making sketches, studying color and researching materials to find a solution. The next step is to build a small-scale model. When the proportions are correct I start a life size model to confer ergonomics and real world appearance. The next step is to build the original prototype with the alternative materials and lastly the final model with the chosen materials for the client.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
TC: An old radio from my grandmother, a Braun shaver, my small Bialetti coffee maker, a old, rare watch procured from a local flea market and a design poster contest I picked up in the city streets.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
TC: 24) Can describe a day in your life? Early Morning: Coffee, quality time with my dog and e-mails, not necessarily in this exact order. Business Hours: The start of my day is resolving any pending business of the previous day, customer service and routine office work. In the afternoon I visit partners and/or clients. Late Evenings: My artistic side takes over. I like to create, research and build for clients and business partners. Night: I try always to divide my time between family, fun, sports and social work (ongoing project every Monday serving the homeless)
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
TC: Be curious and full of energy. Success depends on you and your willingness to try new things. Never stop searching. The most important idea is nothing unless you do something with it.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
TC: The best thing about a career in design is creating new things. Across the world, very few people get the opportunity to live their passion. To see something you draw come into existence is rare among careers. The negative? It’s very tough to establish your name and brand while making money in a very competitive marketplace.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
TC: Keep it simple.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
TC: Two tips: 1) Stay curious about life. 2) Have an excellent network professionally and personally.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
TC: I’m inseparable from a basic automatic pencil to the sophisticated AutoCAD software, from a sharp saw in a dusty workshop to a laser cut machine in a shiny laboratory. All my tools are married with my creative process.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
TC: Most of your time can be consumed in the creation phase. When you get stuck get away from your studio, take a break or do something else. Don’t be frustrated if you don’t have good ideas at that moment. Everything else is part of the process where you cannot be lazy or passive.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
TC: Timing depends on which material you choose, what the material requires to refine and if your project is practical. The project size and scope are also variants. A good rule of thumb is one month for a small project to create something from scratch.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
TC: “Would you give me a discount?” Just kidding... Most frequent: ´´How do you make my idea a reality?``
FS: What was your most important job experience?
TC: My current project: Creating a unique product for blind children in concert with friendly colleagues who are also building a family of products for blind children. I’m also in charge of organizing the project exhibition.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
TC: Nicoli Gallery, Ofos, MAC, DDC NY, Paralela, Made, High Design, Red studios, Boobam, many private clients.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
TC: Wood work: It’s amazing to see an old piece of wood, forgotten in the rain and the sun for years come to life after sanding. It’s poetry in motion.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
TC: I would love to be invited to work in a design studio or workshop in other country. I’m actively seeking this opportunity, by the way.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
TC: Usually I create the design and develop it further with my colleagues partners.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
TC: Coming soon: The Eight chair and the Orbit chair. Two unique chairs that explore totally different ways to sit. See both on display at August 2016 exhibitions.
FS: How can people contact you?
TC: By my email: firstname.lastname@example.org My website: www.tiagocurioni.com.br And my instagram: @tiagocurioni
FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
TC: The importance of prizes such as A´design Award is huge on a global scale. It’s a great opportunity for designers who reside in underdeveloped countries to showcase and highlight their works on a world stage.
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