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Interview with Laura Micheli

Home > Designer Interviews > Laura Micheli

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Laura Micheli (LM) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Laura Micheli by clicking here.

Interview with Laura Micheli at Friday 11th of May 2018

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?
LM: have been fascinated by arts since I was a little girl. I really enjoyed drawing and painting. I remember one Christmas when I was around 9 or 10 I received a box of oil colours and I did my first proper painting with the help of my mum. It was the portrait of my little cat. My mum is not an artist, but she loves arts and I think I got this passion from her. Then, during my studies I became more and more interested in art and architecture, that’s why I decided to become an architect. I was able to get into a very “unique” University of Architecture, the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio, where the conceptual design for a project always went hand in hand with its representation through drawings, collages or physical models. During my studies I made models with many different materials like concrete, plaster, wood and metal. Even though my passion for jewellery started in high school, the years in the Academy of Architecture were a crucial point for me to get in touch with new materials and improve my thecnique.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
LM: I am currently based in Zurich where I work both as an architect and as a freelance jewellery designer. For now, I set up my workspace at home, since I am lucky to have enough space for my atelier. I also work in a jewellery workshop in case I need to use bigger tools.

FS: What is "design" for you?
LM: That’s a very difficult question. I would say that design is idea and process.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
LM: In the field of jewellery design, earrings are my favourite piece. Maybe because it’s the first accessory I notice when someone is wearing them!

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
LM: I am very pleased that the “Leaf “ earrings received the A’ Design Award, because it’s the piece of work I am most fond of. I remember that I did the prototipe for them a long time ago. It was one of my first works approaching silver, but I wasn’t convinced at the beginning and I left them incomplete. Then, almost one year later, I found them in a box and started to work again, with more knowledge and self confidence. To me, they represent my growth as a jewellery designer.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
LM: Up to now, I have never worked for a company as jewellery designer.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
LM: I love working with silver and with concrete...but the last one is harder to put into jewelries!

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
LM: Sunny days are always good for your heart and your mind!

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
LM: Aesthetic, originality, form, material, weight, light, texture, colours. Not necessarily in this order.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
LM: Joy, passion, curiosity. I feel like I learn new things every time that I sit at my jewellery desk and start creating anew piece.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
LM: I am thrilled, excited and…scared. Of course there is an element of uncertainty when you work on custom design and the first worry is that the client will like and understand the finished piece.

FS: What makes a design successful?
LM: Considering jewellery design, I think it should tell a story and be coherent and cohesive in its shape, material and used thecnique.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
LM: It depends on which field we are talking about. For example, the aesthetics or originality are very important qualities to consider in jewellery design, but the idea, expression, good construction, functionality are more important aspects to consider while judging an architectural project.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
LM: A designer should think about strategies to make his design accessible to the people and friendly to the environment. This can achieved in different ways depending on the scale of the design and on the field we are considering.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
LM: I think that it's hard to invent new things, and think about design only in future terms. As long as we keep observing and being critic on what has been already done, we can use it as inspiration for the future. This consciousness, combined with the development of new materials and technologies can bring to very good design.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
LM: Unfortunately, I have never done any exhibition, but I hope that this Award will bring me to hold one! I would love to do my first exhibition in Italy, my home country.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
LM: Jewelry design has been a passion and interest for the last ten years and it has always gone hand in hand with architecture. I am inspired by many different things. I like to say that my jewels are the representation of my encounters with materials, techniques, forms, references, images, stories, people, souls and memories. Every piece of jewelry needs to have a story.

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?
LM: I am still developing a “style" and I am not even sure that I will en up identifying with only one! I consider creativity as a continuous work in progress which grows and develops together with my personality and my life experiences.

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?
LM: I currently live in Zurich (Switzerland), but in the last five years I have lived in Milan, Paris and in the Italian part of Switzerland. I am very attached to Italy, my home country, but I also feel very lucky for having had the possibility to get to know other countries, cities and people. This has surely enriched and influenced me a lot. I can imagine to go back to Italy one day, but for now I enjoy living abroad and catching all the opportunities that arise.

FS: How do you work with companies?
LM: I don’t work with any company at the moment.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
LM: I have never worked with companies, so I don’t know how to answer to this question.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
LM: The creative process behind my pieces of jewelry takes place in different ways. It can start from a formal or aesthetic inspiration, from a memory, or from the request of the client.Often a creative error turns into an element of interest, so when a piece is not finished yet, a second is already born. Sometimes the process is completely random and spontaneous.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
LM: Currently, the table “Quaderna” by Superstudio, the lamp “Parentesi” by Achille Castiglioni, a little “Savoy Vase” by Alvar Aalto, and two little vintage chairs I found in a market here in Zurich that recall the “Cafétéria" ones by Prouvé…not original unfortunately, but very nice.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
LM: My days are split between my occupation as an architect working in an architectural firm in Zurich, and the one as jewelry designer.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
LM: I am still a very young designer so I am not sure I have any “pearls of wisdom” to share. I have learned though, that not giving up on your passion and finding the time to dedicate to it, no matter if it’s just a hobby or a full time job, is very important. We tend to forget and postpone these moments because of the other duties that we feel need to come first, but doing what makes you feel good and happy should be a priority.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
LM: The main positives aspects for me are the freedom in the creative process, the continuous learning and the craftsmanship. Manipulating the materials with my hands is such a great feeling! I cant’t think of any negative aspect!

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
LM: Never stop being inventive, learning and challenging youself. And always remember to enjoy the process!

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
LM: Being curious, eager to learn, have a good sense of aesthetics and sensitivity.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
LM: All my pieces are handmade, so my hands are my primary tool. Then, together with the specific tools used in jewellery, I look at books and make researches online on topics that I find interesting. Sometimes, I use a 3D modelling program to help me during the design process, but I still prefer the more analogical process.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
LM: I try to set a maximum time before I start to dedicate do different tasks, but it rarely works!

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
LM: Most of the times it’s not a linear process. Sometimes it happens that there is a long gap between the moment of the inspiration and the developing of an idea and the realisation.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
LM: Where do you take inspiration from?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
LM: I can say that moving to Zurich is being a very important and positive changing professionally.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
LM: Friends, people I know or people who contact me though my website or social medias.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
LM: I like to design earrings and rings and working with silver.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
LM: My dream is to start selling my jewelries in little boutiques, get more visibility and maybe start a collaboration with other jewelry designers or artists.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
LM: I work alone.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
LM: A lot of new designs will be coming soon, stay tuned on my social medias and website!

FS: How can people contact you?
LM: They can find all the information to contact me in the "Contact" page of my website: www.lauramicheli.com

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
LM: No, it was already a very broad interview. Thank you!


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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