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Interview with Camilla Marcondes Lima

Home > Designer Interviews > Camilla Marcondes Lima

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

Interview with Camilla Marcondes Lima at Wednesday 24th of October 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?
CML: I remember when I was very very young, I wanted to become a doctor, then a vet. But I spent my life surrounded by pencils, markers, watercolor pencils. Both my parents are architects so I couldn't help following their footsteps. At first I thought about studying Architecture, then I fell in love with the industrial design.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
CML: Even after graduating I kept moving around design, architecture and landscaping. I spent a while working at my parents office, after I started my own landscaping company. About 13 years ago I discovered myself in jewelry design. I enrolled in a goldsmithing school and started to develop collections for major fashion brands in Brazil. After 3 years, I launched my first jewelry brand, Hefestos. Now, I'm living in United States and I'm in development of another brand.

FS: What is "design" for you?
CML: Design is a better way to present a product and provide people to have a great experience with it.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
CML: In jewelry what I like to work most are bracelets. All of my bracelets are huge, but not heavy. They also are very detailed.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
CML: My favorite design is a necklace that I'm still working on it. I have launched it, but I'm always changing something, improving its shape...

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
CML: It was a long shell necklace. The shell beads were tied by macrame knots. The company ordered 1500 pieces and I had to produce them by myself because I had no employee and I was a beginner in the field. It was in the end of 2006, a Christmas order for a fashion brand in Rio de Janeiro. After a month of very hard working, my hands were destroyed.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
CML: I love to work with metal sheets, wood and leather. I'm good at working with paper cuts too.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
CML: I feel myself most creative late at night and dawn when everybody is sleeping. No phone rings, no distraction.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
CML: I try to keep the balance between the shape and the weight. I like to create "maxi" jewelry, so I always choose to work with thin metal sheets because they are lighter. About to jewelry, attention to weight is always a focus.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
CML: In my case, I design to empower people, so power is a strong feeling when I was creating.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
CML: At the most of times I feel fantastic, a good sense of accomplishment, but sometimes I feel that I still have to work in that product

FS: What makes a design successful?
CML: Design is successful when a large number of people have access to it. This is one of the reasons I don't work with gold.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
CML: For me the most important aspects to consider a good or bad design are the usability of the product and the satisfaction of its user. I am always analyzing the experience that the user would have with the product.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
CML: Nowadays, the designers should have ethical and moral values specially in manufacturing field. We have to think about how the product will be produced, in the fair manufacturing value, in what kind of conditions the employees will work, etc. Environment is other field that designers have pay attention. The chosen material and the manufacturing process. We have to keep in mind the three R's of product and service development, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
CML: The "design field is indeed evolving. The technology became more accessible and cheaper, there are design apps and tools for everybody. Design is available for everyone and it is wonderful. Now we have 3D printer pens, small equipment with friendly interface. I think it all estimulates the criativity. The more creative people in the world, the better it will be.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
CML: My last exhibition was at a fashion show and trade in 2013, in Rio de Janeiro. I was opening my second store in Ipanema. After that my life became very busy, I had a baby, moved from my country to US, helped to consolidate my husband's new business. Now I'm ready to come back to scene. On the second semester, I'm planning to be in a fashion show in NY.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
CML: Architecture is always an inspiration. The shapes, the angles, the volume. Other inspiration is the nature specially in the use of natural materials as wood, stone, seeds, shell.

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?
CML: My style is casual-chic. It's more simple and sofisticated. I use natural materials mixed with matte surfaced metals. My stones and gens are alwyas non lapidated. Definitely it's not fancy or ostensive.

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?
CML: I live in Florida, US, since 2017. My neighborhood is young and friendly. The nature still doesn't have much human intervention, it has lots of lakes, flooded woods and wild animals. On the other hand we are surrounded by technology, internet, information, all the world at a "click distance". I really have difficulty to see the cons.

FS: How do you work with companies?
CML: I'm designer and entrepreneur. Now I design for my own company, but at the beginning I designed and manufactured for other companies, fashion brands mainly. They briefed the collection concept, color chart, sometimes we worked with patterns. After that, we discussed how many pieces the collection would have, so I designed and manufactured the products.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
CML: The designer's profile should fit in the characteristics of the company. I really think a good designer can create within any and all styles, just have a good concept briefing. However, it is normal that every designer has their own styles and techniques which they feel more comfortable and confident. So I believe that the interaction of designer vs. company always walks better when it has both matching characteristics.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
CML: My design process starts with a concept researching, I use books, internet, etc. After that some drafts to define how many items the collection will have, then the drafts become more detailed and it's time to decide the materials and manufacturing processes. Lastly, I vetorize all the designs and send them to manufacturing. In this first production I can see if the designs are ok or they have to be corrected.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
CML: A wood bench we use at the living room, the TV shelves system that my mother designed, a ceiling fan, a stainless steel tree decoration and a neopreme bag.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
CML: I'm designer, mother, wife and business owner. And my roles do not always come in that order. My duties go from design a jewelry colection to pick up my son at school.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
CML: In your first drafts, design with no kind of filter or judgement. Free your ideas no matter how crazy they seem to be. I believe that the more ideais you have the easier and faster the result will be.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
CML: Designers have to keep their minds always opened, be alert to the technology, be updating their knowledge about materials and manufacturing processes. At home you will be seen as a super hero or someone very cool by your children. The negative points are the same technology that helps us to improve our work, is the same that allows non-designers to have a good result in their projects. I really don't think it's a bad thing at all. I just think the designers have to offer something that techonology doesn't deliver.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
CML: Think about the purpose of the product, to what it is proposed to be or do.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
CML: Creativity, flexibility, good listening and responsibility for the choice of materials.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
CML: At first, just paper, pencil and eraser. Then comes vetor softwares like Illustrator.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
CML: I love kanban system. It's a board with some different columns where you mark the status of your tasks. In addition, put away my cellphone or any other gadget that distracts me.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
CML: It depends... Sometimes it comes easy and fast, and others it can be a pain. In average I give myself a month, or a little more, to design a collection with 30-50 pieces.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
CML: I always hear "How did you do that?" from my friends, family and customers.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
CML: I've had some good job experiences. I learnt how to attend and listen the customer, how to present a project and negociate it. But only in my own company I had contact to the bad side (business administration, taxes, employees, customers complaint)... All this bad side is also important lessons.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
CML: At the moment I design for my own company.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
CML: I love crafts. I always try to include an artisanal matter in my designs.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
CML: My plans include a new brand and new collection in second semester of 2018, a online store and a Fashion Show in NY.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
CML: At the moment, I have no design team. It's just myself.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
CML: There are a new collection being designed. It will be in metal and leather cords, very very casual, but sofisticated.

FS: How can people contact you?
CML: Email or Whatsapp are the best ways to contact me. I reply them all.


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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