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Interview with Chrysi Vrantsi

Home > Designer Interviews > Chrysi Vrantsi

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

Interview with Chrysi Vrantsi at Monday 16th of May 2022
Chrysi Vrantsi
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?
CV: I hold a master's degree in Architecture from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. I firmly believe that one of the most important things in life is creativity. Ever since I can remember I wanted to be an artist, in my childhood I expressed myself through my oil paintings, figures and portraits. Architecture changed my whole view of art. Architecture is a unique combination of art and science.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
CV: Vrantsi is a construction and architecture firm based in Thessaloniki, Greece. Founded by Anastasia and Chrysi Vrantsi in 2019, Vrantsi undertakes renovation and construction projects developing both their architectural design and construction completion. Inspired by the thin lines between science and art our firm is committed to developing sophisticated architectural designs and high quality outcomes. Every architectural proposal is an artistic intention / challenge that evolves and takes its final form and substance as a new piece of art developing in the three dimensional space. This is the centerpiece of our designs, from the first idea to the completion of our projects.

FS: What is "design" for you?
CV: It is a three-dimensional expression of materiality, a materiality that is dynamic in its form and essence. Architecture explores space and form, from the abstract to the real.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
CV: I mainly like to design public buildings that people have access to. Architecture is a piece of art for people and its highest beauty arises when it is accessible to all.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
CV: The first thing I designed for a company was a project called biodigital urban curtain, it was during my internship in London at ecoLogicStudio, led by Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, I was part of the design team, we designed a large-scale installation, in collaboration with Climate-KIC presented in Dublin during the week of Climate Innovation Summit 2018 at Dublin Castle. The project has been awarded the following year.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
CV: As an architect, concrete is one of the most beautiful materials used for architectural purposes. 3d printing is an emerging technology. Nowadays, there is an exponential increase in the possibilities of 3d printing and computational design.Additive manufacturing is a promising method in construction industry. 3d printing process and computational design allows optimizing the distribution of materials, It is an innovative technique that enhances overall processes from design to fabrication by incorporating various materials, structural and geometrical data.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
CV: I feel more creative especially early in the morning in my office. Early in the morning I am calm and quite productive. It is very valuable to have time for planning and a specific workplace. At that time I can be free to make my own sketches and models, my mind is open to new design ideas and design challenges.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
CV: There are many design aspects that define my design principles. The geographical features, the social characteristics as well as the history of each region are some of these aspects. Defining design principles is important for creating a structure that respects geographical, cultural and social characteristics. In my designs, lines, shapes and materiality are design elements that are very important, more specifically I prefer dynamic shapes and sharp angles to create a futuristic and bold aesthetic, finally I find it very interesting to use high-tech materials that are eco friendly.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
CV: When I design I feel free, calm and creative. The design process opens the mind, broadens our perspectives and horizons.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
CV: The result of the design process is the completion of the construction of each project. It is a unique experience to visit the building you have designed. This feeling is hard to be described . I feel so many emotions in the same time and my heart beats at a higher rate than usual.

FS: What makes a design successful?
CV: It depends on each specific project. A design is successful when it is effective and efficient in fulfilling its purpose.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
CV: The design idea of the designer is the first thing I consider when deciding whether or not I like a particular project. After that, I wonder what this project proposes as new and innovative. Then I ask my self how effectively this project interacts with the environment, society and the landscape.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
CV: All designers must work to create a better environment and a better society. By making informed decisions, designers can reduce the environmental impact, build a better, fairer and safer society.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
CV: The design sector is dynamic, there are so many design technologies and tools being developed at the same time. We can not be sure of future planning(Robotic construction, 3D printing, 3D multimedia printing, algorithmic design etc).

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
CV: Our project “Project C” was exhibited in June 2020 at the Institut de France and in September 2020 at the Cité de l'Architecture in Paris.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
CV: I am inspired by materials technologies and emerging innovations in the construction industry. I like to create buildings that become a unique experience for visitors. There are many benefits to incorporating new technologies into building design. That's why I try to learn as much as possible about the latest design methodologies and construction technologies.

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?
CV: My architectural design style can be described as free form with strong aesthetic elements in geometry and materiality (sharp corners, curves, concrete, etc.) As an architect and artist during my studies, I was amazed by Claude Parent's designs. His approach depicts structures, flowing, curved shapes as he progressed from the abstract to the real. His designs made me explore this design approach and aesthetic not only in Art but also in Architecture. This can be achieved through recent design approaches (parametric design) and through emerging design technologies.

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?
CV: I live in Greece, a country that is very closely associated with architecture since ancient times. Mediterranean aesthetic effects my designs. Especially aesthetic values ​​such as balance and harmony , pure textures and materials. Staying in Greece has some advantages and some disadvantages. One advantage is that there are some beautiful locations especially on the islands which are the ideal locations to design a building. A disadvantage is that there are strict urban design rules that limit the typology of buildings.

FS: How do you work with companies?
CV: I work at "Vrantsi" which is our firm of architecture and construction . But sometimes we work with other construction companies, especially on large-scale projects.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
CV: A designer must meet the design skills required by the company. But the criteria of a good designer are different for each company depending on the philosophy of the company. I believe that there are some common values that a good designer has, passion and love for design, patience and ambition for the future.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
CV: Become the creator of your own and unique path in Art and Architecture. Work hard, follow your dreams, do not be afraid to lose, learn from victory and defeat.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
CV: Being a designer has positives and negatives. If you want to make a career and become a good Designer - Artist - Architect, you work not only out of necessity, but also to move forward and succeed. The road to success is a combination of determination, ability, passion, discipline and luck. This endless effort to become better and design something unique and different is also beautiful but sometimes difficult, stressful and demanding.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
CV: In every project you fulfill, you should see yourself in it

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
CV: First you need to develop some personal skills such as patience and hard working . But there are also many skills that you must fulfill, such as knowledge of construction, analytical thinking skills, creativity and infinite passion for artistic research. An architect is both an artist and a scientist and has to serve both titles.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
CV: I usually design with Rhinoceros , which is a CAD software with a number of 3D modeling tools and grasshopper, a plug-in included in the Rhinoceros 3D modeling software. It is a tool for algorithmic modeling,

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
CV: Sometimes there is no way to manage your time, when you start a project, you can not always set a specific start and end point. Architecture is not a routine job, this is something that architects learn from their academic years.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
CV: Depending on the project, a specific schedule cannot be easily set.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
CV: One question I am usually asked is how can I work so many hours a week. Architectural design and construction are based on projects and we must meet deadlines. In addition, being an architect is not a 9 to 5 job, it is a creative process and there is no starting and ending point. So this happens automatically.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
CV: It was my work at ecologic studio, I believe it was a lifetime experience, the studio has a unique design approach that reevaluates the relationship with our environment and envisions a world in which all ‘beings’ could be in harmony with each other through a found balance.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
CV: Most of our clients are entrepreneurs and we deal mainly with private construction and architectural projects.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
CV: I prefer architectural buildings and constructions, this is what I like most, I think it is very interesting to get from a design idea to a real construction.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
CV: Our future plan of our company is to deal with bigger design projects. We want to be known for our work and to be exposed to a wider range of clients in Greece and abroad.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
CV: The designs or Vrantsi’s projects are being developed by me. Although, the structural analysis and the financial project management is being carried by Anastasia Vrantsi, Structural Engineer, MBA and cofounder of the company

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
CV: We are currently completing the design of the facade of an apartment building in Greece. In addition, we have just completed a beach bar project located in Thassos in Greece.

FS: How can people contact you?
CV: People can contact me via my business email chrysi@vrantsi.com or my business phone which is 00306932465079


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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