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CARLA SZABO TALKS ABOUT CREATIVITY AS A MIX OF EMOTION AND CURIOSITY

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE INNOVATIVE? IN CARLA’S CASE, INNOVATION MEANS TO HAVE THE COURAGE AND DETERMINATION TO EXPRESS SOMETHING AUTHENTIC, AN UNPREDICTABLE APPROACH, A CONTINUOUS SURPRISE REGARDING THE MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES USED TO CREATE EACH COLLECTION. AFTER VISITING THE WORKSHOP OF THE DESIGNER CARLA SZABO, I BECAME THE MESSENGER OF THE IDEA THAT CONCLUDED OUR DISCUSSION: LET’S STOP CREATING ONLY WITHIN OUR AREA OF ACTIVITY, LET’S LEAVE INDIVIDUALISM AND EGOCENTRISM BEHIND, LET’S START TO COLLABORATE MORE, TO EVOLVE TOGETHER AND TO DEVELOP IDEAS FOR THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY.


WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A DESIGNER?

During my adolescence, immediately after my sister went away to college and I started the project of redecorating the room in which we grew up together. With the help of my father, who was an architect, I projected my first library and I conceived a space after the “client’s” requirements, meaning a space that reflected my new vision about what is practical and aesthetic. This activity fascinated me: I discovered that I can create moods through design.

WHAT DOES DESIGN MEAN TO YOU?

In my work design is, on one hand, an environment in which I express various ideas and emotions. I accomplish that through my jewellery creations – there, I have the freedom to express myself without restrictions. On the other hand, it’s a service that I offer to my customers. Regardless of the person I work for, an individual or a company, through the objects I create I want to express and transfer an idea from a volatile state to something real. It’s something fascinating for me and I do this passionately, especially when I work for a beneficiary and I have to answer a need that I filter through my mind and feelings. By combining the two, a lot of wonderful things are created, almost without exceptions!

THE MOST WONDERFUL MOMENT DURING A PROJECT IS…

It’s the moment when I start it, when I learn about the theme and when ideas start to come. Sometimes they are clear from the very beginning; other times I can barely find some… it’s the process of discovering what will happen next. The birth of an idea is a very emotional process for me, a moment that I can compare to the birth of a new being.

WHAT’S THE MOST VALUABLE THING THAT YOU’RE TRYING TO ACHIEVE THROUGH DESIGN?

I don’t really know if I have one special thing that I particularly follow, but I can certainly say that I love to hear that “Aha!” of surprise from people/ clients when they discover the solution they have been waiting for or when they see an object full of aesthetics and meaning.

AN EXAMPLE OF POSITIVE CHANGE THROUGH DESIGN

In its essence, design is a job that aims the materialization of various human needs into solutions. I don’t even know where to start in giving examples… any new technique or technology brings positive changes to the culture of the objects. I can give a simple example: the one of baking soil in the oven in order to create ceramic objects. This technique lead to the appearance of a new perspective for food storage, for example, of oils and all types of liquids. Or the discovery of Bakelite at the beginning of the 20th century – the first synthesis material that through its plastic qualities gave a new perspective to object drawing (better read it as object “thinking”) in people’s daily lives.

WHAT HELPED YOU COME THIS FAR?

I reached this point after a long research and learning period of what means to be an entrepreneur and a professional. Because I didn’t have models around my working environment, my understanding and growing period prolonged. The chance of being present in this market since its very beginning helped me come this far, along with my working capacity and tenacity.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN YOUR ACTIVITY IN THE FUTURE?

A settlement on forms and wider and greater structures. Many businesses and professional activities in Romania developed on the “molehill” model. Chaotic, self-sufficient and egocentric developments. Now it’s time for a vertical development, with our heads up and with the consciousness of opening to the world and to society as a whole. Now it’s time to create links between molehills by developing communities based on a win-win way of thinking.

A PIECE OF ADVICE FOR AN ENTREPRENEUR THAT IS ABOUT TO COLLABORATE WITH A DESIGNER

Both are part of a team. There is no hierarchy, the collaboration is like a symbiosis. An entrepreneur is the one that takes the honey from the bee (the designer) and brings it to the shelf of a store. My advice for entrepreneurs is to see their activity as being one of organic formation and reformation of society, with the main purpose of establishing harmony between people and the systems they created. Especially small entrepreneurs who are not connected to gigantic commercial systems can be flexible and visionary. I would also give a piece of advice to designers: it is important for them to understand that the creative process is not about them, it is about the product designed and created by third parties. The designer is an integrated part of a complex cultural, economic and social system.

MORE OR LESS FAMOUS MAGAZINES THAT YOU READ

I admit: I CREATE more than I read. I frequently check designboom.com

CAN DESIGN SAVE THE WORLD ?

Design is an essential part of people’s lives. It is said that man started evolving when he discovered the tool. I can make a reference to “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur Clarke. The moment when man wants or must be saved, design will have its essential contribution. When we talk about people, we talk about tools and when we talk about tools, we talk about design as well.

A PIECE OF ADVICE TO INSPIRE US

I have always said that ideas don’t belong to us, that they are and always will be waves, like radio frequencies, that people capture according to their own sensibility. How could you own the wind and say that it belongs to you?! Now, in the internet era, we can talk even less about ideas as being important. Turning ideas into reality, the ways to bring ideas closer to people is what counts most. My advice is to explore this way of understanding deeper, until we reach a point where the ego no longer exists. It is only in that moment when we will be able to truly create something beautiful and dedicated to humanity. When the wind brings a seed to your doorstep, plant it and then, with discipline and responsibility, water the earth and take care of the tree until it will be big enough not to need you anymore. Then, undoubtedly, the wind will send another seed to your doorstep.

AN OPINION ABOUT DESIGN DRIVEN

Go, go, go! 🙂

Foto: Vlad Bîrdu




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