- Lina Patsiou interviewed by TETRAKTYSMAG
We met Lina Patsiou via her “muscar fluffy light”, a light bulb coated with flock fiber giving a beautiful effect with its colorful and playful design. Searching the social media we found her and in a chitchat we had, we decided to “officially” interview her… The reason, as you will see, is obvious we were astounded by her thoughts and ideas.
Emerging designer, Lina Patsiou
P+A: Lina we would like to thank you for your time and welcome you on behalf of our readers.
L.P.: My pleasure!
P+A: Can you tell us a few words about you?
L.P.: I grew up in Athens and when I turned seventeen I moved to Hermoupolis to study design. I have also lived in Holland and now in London. I enjoy moving around, I think changing environments helps you understand better who you are.
P+A: As a daughter of an economist and a philosophy teacher, do you think that design is determined by economy and philosophy? What is the philosophy behind your work?
L.P.: These are most definitely the two driving forces. To design is to make things for other people to live with. So, If you are making something to sell, you should be able to feel proud for it. To believe in it. There are so many things out there. If I am making something, I want it to offer something new. Be it an experience, a way of interaction, or just a thought.
P+A: What got you started with design and design engineering?
L.P.: I like arranging and ordering things. As child, I used to secretly move things around the house and then change them back, so no one would notice. I suppose design is a sort of arrangement, the arrangement of form and colour. Among other things. And engineering requires a high level of rational thinking. In a way, I see engineering as a great basis for design. It provides the ability to make informed decisions. If you know how things are supposed to be done, you can then choose to follow the rules, or to ignore them.
FIBRELAND chair by Lina Patsiou
P+A: As we read in your cv you are in the final year of a Master’s degree at the RCA. The reason you are doing a Master’s is it about experimentation with processes and techniques?
L.P.: It was my dream to go to the RCA, because I really admired the work that comes out of it. It is such a great, inspiring, fertile environment. I was hoping that by being there, I would become a better designer and I like to believe that I have. And yes, experimentation is a big part of the life in the RCA. There is no such a thing as a tested idea. Something that has been tested is common knowledge. It does not brake any boundaries.
P+A: As the graduate show approaches how do you feel?
L.P.: These two years have been the most intense and difficult of my life, but also the most rewarding. It is hard to believe it is over. But it is very exciting to see what lies ahead.
FOREVER collection of leather-upholstered furniture, SHOW RCA 2013, graduate work
P+A: Will Gompertz in his latest book “What are you looking at? 150 years of modern art” has represented the art movements based on the London Underground map. How do you see the evolution of design and more specifically the Greek design scene?
L.P.: I think design is in a very interesting phase right now, perhaps because of the crisis, on an international level. There is a turn back to craftsmanship and, most interestingly, there is a big wave of designers creating their own opportunities for generating work, without the need to depend on big manufacturers. We see new tools creating innovative forms and object popping up all around, especially by young designers that have no means of outsourcing work. I suppose in London that is more pronounced because here life is so expensive, and competition quite fierce. All this alternative work could never be created under the name of an established manufacturer, it is too risky. And perhaps, more artistic. So I think this is also a great opportunity for greek design as well. We never had the great industry to support design, and maybe this is the time when this matters least. Greece has such a wealth of craft in its history. And if there is any culture that knows of appropriation and making do, this is the Greek one. We can use this in our interest now.
P+A: You got a distinction as a Featured Designer during Interiors UK in Birmingham. What does this mean to you?
L.P.: That was such a great surprise! The whole thing was really unexpected, Designersblock invited me to participate out of the blue, and then the organisers decided to feature my work! It is just very fulfilling to see that your work is picked up by people who are used to see new products everyday, and an honour.
Cast Table table
P+A: You had an internship with KORRES, how did you experience the whole collaboration?
L.P.: Now that’s an example of good business. KORRES’s success is not a matter of luck, they put great care in everything they do, every little detail. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to work in such an environment, I learnt many things there. I hope we will start seeing more companies like this in Greece, soon.
P+A: Who’s your favorite living designer?
L.P.: I would say Nendo, because his work is brilliantly simple. He is so prolific as well! It is very rare to see someone who does so much that is so good. Also, I absolutely love Nacho Carbonell’s work. It is so inspiring. And he is a great guy.
P+A: What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
L.P.: I misplaced my sketchbook last week, and that made me realise how important it is to me. I just cannot loose it. It was a great relief to find it. I have all my sketchbooks, back from when I was studying in Greece, for my BA. Also, my drill. Its amazing how much you can do with one.
P+A: How will you be part of the future world?
L.P.: Through my products, I hope. I want to create experiences for people, to help them dream.
P+A: How do you see the world developing?
L.P.: This is a tricky one. We are in a point of huge change. Hard decisions must be made. I hope we will all start caring more about the environment and each other. Before it is too late.
P+A: And before closing our conversation, a final question. You do not have a favorite color but you give your attention to a smell (one of your trivia is that if a font had a smell that would be of freshly chopped cucumbers). Is it a personal belief that you give attention to the matter of things and not to their exterior or is it that you have missed Greek summer very much?
L.P.: Haha, a bit of both I guess. A lot of my work is about light and shadow as well. I enjoy the subtleties light as a medium can bring to a design. And I suppose, yes, I miss the sun a bit. Good thing I am coming to Greece soon for a bit of a brake!
P+A: Lina we would like to thank you for your time and we wish you all the best to your future plans.
L.P.: Thank you very much!
Top: CHROMATOGRAPHY, graduate work, SHOW RCA 2013