Valentina approached me to host a panel interview as part of the launch of her Eden Chair during London Design Week. I was absolutely captivated by her passion for her craft and her country. So I am delighted to be able to share a little bit of what makes her tick with you here... What’s the most important thing to know about you?
I guess that I am honest, bold, I have a strong determination and what you see is what you get.
Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of Valentina Glez Wohlers.
A good day will probably involve: laughter, my friends & my boyfriend, some sort of creative exercise, nature or outdoors (a bright, sunny day near the water would do!), good music - preferably live, and experiencing something new.
A not-that-good day will probably involve: PMS and no pain killers, having to be highly functional with a bad hangover, unreliable suppliers and manufacturers... all with ABBA in the background!
What inspires your ideas?
I’ve been blessed with a great imagination that I fuel through books, art, architecture, sculpture, music, colours, nature, science, history... untold stories and unconventional beauty. Also exploring and playing with materials and shapes I haven't tried before always triggers new ideas.
Describe the process you go though to turn your ideas into products.
I start by nursing an abstract concept and wondering how that specific shape could work, functionally. My favourite part is the slow unfolding of the creative process: getting submerged into thoughts, ideas and concepts that start to translate them into less abstract forms. I guess it's the initial playful freedom of creation that hooks me completely, but then striking a balance between narratives, materials, colours, function, ergonomics… that’s lots of fun as well. And at the end, I suddenly notice, voila! there’s a chair!
What advice would you give to an aspiring furniture designer?
Create your own design processes, experiment, be playful and get dirty.
Also, today more than ever, we need to understand the context we are designing for; the final consumer, the market, the financial and social situation we’re going through, the materials and processes available and how to make the best of all these conscientiously.
Being aware of what we want to communicate and how we do it, is also key.
Which three items could you not live without?
Apple gadgets (all of them!).
The World Wide Web.
A good hammock by the sea.
What are you most proud of?
Right here, right now; I'm most proud of how, in such short period of time, and single-handedly, I’ve developed my work to where it is at the moment. Saying that, I'm currently exhibiting at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City, which is not bad either!
What’s next for you?
And, finally, what’s your favourite colour?!
Today I'm terracotta, earthy colours. Tomorrow we’ll see.