Furniture is inherently architectural. As the buildings we work, play, and go home to support us, so, too, do our tables and desks. Ilse Lang’s designs underscore the structural nature of our daily props, creating dramatic, modular pieces that are playful, functional art objects. Today, Andrew Joseph had the pleasure of interviewing this superstar of contemporary furniture design.
Andrew Joseph – What’s your wakeup ritual?
Iisle Lang – When I can stay in bed I love to drink mate (a regional gaúcho tea). I can stay for hours just looking to the horizon and thinking about my projects. This is a very productive time.
Andrew – How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Iise – If you love what you do, the border of what is work and what is life gets blurred. In the end, you just don’t care much about that balance. When the kids were small I had to reserve a time for them and I did it. Now I’m free and just don’t care.
Andrew – How would you define your work in three words?
Iise – Ingenious, but simple.
Andrew – Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Iise – Care less about what others are doing and what they think about you. You will never please everybody anyway.
Andrew – A book that everyone should read?
Iise – Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink.” It makes you aware of your intuition and how you shouldn’t neglect it.
Andrew – What would you like to be remembered for?
Iise – First, for being a good mother. Second, for having created objects that made a difference in people’s lives.
Andrew – Favorite place to view art?
Iise – Amsterdam.
Andrew – Best gift you’ve ever received?
Iise – A silver necklace from my husband. Unfortunately, I don’t know who the designer was. He bought it in a designers’ cooperative in Barcelona. It’s very simple but absolutely beautiful.
Andrew – Best compliment you’ve ever received?
Iise – The best compliment I can remember was when a customer came into our shop in Porto Alegre and told me he was moving and leaving behind most of his furniture. But, he was keeping everything he bought from us many years ago. I praise design for being perennial. It’s the best sustainability we can get.
Andrew – Favorite scent?
Iise – Coffee.
Andrew – Who is a contemporary inspiration in your field?
Iise – I wouldn’t say inspiration, but there is one I especially admire for the intelligence and simplicity of solutions: the Japanese studio Nendo. They are clever and poetic. Ingo Maurer is also a genius in the same way.
About Ilse Lang – Ilse Lang’s training as an architect and curiosity for living solutions naturally evolved into the development of her own firm, FARO DESIGN, in 1996. Her work takes inspiration from regional materials and culture, and seeks to create objects that are capable of generating identification and attachment for their intrinsic quality, independent of ephemeral trends.
About Andrew Joseph – Andrew Joseph’s passion for design and rich journalistic history led to the launch of his boutique PR firm in 2012. Prior to enjoying the successes of Andrew Joseph PR, Andrew honed his editorial skills at Vanity Fair and Allure. This experience, as well as the strong network of contacts developed over the years in public relations, brings a valuable edge to his new role as contributing editor. Let the musing begin.
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