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The STUDIOLAV label finds Lucas Angelou and Vasso Safi combining their creative forces. The duo met during their studies at Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design and a little further down the line, decided to combine their experiences, driven by their common aesthetic and vision, which makes them stand out in the design world. Their goal is to redefine and perhaps reinvent legendary, if not slightly banal designs, and incorporate them in a modern environment.

How did you get involved with design?

Lucas – I always wanted to make use of my creativity. I thought about delving into architecture and interior design, before ending up in product design. The very idea that I could become involved in something as specific as a stand-alone product fascinated me, I wanted to discover what lay behind its design. I can honestly say that my choice has vastly exceeded my expectations.
Vasso – I think it was more a natural progression than a specific choice. I started out with interior design but product design quickly captured my attention. I’m very happy that I can do both now, since the difference in scale between the two is always a welcome challenge.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

We’re very interested in the everyday nature of both the present and the past, in customs, in habits and everyday behavior. Through our work, we try and create a dialogue that goes beyond how something functions and stretches to how an object can tell a story. Moreover, though we share a common aesthetic, we’re very different as people and this helps us react to elements, that we wouldn’t necessarily react to as individuals.

What kind of materials do you prefer and why? What is your relationship with other arts?

Our approach doesn’t necessarily focus on one material in particular, more on its characteristics and the way it is manufactured. We’re very interested in experimenting with various components, textures, motifs, and how their connections can provide the user with a sensory understanding that goes beyond the visual aspect. We believe that in this way, the experience becomes far more complete, thus increasing the chance for a stronger emotional connection between the user and the object.
Design has taken on a far more multifaceted form and often crosses the lines of other applied arts. We’re always open to collaborations with other creative sectors, as we believe that design can form the connective link between the arts and science and contribute to the production of unexpected creative results. Our very own project, “Couture Baking”, a line of biscuits adorned with fashion prints, came forth out of a collaboration with fashion designer Haizhen Wang, as we brought together creative fashion, confectionery and design.

Has the crisis affected your way of thinking and your work as a result?

It’s affected not only our way of thinking, but our way of working as well. However, we maintain a positive and energetic stance. The challenge is no longer just about the creative nature of our ideas, but also the possibility of them being realized. Our time, work and the materials themselves have to be shrewdly used, without compromising the quality and concept of each project. Design is a way of thinking after all, a creative method of solving everyday problems and we feel that it can be a very useful tool in these times of crisis.

Name some of your favorite artists

Lucas – I have the utmost respect for the work of Mark Rothko, for his choices of color and his compositions, while I also pay attention to the work of Anish Kapoor. I watch the materials he uses and I enjoy the visual games he puts forward through his work.

Vasso – I really like the work of Robert Montgomery, especially for the way he uses language, typography, neon lighting and also the public spaces he often uses to present his work.


Interview: Yama Suki
Photo by: Manos Katsaprinis