DDN magazine and IFI Voices. Exchanging Ideas.

Design Diffusion News (DDN) magazine focused on Europe in its issue #263.

Historically, Europe has led and defined significant design movements, shaping particularly Western interpretations of society and culture – with the Bauhaus and classical Modernism being the most recent. Given this, and that we are in a period of massive global transformation today (including market demands and processes), different professionals across Europe were invited to share their words which they think reflect fresh approaches for now.

Here we share the contributions of the ECIA’s members - Teresa Casas (CGCODDI), Tatu Ahlroos (SIO), and Mauro Brigham (AiNB).

Teresa Casas serves as the current president of Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Decoradores y Diseñadores de Interior (CGCODDI), while still leading her own Interiors studio.

“To rethink new interior spaces, and refashion existing ones, including by giving them new uses, is a great challenge. Society is changing at a dizzying pace. New ways of seeing and of doing the everyday drive us to shop online, telework, have virtual gatherings, but at the same time, to value spaces that excite, that open the senses, that offer exclusivity. A new era, where technology, innovation, computing, robotics, will be of great importance, but at the same time the human dimension that gives us tradition, heritage, sustainability will be ever-present. Humanity will live together with all of that, and although these aspects appear to be contradictory, they will be totally compatible with the new way of understanding the spaces in which we will move. Spaces for which we will have answers that are authentic, rigorous, and sincere”.

Tatu Ahlroos has been the Chairman for Sisustusarkkitehti SIO / TaM, the association of Finnish interior architects, for 5 of his 12 years working as a professional in the field of design and architecture.

“The fundamental question – “what are the moral foundations on which our societies are based? – daily becomes more and more relative and subjective. The demand for change has set into motion different movements (Brexit, America First, Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, Soldiers of Odin, etc.) that shape and reflect our times in many different ways. Designers are only bystanders in this procession, not doing enough. Choosing more ecological materials for a building to get a BREEAM - or LEED-certificate, does not seem fresh, but shallow, in a situation where young people are shouting on the street that we have already lost the race for a sustainable future. Making sure that there are enough toilets for disabled people, still does not give justice to people who see that their gender is not present in current restroom options. Re-designing logos and brands of companies that seem to present racial stereotypes is getting either praise, laughter or hate from the public. So, what is “fresh”? Respectful and understanding dialogue is on my wish list”.

Mauro Brigham is the president of AiNB, the Association of Interior Architects Belgium, as well as the creative director of NCBHAM, a multicultural creative agency striving for innovation on a variety of fields.

“Collaborative diversity is of the essence. In times scalded by a global sense of urgency on environmental, technological, ethical and social issues one needs to take a step back and embrace a broader perspective to fully grasp the complexity of today’s realities. Whether an individual client or a large organization, our quest to give the most appropriate answer, remains. Taking on these challenges by yourself is missing out on the unique treasures hidden within the enthralling richness of working with distinctively different minds, skills, backgrounds and talents. This level of teamwork requires respect for each other, fluidity in communication, but most of all, trust from every single contributor collaborating”.