Interview with Cristian Zuzunaga : design elements


Interview with Cristian Zuzunaga

categories Designer, Interviews    

“Success is the luxury of making a living doing what you love”.

Cristian Zuzunaga

Cristian Zuzunaga is a London-based award-winning Spanish designer. I’ve been drawn to his work from the first moment I saw it 2 years ago. Cristian Zuzunaga’s work is broad in scope and includes textile, print, sculpture, letterpress, photography and furniture design. The pixels – a metaphor for a fragmented time – are his trademark pattern. Cristian is influenced by architecture and the urban environment, Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, sociology and the psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!

Knitted blankets

What influenced your choice to become a designer?

The desire to understand and give visual form to the relationship between man and his environment. I think one of the most important qualities we have as humans is the ability to communicate in a variety of different ways, whether through signs, sounds, language and creativity. Design is my way of communicating with the world.

Your collections provoke positive emotions. Do you see this as your mission?

I’m happy to hear that! I’ve always been interested in the use of colour as a means to evoke emotion and counterbalance negative ways of seeing and thinking. The therapeutic effects of colour have been widely documented, yet many of us still live in a world of black, white and grey. It’s not really a mission as such, it’s more of a subtle way of spreading positive energy. I’m glad you think it works!

You describe your work as “based on essence and abstraction”. Can you describe it further?

My work comes from photographs of cityscapes that I have taken. From an analog image, I transform it into a digital one, where I can zoom in and focus on the essence of the image – its pixels – to draw out abstract patterns of real places.

Pixellated fabric, collaboration with Moroso and Kvadrat and letterpress work

What inspires your creativity and designs?

Many things: architecture, philosophy, alchemy, anthropology, psychology… I’m particularly drawn to supermodern architecture and how it has shaped our urban environment. I’m interested in the way we interact with that environment, the patterns we create within it through daily routines and actions.

Can you imagine a life without pattern?

There is no such thing as life without pattern.

What do you enjoy most in your work?

Collaboration. I’m a firm believer that working with others enriches your work. I recently collaborated with a small Spanish textile company called Teixidors – they are producing our collection of handwoven blankets and cushions – Integrate: Time and Space. Teixidors is a truly inspiring company that provides an occupation for people at risk of social exclusion. We uphold the same values of quality, sustainability and craftsmanship and when we met, we immediately kicked off. The result has been incredible for all of us. Not only are we immensely proud of the collection, but it really seems to resonate with people. It won an ICFF Award for Best Textiles earlier this year, as well as the ‘Les Decouvertes’ award at Maison & Objet back in September.

Integrate – Time and Space, collaboration with Teixidors

What do you love to do when you are not designing?

Spend time with my family, travel and research.

What are your favorite books?

It’s always difficult to choose just one, but ‘Psychology and Alchemy’ by C. G. Jung has to be at the top of that list. It has been a great source of inspiration and influence both personally and professionally.

Your favorite artists?

There are many, but to list just a few: Joan Miro, Picasso, Paul Klee, Kandinski, Mondrian, Vasarely, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Gilber and George, Sophie Calle, Ai Wei Wei and Ólafur Elíasson.

Shanghai Fabric for Ligne Roset

What does success mean to you?

Success is the luxury of making a living doing what you love.

My signature question – what are the most important design elements?

Colour, pattern, randomness, the analog and the digital.

photos: Cristian Zuzunaga, David Casas, Ronald Dick


12 Kommentare zu “Interview with Cristian Zuzunaga”

  1. Vivian am 12.11.2012 um 07:48 Uhr 

    Super interview! The last two answers are particularly grabbing my heart. Wonderful designer! I read about his ‘Les Decouvertes’ award at Maison & Objet 2012. Thank you for the insightful interview.

  2. Tim H. am 12.11.2012 um 08:35 Uhr 

    Wonderful piece Maria! I like Cristian’s work and I’m glad to learn more about how he approaches his work. btw GREAT definition of success

  3. Patricia am 12.11.2012 um 10:47 Uhr 

    Your interviews are always the best of the best. Thank you. Saludos from Brazil

  4. La Boheme am 12.11.2012 um 19:08 Uhr 

    Wonderful interview Maria! The colors of his work are really intriguing and I enjoyed learning more about him and his work. Great job. xx

  5. christine | The Plumed Nest am 12.11.2012 um 19:13 Uhr 

    wow, what a fantastic interview. i really love his work and it’s so interesting to hear that there is so much influence to it, especially from psychology and such, though imagine that is what makes it so great.

  6. q. am 12.11.2012 um 19:20 Uhr 

    wonderful interview and wonderful designer.

  7. Mary Jo am 13.11.2012 um 07:06 Uhr 

    Maria, I love his work! Love his interview, so interesting his point of view.

    xo Mary Jo

  8. Jonas am 13.11.2012 um 10:03 Uhr 

    Love your blog and this interview too. Interesting to read and delightful to see. Thank you

  9. Teresa am 13.11.2012 um 12:48 Uhr 

    And doesn’t this resume everything about him?!

    What does success mean to you?

    Success is the luxury of making a living doing what you love.

    Incredible Human Being!

    Thank you for sharing, Love.

  10. krystal/village am 14.11.2012 um 13:27 Uhr 

    he seems really awesome, great interview!

  11. Style Maniac am 14.11.2012 um 15:56 Uhr 

    That quote pretty much sums up my definition of “dream job.” Another great interview, Maria.

  12. Nicole am 14.11.2012 um 15:59 Uhr 

    AWESOME! great interview

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