Interviewed by Gabriella Alziari
“I think our domestic space is surrounded by small objects we are attached to, which are charming to us not only for their daily use, but also because of their inner meaning.”
-Layla Mehdi Pour
Layla Mehdi Pour is a Persian product designer. She graduated from the Art University of Tehran with a degree in Industrial Design, and later continued her studies in Italy, where she graduated from IUAV in Venice in 2008. After this, she pursued her postgraduate degree in Eco Efficient Product Design at Polytechnic of Turin. Layla is currently building her career; her creative work focuses on reinventing everyday objects by transforming them into innovative and fresh pieces.
Where did your journey with art begin?
Since I remember, I’ve always liked drawing. When I was 14 years old, I won the national first prize of watercolor. Maybe this was a highlight point as a beginning for my future career. Afterwards, I began high school in graphic design and university in industrial design at Tehran and then in Italy. I started my career as a product designer in 2012. I’m a beginner!
Tell us about your work.
I think our domestic space is surrounded by small objects we are attached to, which are charming to us not only for their daily use, but also because of their inner meaning. I would like to bring, through my work, these little moments of emotional surprise to the human living space. I like the idea of people smiling when they use my products.
Where is your inspiration from?
Inspiration can come from everything. All of it can be challenging– it is how you approach the world. It may come from an imagination or observation, a poem, a sensation, a dream, or from a cultural element…
How do you balance practicality and aesthetics in your work?
All of my works are an experimental attempt to bring an equal balance between aesthetics and practicality.
In your opinion, what sets your art apart and makes it special?
I think the users decide that.
Can you talk about your use of shapes in your work?
It depends on the object’s nature, but generally I’m faithful to simple forms.
In some of them, the users can participate to change the shape of a product during the time according to their taste.
When creating a new piece or pieces, what stage of the process do you most enjoy? Why?
I really enjoy the developing phase, when an idea starts to take form, when a two dimensional design becomes a touchable three dimensional object, exactly as you had imagined. Creation is amazing!
How has art helped you to understand yourself better?
Designing is like a meditation; without time, just focusing and reflecting.
How do you find being a woman in your field?
I think that nowadays there’s no relevant difference in this field. Equal opportunities are available.
Are you working on any projects currently?
I’m currently working on a lighting and a chair project.