Luxurious minimalist furniture – an interview with designer Joana Santos Barbosa
Good morning, Mrs. Joana. I’m looking forward to the conversation, especially since you create true and original luxury. Luxurious minimalist furniture designed by your InsidherLand brand is something we would like to experience all the time, especially in the arrangement of exclusive interiors. A strong correlation with nature is clearly visible, and bold design makes your brand unique.
Luxurious minimalist furniture and your passion for art in life?
One of my earliest memories is listening to classical music during Sunday family dinners. Neither of my parents had an artistic education, but they always opened my eyes to discover the great names of classical music. In addition, we traveled, visited museums and historical cities, which definitely contributed to shaping my personality.
At the age of three I was already dancing ballet, and at the age of nine I started playing the piano. In fact, art, music and architecture have always been present in my life, even if I did not objectively recognize these influences. Design came later in my life, through my own sketching. They showed me my professional path.
What is the most important role in your work?
My work speaks of who I am. On the one hand, I am under strong artistic influences, on the other hand, I lived my childhood in a house in front of a farm field, where I observed the wonders of nature. Looking back, it is clear to me that my first Beyond Memory collection represented my fascination with nature. Luxurious minimalist furniture, including Alentejo tables, are in the shape of cork oak, which I combined on a farm where I often go horse riding. The chandelier and wall lamp with Azoron are an idea I came up with during a trip to the green island of S. Miguel in the Azores.
Luxurious minimalist furniture, including my second collection – Identity, is deeply connected with the artistic side. As an example, a pianist’s center table was designed with classical music as the background. The design represents what I see when I play the piano. Not the keyboard, but the space sliding across it. The shape of the brass blades on the marble countertop is identical to the shape of my longest fingers touching the piano keys.
Luxurious minimalist furniture and your favorite artist?
I can’t answer this question in any particular way. Throughout my life I feel like I have been collecting passion for the works of certain artists, such as the Portuguese painter Manuel Cargaleiro (from the age of eleven I managed to convince my parents to buy one of his paintings in an art gallery and it remains my favorite of the day. I look at it with joy, so elegantly placed above my piano).
In music, I adore Fryderyk Chopin’s Nocturnes, and the Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 is the most emotional piece I have ever played. There are many names of specialists in architecture and design whose work arouses my interest and respect, but it is difficult to single out one or the other. Sometimes I feel more influenced by what I perceive in the artist’s creative process than by his physical work.
Tell your story briefly?
I never had any doubts that I would follow a path related to art. After earning a degree in Architecture and working early in my career in architectural design, Design is a reality I have been a part of in recent years. Even though I have been designing luxury minimalist furniture for so long, it will still remain on paper.
Since my first presentation at Maison & Objet in Paris in 2013, my works have been almost entirely sold to international markets. Currently, 99% of production is exported to over thirty-five countries on four continents.
Since I have always had the opportunity to travel, I also felt that my country seemed too small. Ironically, I later realized that my small but rich country not only provides me with high-quality materials, but also craftsmanship skills that actively contribute to the creation of my art, including luxurious minimalist furniture spread throughout the world.
Luxurious minimalist furniture – how do you want to stand out when designing it?
My priority is to constantly reach audiences who appreciate the value of works of art. I don’t draw objects. My works and luxurious minimalist furniture are functional works of art closely related to life experiences that enrich each project. More importantly than simply an extension of myself or my beliefs, my work is done to connect with the desires and aspirations of an audience that values exclusive, high-quality design.
What is the process of creating these beautiful products?
The creative process is intuitive and comes from my memories and places that I value. The birth of a new work may result from a new image that pierces my eyes and returns after a long time. When a new idea appears, it automatically materializes in its form, function without rational intervention on my behalf.
Luxurious minimalist furniture in this, for example, the mirror in Arizona refers to “The Wave”, a rock formation in the United States that is on my to-do list. I have known this landscape for so many years, but a special photo I saw suddenly “awakened” my personal interpretation of this place. If the birth of an idea is created without any rules, the construction process is completely reversed and focused on overcoming various technical problems.
Overall, I look at the creative process in designing luxury minimalist furniture in a similar way to architecture, in the sense that there is form, function (the program in architecture), concept (the basic idea that I intend to convey through the materials) and emotion (the feeling that I intend to awaken in the viewer).
Which famous people bought your works?
Most of the time, I work with architects and interior designers who develop luxurious projects complementing them with luxurious minimalist furniture. Often, disclosing these designs at the request of their private clients is not permitted. I know we have already sold very unique and custom made outfits to “one of the 10 richest men in the United States” as well as one of the “most powerful women in the world” listed by Forbes magazine. However, this information remains private.
Luxurious minimalist furniture and the most important moment in my career?
When I decided to create InsideherLand. In fact, it wasn’t a moment, but a process that took me three years to completely transition from an architecture business to full-time work in my own brand. I knew from the very beginning that InsidherLand was intended for international markets and it was a big change in my life because, being an introverted personality, I had to put myself on the front foot. Over time, I realized that I was growing with the brand and that I had made the right choice.
Where do I want to be in 5, 10, 15 years later?
As time goes on, I don’t have as much interest in the definition. I have plans, projects and ambitions that I intend to implement as an author from a broader perspective than now, but I don’t say much about them in advance. I prefer to think, create and show them to the public at the right time.
Joana, thank you very much for the interview! welcome to Luxury Products and I wish good sales results for Polish customers.