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Decorex 2019: Hero of Design Maria Sigma

In the run up to Decorex 2019 we asked Textile artist Maria Sigma a few questions related to her work and the themes we are exploring on our stand, around coming of age and design heroes.

D-N asked: What might “coming of age” mean in a design/craft context?

Maria answered: In my view of design, emanating from my own craft and philosophy, I find the urge to progress and develop new techniques as a necessity and every day goal. A fine balance of traditional techniques juxtaposed with new and progressive ideas is what makes my view of craft and design always exciting and meaningful. I believe it is objective for all design to reinvent itself while adding new elements and techniques against all superficially that sometimes trends might try to set. In general “coming of age” in design/craft is a very fine mixture and balance of minimalist inventiveness and novel maturity.

D-N: What do you consider to be heroic qualities?

Maria: One of the most important qualities for a designer/maker is honesty. In our industry and especially in textile industry a maker/designer should be honest with her/his craft and the materials she/he uses. Another attribute that I believe is essential in our days is awareness and respect to the environment – in terms of materials, footprint and waste. Last but not least, an ethical approach and respect to the customer/audience.

D-N: Do you have a (or several) design hero(es)? If so, who and why?

Maria: Iannis Xenakis – he was a well-known innovative music theorist/composer but he was also a pioneer architect, performance director and engineer. He is considered an important post-World War II composer whose works helped revolutionise 20th century classical music. Although he was an illegal immigrant in Paris, Xenakis was able to get a job at Le Corbusier’s architectural studio. He worked as engineering assistant at first, but quickly rose to performing more important tasks, and eventually to collaborating with Le Corbusier on major projects.

I admire him for his work in total, but also for his ethos and political believes.

Sheila Hicks – she’s I think my favourite weaver because of her innovative and experimental weavings and sculptural textile art pieces which incorporate a bold color palette, natural materials and a sense of a personal narrative.

Her work has a base on pure craftsmanship but stills is extremely futuristic. I love the way she focuses on the materials and embraces their nature.

“Her thrilling textiles are the antidote to our modern world”.

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Liz Cooper


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