They are friends and both from Colombia. They are two successful women and they live in Milan. Lina Obregon, product designer and design consultant, and Carolina Galan, former architect and interior designer, now fashion director of her own company, in 2014 they had the chance to work together on THEA, a sofa designed for MDF ITALIA. Presented at the 2015 Salone del Mobile in Milano the sofa has been enriched with brand new accessories that were introduced at the 2016 International Interiors Show in Cologne.
We asked them few questions about the project.
D: How did you come up with the idea of the THEA sofa?
L&C: We had a vision of an ideal sofa and its characteristics: clean, minimal, very low, very comfortable, cozy and functional. Qualities that sometimes are difficult to match. So, the whole process was about researching and experimenting a balance between values that are apparently opposite: comfort and essentiality, beauty and functionality, emotionality and minimalism. We put together contrasted geometries, projecting them from different points of view and combining them harmonically to give a shape to the body. The body was moulded to be dressed up in an accurate way. We took care of fabrics and accessories that generate THEA’s comfort and enhance the excellence of Italian tailoring.
D: Where did you find your inspiration?
L&C: MDF ITALIA values and its identity were the main filters of all ideas. Every solution was always checked in order to measure the balance between the MDF vision and the new, fresh and more feminine image of Thea.The sofa takes a lot of inspiration from fashion garments such as the polo, the parka jacket, the foulard and other accessories. The combination of colors, textures and materials allowed us to change the look of the sofa giving THEA a feminine touch.
D: How did you start to work together?
L: I believe that sometimes disciplines and talents can be gathered together to bring innovation and to give new values to a project. I was looking for a new approach to answer to the company’s requirements for this sofa. I knew it had to be different, and I was sure that a new shape by its own wouldn’t be enough. I wanted to dress the sofa and I realized that I could find emotional and functional solutions by using textiles in a different way. I was fascinated by the way my fashion designer friend Carolina works with fabrics, drapes and style, so I decided to invite her to join me in this adventure.
D: Are you currently working on another project for MDF Italia ?
L&C: Yes. THEA is still in progress and there are two new pieces that we presented at Imm Cologne, The International Interiors Show in Cologne, Germany, next January (imm-cologne.com).
D: What does it mean to be a woman in a mostly male dominated industry?
L: I prefer to think that I have the goal to create solutions, my personal solutions, with my personal sensibility and my way to perceive the world around us, no matter if I am a woman. If this industry is really dominated by men let’s take advantage of it and ride the wave.
C: I'm not really much concerned about this, maybe because I mainly work in Fashion. I was trained as an architect and interior designer and I have always worked with men and I have found it complementary. l like MDF’s approach to design and I feel very comfortable to work with the company. In general, I think there's enough space for women in the industry, as in Fashion and Architecture. We have always a lot to offer.
D: What’s design for you?
L: Design is to melt beauty into functionality and vice versa. It means to put together values, aesthetics, dreams, limits and constraints, creativity, talents, know how...in order to satisfy daily needs and pleasures.
C: I would like to go over the realization of a concept and the knowledge of materials. I would like to think about design as a precise speech, a summary of a thought or an idea; an aesthetic point of view that includes a solution to a functional argument. Design can be a cultural activity that looks forward to reach and involve different people from different cultures giving back emotion, contemporaneity and innovation.