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Exclusive Interview with Marco CostaWednesday 30 December 2015
It has been an incredible journey through the last 10 years for Boca do Lobo. 10 Years of excitement, fascination, exclusive design and outstanding couture furniture. Boca do Lobo always has been fascinated by reinterpretation of the past through technology and contemporary practice. Design is a vital part of its DNA for the very first moment and each piece has a unique, timeless character, revealing an attention that goes down to the smallest detail. Trying to understand the man behind the creations, COVETED Magazine had an exclusive talk with Boca do Lobo’s head designer, Marco Costa, who talked about his first steps in the world of design and all his journey.
How and why did you get into the design Industry?
It was from the early years that I started to show my interest in craftsmanship works. I was a nightmare at home, drawing in the walls of my parents’ home and destroying my sister’s dolls in order to do other “artistic” constructions. The thing I most liked was to be close to my father who was a metallurgic artisan. I love working with him, and I believe that’s how the passion for arts begun. In 2004, I began my academic journey studying science; an adventure that soon I discovered was not my passion. My heart was beating for creativity and this way I decided to study Arts and Design at the University of Coimbra, Portugal.
In 2009, it came up the opportunity to make my study about “Design, Art and Emotion” a reality and that’s how my relationship with Boca do Lobo begun. Since this successful relationship started I’ve been exposing “my” work through Boca do Lobo in many places in the world. It’s been very exciting to be a part of Boca do Lobo internationalization and growing process.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Where does your creative process begin?
I find it interesting when designers or artists are asked about their inspirations and what’s behind their creative process, perhaps you’ll hear some great stories about a perfect world where inspiration lives in. However, those perfect stories only exist in books.
Regarding your question, the creative process is something between your past experiences and the things you’ve been through, and your future with everything you can still experience and control. For that I believe it’s important to plan trips, study your favorite contemporary artist, analyze your past experiences, visit museums, get to know new cultures and get references from historical periods and styles, of which you connect with.
I can tell you exactly where some of my recent inspirations came from. It has to do with recent experiences that, at some point, were important to me. However, your final design concept is always something that can’t be described. I like to keep myself up to date by studying contemporary artists and tendencies, considering at the same time how important it is to analyze our past and learn from it. With contemporary arts, you can get a better understanding on certain movements and tendencies. But it’s not enough. The most challenging part is to promote new concepts that, in a near future, have the potential to become a tendency…or not. In the end, what really matters is for you to feel good about what you did. Or knowing that the result of what you did will make someone else feel good as well. A lot of things have the power to inspire us, and our job is to pay attention to them. As we gain knowledge, the world around us becomes more and more demanding, and it becomes more difficult to surprise and be surprised. That’s the challenge! A kind of addiction that takes control over you, creating a sense of discomfort and a permanent craving for surprise at every step you take.
It’s all about experiences!
How do you keep a good balance between needs dictated by the marketplace and things that you just want to create?
I believe the marketplace has no needs, literally. Those practical needs are already satisfied and everything you need already exists. What comes next are just solutions or improvements, a natural course and development of the human being, and the result of a competition between those who aim to “shake” the industry, having direct access to things considered “no needs”. Nowadays the biggest need is on the industrial side.
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On the other hand is what I call emotional needs or a permanent seeking of experiences that, due to their exclusivity, become an uncontrollable desire, accessible to very few. I prefer to call it an experience, a comfort, something that fills us, instead of a need. And according to that, we are no longer talking about solving practical needs. The world spins very fast and there’s so much happening at the same time. One moment you’re in love with something and the next you get tired of it. This is when designer’s challenges really begin.
I am sure of one thing… emotional design and creating experiences is where we have to work on. We’ve got things we don’t need! My grandfather had a single watch throughout his entire life. Have you ever stopped to think about how many watches you’ve had so far?
A need is a concept that you have in your mind, a perfect story told by marketeers or dictated by some marketing strategy in which you choose to believe in. A need is having free will and the ability of making choices that make you feel good, affecting your mood in a positive way.
What are some of your most popular designs? Tell us a bit about some of your designs and what you love about them. What’s your favorite and why?
Heritage sideboard from Limited Edition Collection was the project that has given me the most satisfaction because of its strong connection to Portuguese History. At the beginning of 2012, at Maison & Objet, Heritage Sideboard, was considered Trend Product, by Nelly Rodi. It made me very happy! Pixel Cabinet is also a piece from the same collection that I am very proud of. It is a remarkable piece that has conquered many international recognitions and a piece that marks a special moment of the brand.
What is your philosophy on design and life?
Early in my student times I was fascinated for emotional design, I even wrote about that in university. Boca do Lobo was the perfect place for me to explore this subject. The proximity to a lot of artisans full of knowledge about long year techniques is very important to me; combine this with contemporary design and also techniques make me very excited with my work, and challenged also. I believe that society is getting tired of the industrial processes and for masses and in a time were design takes a short time in people’s life, my fight is to change this “way of living” from everyone.
What are your design dreams/goals?
My design dream… I would love that my design pieces could stay in time for many and many years, like a family jewel, with an ephemeral character, against the massive production.
Describe yourself in three words.
Dedicated, passionate about my work and… shy.
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