As an artist and designer one of the most important influences for me are other artists and designers. I believe that having a community of like-minded people who share the same ideas and passions is essential to creativity. Art in its many forms is a language and I am continually fascinated by the message that other artists aim to communicate though their work.
The ideas of the Renaissance masters was not to continue repeating the same ideas and methods but rather to continue pushing forward and create the new and unexpected and to challenge the perception of what art is. Contemporary art aims to push the boundaries of these accepted ideas and move away from the past to create the present. With this in mind, I will be conducting a series of interviews here on my blog to highlight the artists, designers and creative minds of present day Florence.
In conjunction with our facebook group Creative People in Florence, I will be conducting a series of interviews with our group members. In the coming months I hope to be able to interview each member who is currently living in Florence as a way of highlighting their wide range of talents. The questions will be exactly the same for each artist/designer and creative person, what is fascinating are the similarities as well as the differences in the answers.
So, with that, please allow me to introduce you to Laura Puliti, Florentine architect and interior designer.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I'm an architect. I studied in Florence, Paris and Venice where I specilized in sustainable architecture. I opened my office near Florence in 2008. I mostly work in restoration and interior design.
Why did you choose Florence or did Florence choose you?
I was born here. I would travel seven days a week but after I married I had to choose a location for my office and my first clients were in the surroundings. My house is in the north of Florence, in a green and quiet district but I'm planning on moving to the centre because I want to live the city more.
What is your favorite thing/place/sight in the city or all of the above?
I love Sant'Ambrogio market and its coffee and bars. I wish I could go there everyday to choose my seasonal vegetables at Giorgio's vegetable stand. When I go there I always stop at Gilda's for a drink.
Was there a defining moment when you knew that you wanted to be an artist? If so when and what was it?
It all came naturally. I didn't decide it. I've always loved music and drawing. When I was a child, I didn't need much to have a goodtime. A pencil, a sheet of paper and the radio were all I needed. When I grow up I studied ballet and I fulfilled my passion for music that way, I then studied architecture and photography following my passion for visual arts. Sometimes I think it could have happened the opposite way, I could have become a musician and I could be drawing in my free time.
What or who is your greatest inspiration and why?
During my studies, I grew fond of the French architect Le Corbusier for his restless attempt to find the best living conditions for everyone, from urban projects to design.
I wish I could have worked in his office.
What is the best thing about being an artist? What is the most difficult part?
The best thing is to give life to the reality I decide to create. The most difficult part is letting others see the final design before beginning the project. It can be hard to trust others with my ideas before they are realized.
What message do you hope to convey with your art/creative process?
I hope my designs contribute to making life easier and happier through comfort and a bit of irony.
What is design to you? How would you define design?
Design is a personal vision of something, already existent or not. Good design is a good way to make that object, that interior or that architecture.
Do you listen to music when you work? If so who or what?
Yes always! When I work, I listen to the radio because I like the unexpected. Not knowing what is going to play brings me from bore to joy continuously and allows me to hear new songs. I don't know why but I concentrate better this way. When I'm not working I listen to my cds. Recently I often listen to ColdPlay, the Police, and Serge Gainsbourg.
If you could go back in time 10 years knowing everything that you know now what would you change and why? Or what would you tell yourself?
I'd look for a house near my favorite [Sant’Ambrigio] market. That’s the only thing;-)
How have your two cultures affected your work?
Since I was born in Florence I would say that traveling and living abroad has taught me that I can do without many things, not having attachment to possessions allows me more freedom to move and travel whenever I decide.
Who is your favorite artist/designer/writer/performer?
I admire people who are not afraid to state their opinion or do things with intelligence and irony. I love the playright George Bernard Shaw, the author Henry David Thoreau, the Italian surgeon and oncologist Umberto Veronesi for his contributions to animal rights, Chrissie Hynde is the kind of woman I would like to be like (obviously I'm the opposite). I love Lou Reed 'cause he loves to sing but not to talk (I feel that way).
What is your favorite movie?
Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Långstrump) is my favorite fictional character. Recently I saw Tim Burton's 'Big Fish' again, it's a great movie. Another is 'Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain. And of course I have to name Louis de Funès and all of his humorous movies.
What is your favorite book?
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita.
Describe yourself in five words.
Dreamer, taciturn, undecided, free, sensitive.
When you’re not being creative what do you do?
I walk with Lizzy, my dear dog or I listen to music with my headphone and I imagine things and stories.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
My heart is in St. Malo, I love the cold and savage sea there. If I could go somewhere I've never been, I'd choose Sweden. I'm interested in sustainable architecture and the Northern Europeans are the masters of it.
Is there anything else that you want people to know about you?