DESIGN UNDEFINED: Q&A WITH SEETAL SOLANKI

Founder of materials agency and research resource MA-TT-ER, Seetal is a one-woman tsunami of motivation and inspiration and will play an exciting role in Clerkenwell London’s upcoming exhibition, Design Undefined.

Challenging our preconceptions of form and materials, visitors to Clerkenwell London during this month’s Clerkenwell Design Week will see Seetal occupy the Fashion Room with workshops and discussions exploring of the possible uses for three contrasting materials: aluminium, marble and bamboo. We stole a few moments with Seetal as she prepares for the exhibition later this month.

Design Undefined is a celebration of upturned conventions and breaking the rules. Why is this important?
I don’t think it’s necessarily breaking the rules that’s important, it’s more about bringing awareness and rethinking how we design and create. Understanding the way in which something is made is key, as well as how that can be interpreted and reinterpreted into different outcomes. The materials are the driving force behind any project or industry.

Marble, aluminium and bamboo are all very different, why did you choose to focus on those specific materials?
These materials are so prevalent within Clerkenwell London, especially the beautiful aluminium flooring that graces the Fashion room, which is where we will be based during CDW. We are highlighting how these materials are applied and showcasing this through the products that Clerkenwell London sell. We are highlighting how all of these materials are made and by doing that there will be more value placed on the end result as there is so much that goes into making something. Clerkenwell London is a great example of showcasing this as the curation of products, and how it’s all integrated within the space, is so special.

Why is material exploration so important to you and how do you hope your work will impact the design industry?
It’s important as materials exist in all industries, in some way shape or form, as everything is made of something. It’s the one that can really inform and influence how we can create something that matters. By introducing materials in every stage of the process of design you are able to consider making a more sustainable decision which could really impact how we live now and in the future.

What is your top tip for anyone visiting Clerkenwell Design Week 2016?
Come and visit us and get making bamboo and stone paper sculptures with us, as well as seeing all of the other wonderful designers and innovators during the week. There is something for everyone and it’ll be such an interesting experience for those interested in all aspects of design.

Visitors to Clerkenwell Design Week will be able to attend Seetal’s talks in the Fashion Room of Clerkenwell London 10am-3pm, 24-26 May.

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