Let’s talk about your creative method. How does it happen? While you are creating, what makes you go and say “Oh, this is going to be a wallpaper!”. Or is it more like a deliberate decision and you start from there, with a design or an inspiration in your mind?
In our minds wallpaper is like a dress and, as such, we love to think that it can change to meet different occasions: become casual, glamourous, ironic, sophisticated, minimal.
Contamination plays a big part in our work, ranging from fashion, textiles, art, graphic design… Our different skills and past experiences, like Draga’s past as a textile designer and Aurel’s artistic background, allowed us to expand our techniques and the tools we can use, like screen printing, embroidery, materic or fluid paintings…
Usually our creative process does not rely on a deliberate decision: we let something unexpected lead the way, be it a 70s shirt or a tear in a fabric or a seam… something that makes us realize “This will be a wallpaper!”.
From there, the process is the same one we use in our furniture design and artistic works, following both inspirations and research, the thing that has always been the distinctive feature of Draga&Aurel.
I took a long look at all your designs for Wall&Decò and it was like an abridged lesson in Modern Art: there is optical, cut-outs, ready-made, materic painting, achrome… There is a lot of talking today about the relationship between Art (capital A) and interior design. As both artists and designers, how do you feel about this?
Art, with all its myriad of nuances, surely played a big part in our education. It all started with attending Accademia delle Belle Arti and it has stayed with us since then. We might venture to say it was Her influence and inspiration to guide us to that place that is Draga & Aurel today, the meeting point of our souls, from design to fashion, from textiles to visual arts.
Art is at the center of our work, as research, inspiration and as a design method, in how we choose to develop a product, be it an object with no function at all or, on the opposite, an object that finds solely in function its own reason to exist.
A room dressed with one of your wallpapers. Inside, a character from History or Fiction (from literature all the way to movies). Who are they?
(Vivienne) Westwood: punk, icon, activist. She used to make her own shoes at five, design her dresses at twelve and now, at 77, she rides her bike through London and still wants to save the world. Brilliant, creative, a rebel at heart, she created her empire from scratch, always true to herself. Encouraging freedom of expression and being yourself without fearing judgement: her punk spirit is what allowed her to never surrender and leave her mark.