Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Hometown: Too many to say.
Studio location: New York City.
Describe what you make: I design sculptural glass vessels that are produced in Murano, Venice. The shapes are inspired by ancient North African vessels, nodding to my Libyan heritage. The colors reflect the mystical Venetian lagoon, attributing to my Italian lineage.
I started creating these objects in 2020 in Venice. I spent months in Murano learning about glass blowing from the maestros themselves. It was during Covid, and I was there when the city was completely barren and the lagoon was crystal clear. It was meaningful to work with artisans that had been hit so hard by the pandemic.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: The first glass vase I sketched and produced, called Mille Bolle. It’s a beautiful glistening aqua green color that shines like the Venetian lagoon. It captures the aura of an ancient vessel but is actualized as a modern design object.
Describe the problem your work solves: On a pragmatic level, I’m designing useful vessels that bring ancient artisanal artistry into people’s homes. On an emotional level, I’m connecting the different cultures that reflect my family’s own personal histories. I want these pieces to be passed down through generations, to be keepsakes, collectibles that feel relevant and personally meaningful. I want to create work that paints the canvas of my personal heritage.
Describe the project you are working on now: Tiwa Select invited me to create works that reference my ancestry (and the pieces made historically in those places), as well as my time in Murano learning to work with glass. The show is named Vetro Alga which literally means “Seaweed Glass”—a collection of large-scale vessels inspired by the shapes of flora found in the Venetian lagoon. We’re showing the pieces at Galerie Michael Bargo; Michael has been a long-term supporter of my work and it’s incredible to see how the pieces fit into the beautiful space he has created over the years. In all, this show is a coming together of craft, heritage, color and whimsy.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: After this show… who knows! I’m excited to explore illuminated glass objects. I want to play with the materiality of blown glass, maybe adding new artisanal mediums into the next project and seeing what happens! I love collaborating with artisans around the world to celebrate slow production. I thrive off studying and refining these skills and techniques, placing them within historical contexts, and utilizing them to illustrate my language.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: A measuring tape.
What you do when you’re not working: Dreaming.
Sources of creative envy: Josef Hoffmann, Les Lalanne, Egidio Costantini.
The distraction you want to eliminate: My inner voice.
Concrete or marble? Marble toilets over concrete ones.
High-rise or townhouse? A townhouse that has 123 stories.
Remember or forget? Never forget.
Aliens or ghosts? OutKast over Kudi.
Dark or light? Gradients.