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Sergio Orozco is an award winning furniture and lighting designer based in New York. His designs are inspired by his international travel experiences. Today he discusses his love of music, major design inspirations and favorite indulgences. Please meet Sergio Orozco.
MS: Many people might not know that you studied violin for many years, what impact has that played in your designs?
SO: Music was my first love. It takes discipline and knowledge of mathematics, as does design. Both solve problems with grace, elegance and beauty. Great design truly is a science. Music is all about the feeling. We can reach inner peace through music and great design.
While I was studying music in Italy, I learned we can compose so many elaborate melodies, concertos, and operas with very few notes. I embrace this approach in my design work. I design many home furnishings with just a few elements to express my design dreams. Design is a precious link to human beings, and this link is as important as the object itself. My mission in life is to reconcile some of the often forgotten elements to create harmony between the object and the user.
MS: Who or what have been your major inspirations in your work?
SO: I have always been inspired by the sculptures of Bernini. In addition to Bernini’s influence my work was impacted by the influence of one of my teachers in Italy, Mr. Munari. He focused on the human approach to industrial design. He taught me to reach for simplicity and that great design should speak to everyone. There is an intimate relationship between people and the objects in their surroundings such as the lighting and furnishings of any room.
Design today is not an indulgence and is not used to impress other designers, instead it is a passionate endeavor to serve people. I was inspired at nineteen when I began designing using clay. I would design all sorts of objects but it was not until later that I had a calling toward lighting and furniture. When I moved to the USA I began designing tables for Drexel Heritage, then I moved to designing lighting for Alsy, Bauer, and Ethan Allen.
MS: What are your favorite materials or textures? Where do you look for inspiration?
SO: For me, glass is the number one element to use when designing lighting and stainless steel is my preferred medium for furniture design. I like glass because it is a natural element, it can be transparent and people relate to is easily. It reflects, refracts and it allows light to pass through in many beautiful ways. Glass is versatile and can easily change shape and color. When glass is in its liquid state it can easily crystallize to form any shape an idea calls for.
My inspiration comes from a variety of places but mostly nature, architecture and the culture of the moment.
MS: With nature and steel being inspiration, what do you think about the design work of people like Frank Lloyd Wright or Frank Gehry?
SO: I celebrate the way Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture relates to nature. It is calm and gentle. He took the scale, use, and the human form into consideration. His Falling Water Home is a triumph, the way the water source influenced the design is inspiring. Frank Gehry’s work is pushing architecture in new ways. He has a great understanding of science and technology and it is reflected in his work.
MS: What are some of your favorite indulgences, other than design?
SO: I like to play golf, it is a place of peace, quiet and solitude. I also like cooking. It helps me remove myself from my addiction to designing and allows me to relax while I experiment with flavors, textures, and food in the great company of friends. Music and travel also continue to greatly interest me.
MS: What new design projects can we look forward to seeing?
SO: My new lighting collection, Uptown. It was inspired by my relationship with the great city of New York where I work and live.
MS: Thank you for making the time to speak with us, Sergio.
Image credits: Sergio Orozco, TrekEarth, and The Smithsonian.
Manja Swanson, Chief Creative Officer of Lamps Plus, drives the creative direction of the growing Lamps Plus brand, overseeing the company’s design and buying departments. After graduating from UCLA with a fine arts degree, she worked as a teacher for several years, but remained interested in the creative process.
Manja attends numerous trade and fabric shows to stay current on the latest looks, from which she translates into a unique shopping experience by displaying the merchandise around current design trends. Her technical expertise of lighting, paired with her interior design sensibilities makes her a highly sought-after writer and speaker.
Manja is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, the 55 Downing Street blog, and Style Illuminated by Lamps Plus.