Poetic Designer: Siba Sahabi

Siba Sahabi is a poetic designer. She is German and Iranian. When she mixed her Dutch design education with these two certain culture, we could get a combined approach.

She designs sculpture, not tableware objects; and she produces them inher lovely studio. The works are exhibited and sold in galleries.

You could check Siba’s design approach through the interview below.

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– Your works have a balance as a sculpture or a well designed product. What do you say for your design approach?

My work is process-based. I cut the material (paper or felt) into long strips and then I coil them by hand into circles, like a snake. I use basic sketches as a starting point but the actual form is designed throughout the creative process. In that way I work pretty much like a 3-D printer.

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– Why;‘made out of paper’?

For a couple of years I only worked with paper. Paper was developed in the Far East about 2000 years ago and came about 1000 years ago via the Middle East to Europe. It’s a humble material and for me it was a challenge to apply it in 3 dimensions.

Actually my latest series is the first one I stepped over to a new material: felt. I was searching for a material for the candlesticks for‘Istanbul Twilight’ and my choice was based on the fact that wool does not catch fire.

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– What is the meaning of‘culture’ for you? Your German/iranian roots should bring you a different approach, as we could see on your work.

‘Culture’ is created by a certain group and characterizes their shared attitudes, values and goals. It includes immaterial elements like language and knowledge as well as materialist ones like fine arts and architecture.

Since I have a European/Middle Eastern background I show examples of cultural exchanges of these two regions. When you grew up in a certain culture it’s like looking at your environment wearing glasses that have a certain colour, let’s say red for Europe. I look through glasses with one glass coloured red and the other glass coloured blue (for the Middle East). In this way I see different shades than people around me.

– One of your work is about the tulips. Also you called it as the journey of the tulip (From Turkey to the Netherlands). Please let us know the journey.

The tulip comes from Central Asia and was brought from Turkey to the Netherlands via diplomats around 1600. Here the flower was admired as an exotic beauty. In Turkey the flower was a symbol for fertility, as in the Netherlands it became a symbol of status, a sign of wealth. During the climax of the so-called‘Tulip mania’ in the 17th century the tulip was as expensive as a canal house in central Amsterdam.

Since I live in Amsterdam I was inspired by this historical anecdote.My tulip vases remind of the journey of the flower that once arrived as an exotic import to the Netherlands and is nowadays the national symbol of this country.

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– Through your website, you want to show how one culture has influence on another one leading to renewal and cultural richness. Could you tell us the richness through one of your work?

My series‘Bucchero’ refers to the ceramics produced by a folk called‘Etruscan’ who lived in the Toscany/Italy about 800 b.C.. The Etruscans were great craftsman and developed a special technique called‘reducing fire’ to produce black ceramics with a shiny metal look.

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– And your last work, Istanbul Twilight… What would you like to say about it?

I’ve been to Istanbul and was very impressed by the metropolis. I like the combination of the historical buildings like the Hagia Sophia with the modern buildings made of concrete.

Istanbul is a very vivid city with an inspiring combination of Western and Eastern elements. To me, the city is the most mysterious at twilight. The shape of my candleholders are directly inspired by the silhouette of Istanbul with the focus on the Hagia Sofia.

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– Are you selling your products via website or in a design shop or a gallery? Where can we have your products?

I sell via galleries likeSofie Lachaert in Tielrode/Belgium or viaGallery Ra in Amsterdam/The Netherland.

– Is there a new exhibition or fair program or a new publcation in these days? Or a new paper-work project?

Yes, I will show my latest series‘Istanbul Twilight’ at gallery Sofie Lachaert in Tielrode, the opening is at February the 5th from 11 am to 6 pm.

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