In recognition of Women’s History Month, we caught up with celebrated interior and product designer, Laura Kirar, to talk about her inspirations, the power of artisan craft, and the influence of women in the design world. Keep reading for more.
Discover the Artesania X Collection by Laura Kirar
Samuel & Sons: You are known for your eclectic aesthetic. Where do you draw inspiration from in your work?
Laura Kirar: My work is inspired by many things: nature, art, music, fashion etc... but perhaps most impactful is the experiences I have traveling and my encounters with other cultures, their history, architecture, and geography. The more I am able to encounter the world outside of what I know, the layering of this ripens my eyes and my mind making my work an original and distilled language of those experiences.
S&S: Your Artesania X Collection for Samuel & Sons was inspired by Mesoamerican handcraft. How does traditionally female-centric, artisanal craft play into your process?
LK: I am obsessed with process and the idea of evolving traditions. Depending on the culture, weaving, beading, embroidery, etc., might be a women's or a man's traditional work. Historically created with the hands, sometimes with the help of simple tools, the weaves, colors, stitches, and embellishments always have meaning and are rarely just aesthetic. I try to carry this lesson of purposeful hands and intentional decisions into the practice of my studio work. Then those unique pieces we create with artisans may find an extended life in variation for collections that are made more accessible to our design community in terms of quantity and consistency.
S&S: Were there any women who influenced you to become a designer?
LK: I've always thought of myself as an artist who expresses ideas through the practice of design. I've worked for strong and inspiring women - like Holly Hunt - have studied and admired the work of great women architects/designers - Eileen Gray, Clara Porset, Charlotte Periannd, Andree Putman - but I would say that the woman who inspired me most to design is my mother, who said "I could do anything I set my mind to" and I took her advice. I'm doing just that!
S&S: In the future, how do you think women will shape the design industry?
LK: I think we will continue to see more women-led businesses, more balance in the senior roles in our companies, more seats on the board filled with inclusion - more women from all backgrounds calling the shots both in business operations and in design. On our client side, we experience women are so often the "decider" when it comes to how they want their environments to look and feel, both in commercial and residential work. I believe fully that the insightful "opinion power" will continue to show and encourage a new generation of women to join and thrive in our industry.
S&S: What’s one piece of advice you would give to another woman in design today?
LK: My advice is always to "know yourself, find your aesthetic voice and follow your path." Never forget that you are authentically you and as a creative, that is your superpower. No one can take away your authenticity unless you allow it.