American Design Hot List 2018
Los Angeles, estudiopersona.com
In 2014, designer Emiliana Gonzalez and artist Jessie Young moved to Los Angeles from their native Uruguay as mere acquaintances. Five years on, the two friends have established Estudio Persona as a need-to-know talent, with two collections of sculptural minimalism that riff on Montevideo’s Brutalist melancholy.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American design feels tangible and accessible. There’s an unapologetic approach here that makes you feel as if you, too, can do it. The fact is, we are foreigners and those concepts are what made us feel comfortable enough to try and make in this country. The challenge of actually being a designer in America is the exciting part. You have to design, produce, and sell — and, as tiring as it is, you never cease to learn.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
We are going to be in Milan for the first time, so that is going to be very exciting for us. We are also working with a lot of new stores in different parts of the country and abroad. Our plan is to keep up with the demand without losing the joy in what we do.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
We are bombarded with information and inspiration on a daily basis. We believe that saturation makes us turn our sights to simpler things such as materials and human interactions. We like working with different people and often we are seduced by the idea of making something new with that specific craftsman just to evolve our practice and hopefully develop a relationship. We try and balance the materials we use in each collection in order to have a good equation between warmth and cold, soft and hard.