Interview with Nacho Polo

published in: Interiors, Interviews By Ricardo Hernandez, Mar 22nd 2010

photo by Andrea Savini

"We love for our readers to not only get to know the projects that inspire them but also the minds and hearts behind the work. We fell in love with your work in general and especially your recent work in Madrid.  Please share this intimate project with our readers and tell us a bit about it. Let's get to know you better first.."

Where are you originally from?
I’m from Madrid, Spain.

photo by Andrea Savini

How did you get into the world of design and interiors?
I was born with the passion for art and it was destiny that brought me to the world of design and interior design which now I dedicate my life to.  After working several years as Creative Director in a European design firm, and later in an Architecture and Design Studio, I decided to set up my own Studio of Architecture and Interior Design in 2003 in Miami Beach, USA and working between Europe and the U.S.

photo by Andrea Savini

Who were some of the designers and/or projects that inspired you to pursue this career?
To not name too many, I will deploy a classic in architecture as Richard Neutra and the House Kauffman at Palms Springs, California designed in 1946.  I love architecture and interior design which gives equal weight to exterior as well as interior spaces. By balancing and merging these two concepts, these projects create an impressive final result.

photo by Andrea Savini

photo by Andrea Savini

From where do you uncork your inspiration?
I am inspired by my day to day, anything that catches my attention at any given time can be a source of my inspiration. My mind is in constant and permanent moment of creation; not only at a professional level, but also on a personal level!  I'm always looking to create a fresh piece of design, at times something as simple as capturing the attention of a friend, creating a surprise or creating new dishes in the culinary arts.  I am inspired from the gentle smile of a flight attendant offering more champagne or in a transoceanic trip or from the color of some playful swimwear trunks children wear in a wonderful day in Miami Beach, or watching the old weathered wooden tables by the passing of the years in a small cafe in Paris or seeing the models parade the latest creations at the Custo Barcelona Fashion Week NY!  My mind never stops creating in any situation and place, in one extreme or the other!

photo by Andrea Savini

Your work seems to have an eclectic amalgamation of history, memory and textures, can you explain the importance and influence on that?
In this particular project you can see the fusion in which you commented on, but this fusion is not always marked on my work.  Each particular job is a different story from the other, I would say that each project conveys a narrative.

photo by Andrea Savini

The featured project has a variety of artifacts and furniture pieces, how do you begin the process of creating such vocabulary and design language?
I begin to create pieces based on already acquired works and then simply add what the house is asking for; without any preconceived ideas, seeking harmony without only one decade or design trend.  In this project, as in many others, I set forth to break the rules of scale. I start the search for new pieces and design unique pieces for others, like TWENTY-SEVEN mirror that I designed for the dressing room and subsequently produced a limited edition for sale.

photo by Andrea Savini

How was the thematic direction started?
The priority in this project and main theme was to recover the historical memory of the house dating from the early nineteenth century which had been deleted by its former owners, giving it a fresh and contemporary look while respecting that history.

How did you came about selecting this color palette?
I choose, abused and tirelessly worked with WHITE utilizing different brightnesses and matte finishes. As the only color on the floors and walls of the house you can highlight the views of the Royal Monastery of the Incarnation of the seventeenth century and at the same time, see the scattered classic design pieces and experimental pieces which later gave final shape to the project.

photo by Andrea Savini

What was the biggest challenge in this project?
The biggest challenge of this project was to recover the historical memory of the original apartment dating from the early nineteenth century.  Its last owner had killed the essence of becoming an apartment house of the nineteenth century by making it an apartment of the 70's, an authentic outrage!  Recovering the original floors, carpentry, period moldings with ceiling heights of the apartment was the priority, then moving towards giving more natural light into the house recovering windows that had been covered and creating new and ample space to provide new and bright environments.  Since there were numerous small rooms, it was decided to lower that amount in order to make room for much broader and useful spaces.

photo by Andrea Savini

How much influence came from the client vs. you?
This project was a house of my property in Madrid, so it became one of my greatest challenges; in it, I could reflect my purest state without being influenced by the whims, often without meaning, clients.

How does the cultural context influence your projects?
The cultural concept always marks each one of my projects, but at the same time it is always getting mixed up with other contexts in order to create eclectic and multicultural environments.

photo by Andrea Savini

Do your life experiences, travels, and/or social connections have an impact on your interiors?
Of course. I would say that of all the experiences throughout my life at some point inspired and are well reflected in the creation of an interior space.

If you were not a designer, what other things would you have done?
Undoubtedly, photography.  In fact, in many of my photographs, I often encounter a new source of inspiration for my creations.

photo by Andrea Savini

What are some of the challenges facing young designers today?
For me one of the greatest challenges, perhaps difficult for some, is not trying to be inspired by the creations of other designers, but to keep the mind clean of any vision and past behavior to create something unique, present and without a past history.

What everyday item you cannot live without?
I could not live without a notebook with blank pages and a pencil to draw and, in this case, unfold on paper things without which I could not live ...

Last but not least, what advice would you give to other young designers today?
I would say to be themselves and to wager on their own ideas and designs and what I mentioned previously to keep the mind as a blank slate on which to begin without any preconceived drawing, in a unique way, primary and personal.

photo by Andrea Savini

sources:

Nacho Polo

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About Nacho Polo

"I was born with the passion for art and it was destiny that brought me to the world of design and interior design which now I dedicate my life to.  After working several years as Creative Director in a European design firm, and later in an Architecture and Design Studio, I decided to set up my own Studio of Architecture and Interior Design in 2003 in Miami Beach, USA and working between Europe and the U.S." Discover more Polo through his exclusive inerview for Yatzer here!

[official website]
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