Pauline Gorelov is a freelance surface designer, trend hunter and art director in Belgium. Gorelov's portfolio hosts a diverse range of projects that exude a freshness and vitality that are a perfect balance of art and design synergized by crafted excellence. Knotwe posed a few questions to Gorelov about her practice in regards to fibers, technology and her thoughts on where technology, craft and design are intersecting.
Q: I am very interested in you talking about your experiences as a surface designer, in particular the Tokio project & of course the Aardgas commercial.
A: I developed the "archaic" Tokio knitted sample a long time ago when I was a student actually. I studied in the textile department in La Cambre Visual Art School in Brussels, directed by Anne Masson. She has a very interesting work approach and the studio was a kind of fundamental research lab, where we were asked to focus not only on the result but mostly on the process. It's a fantastic way to push the techniques beyond the limits and to discover unexpected structures, effects and materials, very often by chance or by error, but mainly by selecting and isolating the interesting properties of the created samples for the next ones, a bit like a genetic scientist, with an infinite amount of possibilities at every step that can easily drive you crazy! That's why the collaborative spirit in the studio was so important, sharing our discoveries with the rest of the group was a good way to spear a lot of precious hours.
The way from an interesting sample to the final product can be very long though: to match a sample with the right product idea, to find the suppliers and manufactures, to adjust it to the factory technical constrains, to process the perfect finishings etc. So I am very happy and proud to finally introduce the Tokio knitted carpet to the world.
Q: What are any new projects that you are working on?
A: At this moment I am working with marble, designing interior wall panels that will be produced by Italian stone factories. It's a totally new world for me, it's the most precious and intriguing material iI have ever worked with and I'm really enjoying it.
Q: What was your favorite exhibit or gallery show that you recently saw? What was it from that experience that you think is staying with you as a viewer?
A: I am just back from the Design Week in Milan and I saw a lot of beautiful exhibitions there of course .
What caught my attention particularly was the installation of Moooi, following the trend launched by Vitra on their stands during last years and combining the brand's furniture with decorative objects and backgrounds, creating an atmosphere and a story around it, and I must say that Moooi installations were amazing, I really could feel the future trends and directions in interior decoration, it was different and very inspiring.
The other outstanding brand for me this year was Dedon, the outdoor furniture brand from Germany. The furniture was showcased in the middle of a multi layered white on white background representing a garden, with a light and sound effect switching from a sunny afternoon and birds singing to a summer rain with thunder and lightings.. The staff was also playing the game holding the leaflets above their heads during the rain ). Very fresh, fun and surprising, I loved it!
I think that the most important thing for a viewer is the experience itself, it's about the senses working together with the imagination. It's true for a movie, an exhibition and also the every day life, that's why interior and product design can create very special moments in our lives even at home.
About the Aardgas commercial, first of all I have to say that I teamed up with a very talented and extremely skilled artist, Sara Judice de Menezes, whose help was the key to success of the project. This project was different because we had to work with a moodboard and the fun part was to find a way to translate the ideas from the pictures to the matter and to find out or to come up with the best technical tricks to make it fast, cause the deadlines were crazy! It was an incredible experience for both of us, also because we ware working under the direction of Pierre Pell, the art director of Michel Gondry and who worked, amongst other things, on Science of Sleep and music videos of Bjork and a lot of other artists, so we were very excited and we learned a lot. I really hope to have another opportunity to work in the cinema field and to design for fantasy or sci-fi universes in the future.
Q: Who is your all time favorite designer? (I know it is a hard question:)
A: Actually this question is very easy, my favorite designer is Patricia Urquiola, I am absolutely in love with everything she does! I met her some years ago in Brussels and had the chance to speak with her, she is a very nice person and she gave me some very important advices for my career.