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Ana Relvão

A Portuguese designer that decided to went abroad searching for a closer involvement with the industry. She likes to focus her work in innovation especially when it concerns to materials and technology. For someone who never dreamed to become a designer she’s now absolutely immersed in aspects concerning the good skills and capacity of producing good work for users. Interview by Tiago Krusse Photographs by Gerhardt Kellermann

What sort of memories do you keep from your childhood? The fact of our house was always full of kids… playing games on Spectrum with my brother. Tiny journeys exploring new places with my family on Sundays. The drawings at the restaurant table. To come back home and having tapas for dinner. That Freddie Mercury died in one of those Sundays and my mom cried a lot. Riding bicycle till there is no light outside. Opening all toys to see how they were inside. Searching for ET’s inside walls... Yes... 3-months-summer-holiday everyday on the beach with something like 40 friends and that once I decided, against my mom’s will, to paint my hair in pink. How it was to be 18 and settling in Lisbon? Did moving to a bigger city change at the time your perceptions about life? Personally, I was amazed. Here we also need to notice that I’m coming from a very conservative family where I was always the little girl. Even though I’d never behaved like that. Moving to Lisbon, a total new “huge” city to explore all by myself and to live together with friends was sounding better than ice-cream. Lagos was a nice city to grow up, those 3 months summer holiday on the beach were more like luxury, but by the end of the day, once I was back home, I was always the little girl. In fact, I was just needing to do things on my way. The changing itself was not so easy, and soon I was missing my mom’s meals, or crying because I was missing my family and friends. Even the beach itself. Slowly I found places that I really enjoyed in Lisbon,


and discovered that my flat mate Claudia was really good in cooking. The change from Lagos to Lisbon mainly represents that independence, from being a teenager and becoming a young adult. What reasons lead you to apply for design? In fact, I never dreamed about becoming a designer. Actually never knew what it was until studying it at University. On my 18’s, I still had no idea what I wanted to be. I liked Sciences, Sports and Arts in general: Painting, Sculpture, Theatre, Photography and have always been interested about Style. I had a huge passion for Geometry and Psychology, just didn’t know what to do with it. In 2004 opens the degree on Art and Multimedia in FBAUL and I got interested because it was something new. For my mistake, I applied only for the Faculty during second phase of inscriptions, and there weren’t more vacancies available for Art and Multimedia. So I applied for Equipment Design, achieving the vacancy to sing in on the faculty. I realized I wanted to be a designer during a class with Professor Marco Sousa Santos, when he gave us a briefing to design a lamp. “Class, each one of you has to design a lamp”, “Good, now I’ve made a sculpture”, I thought. Marco continues: “A lamp consists of a lamp, socket, electric cable, switch and plug. However these objects alone do not work as lamp: they need something to support, give body, and something to protect our eyes from direct light “. For me, here there was a light! “This thing is a puzzle!” I drew a doodle while he was still talking. When I showed it

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