Interview with designer MARIZA TSILIGKIRIDI (MT), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design The Cava Project Multifunctional Wine Rack.

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Interview with MARIZA TSILIGKIRIDI at Thursday 27th of April 2017: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
MT : One day I was waiting to be attended at a store selling plumbing parts and, by observing the pipe mountings, inspiration came along for “The Cava Project”! Electromechanical parts which are usually “hidden” in constructions take a leading role in CAVA as bottle mountings. That’s how the concept of a furniture-wine rack came up, resembling a building in small scale: columns, slabs and the composition with the bottle mountings as the building’s walls. The CAVA project is a range of multi-functional furniture, a module which combines the wine rack with general use furniture such as side tables, bars, mini bars and tasting tables. Thanks to its design as a module, it can expand in many different combinations by forming endless compositions like shelves for private use or compositions for the demonstration or storage of bottles in bars or cellars for professional use. The furniture is complemented by accessories especially designed for CAVA such as glass racks, hanging lights, slabs and serving trays. The materials used are metal in the natural black colour of iron with galvanized coating or electrostatic coating in several colours, solid wood, marble and plexiglas. Metal gives CAVA a particularly minimal style, as if almost the bottles are floating in the air. By applying the laser cutting technique along with the various materials and colours, the designs are endless thus transforming CAVA from minimal to retro, pop or industrial.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
MT : What I wanted to achieve was a piece of furniture which would combine the use of a wine rack with other similar uses related to wine or drinks, and not only, such as the serving area in various heights, the development of horizontal surfaces which could be used as tables, shelves or trays and even lighting. I also focused a lot on the form that this furniture would have as I wanted it to be constructed as a module, giving the chance to the user to divide it and expand it as he/she pleased and to “build it” gradually, depending on the available space and on the synthesis he/she wanted to created based on his/her needs. Finally, apart from giving the option to change the furniture’s volume, I wanted for the user to be able to choose the appearance of the furniture by selecting among various materials, designs and colours. This was achieved through the mechanical way of supporting the horizontal slabs of CAVA.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
MT : My aim is to put CAVA in the market through design stores both in Greece and abroad, as well as to design and manufacture it on demand both for professional and personal use related to wine or drinks (bars, wine bars, wineries, wine aficionados).

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
MT : 11 months.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
MT : I needed a wine rack to place my bottles of wine, as well as to serve wine, but the space available was very limited to fit in a ready-made piece of furniture. I would say, then, that the idea occurred out of personal need and inspiration.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
MT : I already produce my work in my studio in collaboration with local industries; however, I would be open to setting up a partnership for larger scale production.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
MT : I like designing furniture which doesn’t set boundaries to the user, but instead gives him/her the chance to use it in multiple ways.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
MT : To create one of the designs of the CAVA range – CAVA Retro –, I was inspired by traditional Greek needlework.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
MT : Mostly domestic customers and professionals who are into wine or drinks, but also anyone who would like to have a wine rack or a synthesis or a set of shelves with a wine rack in his/her home or workplace.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
MT : It is a smartly designed product as it can transform in many different ways by changing: 1/ use (wine rack, bar, set of shelves, side table, meal table, wine tasting table), 2/ size (from small floor cava to a synthesis which can cover the walls of a whole space such as a living room, a bar, a cellar etc) and 3/ looks (plexiglas, wood, marble and metal in endless combinations of colours and designs), depending on the user’s needs. Moreover, it is collapsible and the special bottle holders made of pipe mountings allow the placement of bottles of any diameter or height.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
MT : It' s simple. CAVA means wine rack in Greek.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
MT : A lot of sketching and the design programs, Autocad and Arhicad.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
MT : The CAVA bottle holders which serve as the building block of CAVA. It is a synthesis of pipe holders (electromechanical parts, usually “hidden” in constructions), which – following a particular treatment – are placed in a sculptural complex, thus forming the body of CAVA and allowing the placement of bottles of any diameter or height.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
MT : I collaborated with local industries and my partner on manufacturing, Giorgos Kontogeorgos.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
MT : The manufacturing of the structural elements for the creation of the furniture demands the assistance of technology; for instance, for the laser cut designs on the furniture’s surfaces. The rest of the cuts and assembly are hand-made.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
MT : The challenge involved: a. the design of the finish for the metal slab, in a way that it proves to be user-friendly although it is a purely industrial material and b. the design of the interior of the wooden, solid, retro-design and perforated slabs respectively, so that they could fit in any Cava piece.