Paola Sakr is, nominally, a product designer, but she’s much more than that. A graduate of the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, Sakr works in a wide variety of disciplines, from design, to art and photography. As a result of her numerous skills, Sakr’s works are the result of her own innovation and curiosity. Each and every design tells a different, unique story. Impermanence, a series of vases, is a testament to a pile of concrete cylinders Sakr found one day on the edge of a construction site, while the Morning Ritual collection recycles coffee grounds and old newspapers into useful objects. Remarkable, Sakr truly thinks out of the box.
You are a designer, as well as an artist and photographer. How do you synthesize these three disciplines into your work?
All three are a part of me. I would not say I am an artist, because it is a big word, one that I do not deserve yet, even though there is a similar dynamic in terms of the intuition that guides me during the creative process. Ideally, I find it most stimulating when all three realms overlap in a single project: design teaches the importance of research and pragmatism and technical details, while art influences the way you tell a story or choose to represent an emotion. Then comes photography and the concept of visual expression.
What has been a key moment in your career so far?
The first defining moment was probably when I created my Morning Ritual collection in 2016, because I really believe that sustainable development is the future, but I realized that that was just the tip of the iceberg. It opened my eyes to our role as designers in making people’s lives easier and protecting the environment. There is still so much potential to explore in new materials, potential to develop products that could find applications, even in luxury markets.
Paola Sakr is one of six designers awarded Maison et Objet’s prestigious Rising Talent Award and will exhibit their work in Paris this September at Maison&Objet 2018.