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Stories from the Middle East Region

Interview with Siba Sahabi

Siba Sahabi Letternoon Interview

Who or what are your influences?

My most relevant influence is my German/Iranian origin. 

What inspires you? 

Middle Eastern and European art history inspires me and how these two cultures influenced one another, leading to renewal and cultural richness. I’m driven by a desire to recapture traces of the past that have been lost in time and space. 

Tell us a bit about your production process.

I work  by overlaying strips of felt to create my vases. The coiled layers of felt evoke the slightly fluted surface of a ceramic produced on a potter’s wheel. My process-based designs do not only translate one material into another, they also translate cultural heritage into tangible, everyday items. 

How long have you been in business? When did you start?

I’ve been working as a designer since 2006.

Why did you decide to become a designer?

I grew up in a creative environment. My Iranian grandmother created beautiful Persian carpets and my German grandfather was a metalsmith and an inventor of tools and objects. I have been creating work my entire life and it was a natural choice to make my living out of it.

Describe a typical day in the studio.

At my atelier I usually spend many hours designing. There are some quiet hours with emails and then phone calls with journalists, galleries, and clients.

Where did you study? Train? Work?

I graduated  from the ‘Gerrit Rietvelt Academie’ in Amsterdam in 2006 and have been working in Amsterdam ever since. 

How would you describe your work in three adjectives?

Experimental, in terms of material.
Poetic, regarding the source of inspiration.
Timeless, because it connects historical objects with contemporary design.

Images by Annemarijne Bax.