Join the Galerie Philia newsletter. Be the very first to know about our limited arrivals, receive special offers and more.

    Carla Baz

    Carla Baz

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    I was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon.

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    I remember visiting the Sursock Museum in 1994 after the civil war where Lebanese sculptor Nadim Karam was exhibiting ‘Archaic Procession’, a collection of enormous metal sculptures of weird and wonderful creatures. As a child, I was completely intrigued by these creatures and thought they were magnificent.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    Yes, I studied Interior Architecture initially at Penninghen in Paris before moving to Switzerland where I had the tremendous chance to study Product Design at ECAL under Pierre Keller. I subsequently worked for household names in Fashion & Architecture, namely Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, and Zaha Hadid before returning to Lebanon to set up my own design studio and explore my own lines.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    I’ve always been very interested in craftsmanship and the beautiful relationship between the hand that draws and the hand that makes it. Being Lebanese, we have a very strong artisanal heritage and I always felt like I wanted to explore cultural identity through the transmission of these knowhows. I decided to root my practice in this dialogue between the designer and the maker, modernizing techniques while respecting the craft itself.

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    My creative process involves a conversation between myself and the artisans I closely collaborate with. Every piece is the result of an extensive exchange whereby we each challenge each other’s perspective in order to reach a mutually convincing result. To me, design is a form of dialogue so it only makes sense that it unfolds in the form of an ongoing conversation.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    I wake up very early because I like to start my day with some quiet time to gather my thoughts and think about whatever I am currently working on. It’s a kind of meditation where I get most inspired. I usually then visit my artisans’ workshop depending on the piece I am working on and will typically spend the day there undergoing several experiments and prototypes, having coffee, and discussing the progress. To me, design is a dialogue.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    I chose to work with materials and techniques that were specific to Lebanese craftsmanship whether brass, metalwork, or carpentry, and then slowly started experimenting with pushing the techniques further incorporating resin, marble, and enamel. My inspiration was to root my work in traditional local handicrafts while finding new ways to interpret their technique.

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    Mainly to find the proper balance between respecting the essence of handicraft and the relationship between the craftsman and his medium and modernizing the approach resulting in pieces that are innovative, clean, ornate, and sculptural.

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    Just to take an active part in the production process and understand how things are made. Artisans and makers are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate and I believe by spending time learning how they make things and their attention to detail profoundly inspires the designing process.

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?

    I think it is difficult to dissociate our creations from the historical, socio-economical context they are born into. I believe my work is quite rooted in the big interrogations of our contemporary world: How to be more conscious, intentional, responsible, and innovative in a world that is so fast-paced and where AI is starting to occupy more space. I think the true question is how can we keep design moving rather than feeling stuck if that makes sense?

    11. What designers have influenced you ?

    I’ve had the chance to study at ECAL under the guidance of fantastic designers who have inspired me and I started my career working for Vivienne Westwood and Zaha Hadid so these experiences inevitably influenced my approach perhaps not so much aesthetically but more so in their dedication, vision and creative sovereignty.

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    Patricia Urquiola, Pierre Charpin, and India Mahdavi.

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    I love Hanibal Srouji, Etel Adnan and Miya Ando. Their work is poetry and that sensibility is the essence of true humanity.

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    Works that are at once sculptural and practical, ornate and clean, strong and subtle.

    15. Is there anything you would like to add ?

    Nothing I can think of.

    Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
    (The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

    Being next to the sea.

    2. What is your greatest fear?

    Losing a loved one.

    3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

    Laziness.

    4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

    Unkindness.

    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    My mom.

    6. What is your greatest extravagance?

    Collecting Art.

    7. What is your current state of mind?

     Enjoy the moment.

    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

    Truth…this should be a given in any interaction.

    9. What is the quality you most like in a man ?

    Integrity.

    10. What is the quality you most like in a woman ?

    Courage.

    11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

    AKID (which means “definitely” in Arabic)

    12. Which talent would you most like to have?

    Playing a musical instrument.

    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    Overthinking.

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    My family.

    15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

    A Cedar tree.

    16. Where would you most like to live?

    On the Mediterranean.

    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    My engagement ring designed by my husband.

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    The inability to have empathy.

    19. What is your favorite occupation?

    Designing.

    20. What is your most marked characteristic?

    Dependability.

    21. What do you most value in your friends?

    Consistency.

    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    Milan Kundera, Haruki Murakami, Leila Slimani to name a few.

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    Eleven from Stranger Things.

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    I wouldn’t know.

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?

     Teachers.

    26. What are your favorite names?

    Karim and Jamil.

    27. What is it that you most dislike?

    Dishonesty and injustice.

    28. What is your greatest regret?

    Overthinking.

    29. How would you like to die?

    In my sleep.

    30. What is your motto?

    You Do You

    All images: Karen Kalou

    Leave a Reply