1. Where were you born and where are you from ?
I was born and raised in Iran-Tehran. I moved to Dubai with my family over 20 years ago to pursue a better education and upbringing.
In 2018 I finally decided to leave the corporate world. I launched the practice Chapter Studio, creating bespoke design piece rooted in middle-eastern culture. I have also just completed master’s degree in Interior Architecture and design and recently graduated. I have always been eager to continue learning in every aspect.
I am also happily married to my dearest husband who has been supporting my project since the start and just became a mother to my beautiful son.
2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?
I am deeply connected to my origins with a respectful eye for traditions. I grew up fascinated by Persian art (with school classes in calligraphy, pottery & art) and I naturally look back to what I have learnt and experienced. There is satisfaction for a designer in achieving a connection between such Art and the functionality of contemporary furniture.
3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?
No, I pursued a career in corporate finance since the inception of my university to financially support my educational fees. I graduated in 2013 and worked in various corporations.
Following the years, as I grew older, I turned back to design with envy, which is when I decided to dedicate time, for a year, on my design project while working full time. The opportunity of being able to travel and see different cultures and being exposed to design and architecture gave me the driving force that I should share my ideas and turn them into reality.
4. What led you to the design creation ?
I always struggled finding what I wanted or liked out there, I felt a huge gap between beautiful things and pieces where you could place at your home or if I found it the cost was too high to afford. So, I decided to create some pieces first, out of curiosity and necessity thinking what could add value to your space while remaining a statement piece. Thanks to the conversations and support of my husband and a few close friends that I decided to take a leap and start Chapter. Creating what I want to see within a space and creating a space where we want to live in.
5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?
I hand sketch almost every day, then I question myself would I want this in my house? Questioning needs and wants then leads me to decide whether I want to go ahead with this design or not. It is very personal but it’s a constant challenge. I don’t follow trends or think of creating a piece that response to people’s expectations, most of my inspiration is with relation to history and my culture.
I then take it to the workshop and build mock-ups to picture the materiality of the piece. When I can, I bring them to my living room, seeking for an emotional response with the décor and space and imagine the same response could reach people.
6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?
I start my day with a session of Yoga and a cup of coffee (can’t function without it), I usually prefer to head to the factory early in the morning to avoid the midday heat in Dubai and to oversee the production up close and personal. I also spend time discussing upcoming projects and ideas with our Maitre d’heuvre at the factory. This usually takes my mornings.
Once I am done, I head back to get my hands on my laptop, here I attend to my emails and try to wrap up pending work as much as possible. I try to be in touch as much as I can with the partners I work with and who represent my brand. I believe even businesses can be built on a friendly note and I try to be close as much as I can.
Since Covid I mostly work from home which allows me to be close to my son and attend to my work at the same time. By late afternoon, I might have a sketch or two or an idea that I either note down or try to sketch, I do this so I don’t forget the idea if I ever decide to turn it into a collection (noting things down always helps me get back to it later and remember). I am pretty old fashioned and still prefer noting things using a pen and my booklet.
By around 7:00 pm I am almost done with my day as I prepare to spend time with my son before he goes to sleep. I keep my weekdays relaxed so I usually enjoy cooking dinner and spending quality time with my husband while catching up on the day’s events or binging on some new series.
7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?
Marbles, brass, copper, fabrics and all unexpected, imperfect organic materials, that distinguish from other high-volume brands. I admire natural textures and the touch and earthy feel it gives. I love the beautiful dramatic shapes and objects that allow creating stories in spaces.
8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?
Attention to details, I am perfectionist and can easily make the same piece over and over again until I get the detail that I want. It has put me in trouble before I must admit, but I believe if you create something, do it once with great attention.
9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?
Surround yourself with people who support and believe in you, and remain patient
10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?
I would say a combination of Memphis (1981-1988) and Modernism (1924-1945)
For Memphis I would say creating designs that breaks the rule of traditional designs but still have a sense and functionality of a traditional design. Using stones with different colors can be a representer of playful patterns which can either be loved or hated by the public. And as for the Modernism is the simplicity and easy function designs to develop through the product.
11. What designers have influenced you ?
Many but to name a couple of main ones
12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?
Jean Nouvel- Abu dhabi Louvre
Gaetano Pesce – UP5 Chair designed for b&b Italia
Charlotte Kingsnorth – Squishy Thonet II
13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?
Jeff Koons sculpture,
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
I also very much find the work of an Iranian sculptor Behdad Lahooti interesting.
14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?
We are the sum of our experiences. In the course of life, we
never cease to transform ourselves. Throughout each chapter,
We welcome new perspectives and write new memories.
If I chose one word it would be Tradition.
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?
If this was last year, I would say work hard then happiness comes in later, but now it is my beautiful family, my husband and my son on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Failure to be successful at something before I die.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I tend to overthink things, and can say I am a tad bit short tempered. I like things to be planned and if they are not, I feel lost.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Ignorance, feeling entitled and lack of confrontation, I don’t see many people confronting one another these days, instead they start hating each other. Wouldn’t we all be in a better place if we were all honest with each other and spoke the truth once in a while?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
Ordinary people , creating extraordinary lives for themselves and becoming an inspiration to others.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
My semi-professional Rocket Coffee machine, never been happier to smell fresh coffee in my house every morning.
7. What is your current state of mind?
Chaotic and grateful – managing life, work, motherhood all can be chaotic and at the same I know this is where I need to be right now, so I am grateful.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Self Esteem, having too much of it can be problematic.
9. What is the quality you most like in a man ?
Humor and one that appreciates the capabilities of a woman
10. What is the quality you most like in a woman ?
Their ability to multitask!
11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I will dominate it
12. Which talent would you most like to have?
To be a better presenter and a sales person, watching a true presenter is truly inspiring, and that is not me.
13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I guess I wouldn’t mind mastering my French and Italian.
14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Definitely not knowing how to run a design business but to finally being able to meet & work closely with the wonderful people and the galleries who have been my inspiration to start Chapter in the first place.
15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
An excellent comedian.
16. Where would you most like to live?
Tough one, I like city hustle and bustle and also appreciate nature, so if I could choose, I would love to live half a year in the south of Italy and the remaining half in a busy city, is it too much to ask? 😊
17. What is your most treasured possession?
My vintage heure watch, gifted by my husband, Julien during Christmas of last year.
18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Not believing in something or having a goal.
19. What is your favorite occupation?
In another world I would have loved being a musician playing cello for an orchestra!
20. What is your most marked characteristic?
At some point everyone opens up to me so I guess I am a good listener and good at keeping secrets.
21. What do you most value in your friends?
To have that kind of friendship with someone where you don’t see each other for a long time but when you do see them its like it was yesterday or have the comfort to call each other and stay on the phone without speaking with each other for hours. Comfortable friendship
22. Who are your favorite writers?
There are so many but to name a few
Gregory David Roberts – writer of Shantaram
Murakami – Men without women
Abolqasem Ferdowsi – Shahname
Shahrnush Parsipur, tr. Faridoun Farrokh – Women Without Men
23. Who is your hero of fiction?
Viola Davis from how to get away with murder. Incredible character of a woman, opinionated, fearless, manipulative but also a rebel, determined and loyal.
24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I wouldn’t be able to say I identify to anyone, really, I am just an ordinary person living an ordinary life. Historical figures have left the world with things that we learn from today, so being high on that note, I should say it’s incomparable.
25. Who are your heroes in real life?
People who adopt and help the ones in need.
26. What are your favorite names?
Camissares (my sons name), Eham, Darius, Aysan, Talayeh , Diba
27. What is it that you most dislike?
28. What is your greatest regret?
Not knowing much about bitcoin or NFT.
29. How would you like to die?
Either asleep or flying, never in water!
30. What is your motto?
I can do it, I’m almost there