Designing for Different Cultures with Carolina Sandri 21st July 2022 | IN DESIGN ADVICE | BY SBID

In this week’s interview with SBID Awards Product Design judge and Creative Director at Casa Forma, Carolina Sandri defines contemporary luxury, and shares how approaches to design differs around the world to compliment client lifestyles.

You originally launched your architectural studio in Brazil before moving to the UK. What did you learn from this transition, and did the cultural differences play a role in influencing your design approach?

All nationalities have their own culture that shapes their lifestyle preferences, while in university to get my architecture degree I enjoyed reading about people’s history and their cultures, how they lived and worked.

In my studio in Brazil, I learned that Interior Design and Architecture is about much more than designing for aesthetic appearance. It has to consider communication and the key user experience – from how people move around space and interact with objects or people, to how the spaces work according their cultural choices.

When I moved to London, which has been home for me for the past 17 years, I was very proud to be working in the centre point where international design and vision comes together. London is the place where the biggest window to design is!

Most of our clients are global citizens and have homes in many different places, the majority have the same “international” taste when it comes to design, but what we always take in consideration is that, despite having a taste that focuses on unique items of high quality, they are also individual people that have their own cultural preferences that need to be taken in account.

design world, Designing for Different Cultures with Carolina Sandri
design world, Designing for Different Cultures with Carolina Sandri

In the context of luxury interiors, what key characteristics do you look for in the products you specify?

During the years we developed a well-selected supplier database of the best craftsmen and artisans that can bring things from different parts of the world to help us transform our visions into reality. We live in a world where you can go all over and come back with the most amazing materials and fabrics – its remarkable of what we can do.

The most important characteristics that we look for in a product is the superior quality, intrinsic durability, and uniqueness that the product has.

design world, Designing for Different Cultures with Carolina Sandri
design world, Designing for Different Cultures with Carolina Sandri

How can the power of good design influence user experiences and compliment client lifestyles in the residential market?

One of the most important steps in the design process is to spend time with the client at the beginning of the project to fully understand the brief, listen to the client’s journey and history so we can be assured that he design decisions that we will help them make along the way are the correct ones.

These decisions are very important as they have the power to influence the users’ experiences and compliment their lifestyles. Through furniture choice and layout, lighting, finishes and acoustic design, we can influence how people will be using the spaces.

design world, Designing for Different Cultures with Carolina Sandri

What does contemporary luxury mean to you? Do expectations of luxury differ globally, and how do you ensure a client-driven approach to your projects?

Integrating elegance and technology in a well-resolved balance that culminates in a space that is both stylish and usable is contemporary luxury to me. I believe that expectations of luxury are very individual, as each person have their own taste and style, so they also have their own definition of luxury. What may be considered as luxury for one person may not be for another.

Everybody is unique and to ensure a client-driven approach to our projects, we focus on fully understanding the life and needs of a particular space, concentrating entirely on what’s important to the client and their lifestyle.

design world, Designing for Different Cultures with Carolina Sandri
design world, Designing for Different Cultures with Carolina Sandri

Finally, what advice can you give to designers entering the SBID Awards?

Trust your vison and listen to learn. We live in a world of inspiration and creativity and if you work with passion, you can create a design that is truly special and will be well recognised.

Questions answered by Carolina Sandri, Creative Director, Casa Forma.

Carolina has more than a decade of experience on the design and implementation of high-end interior design and architecture projects in London and around the globe. She is the Creative Director at the award-winning luxury design studio Casa Forma and is responsible for delivering leading-edge residential schemes for international high-net-worth individuals and property developers. Her passion for design excellence and extensive knowledge in the luxury global market, makes it possible to transform any client’s aspirations into a truly bespoke and luxurious space. Her architectural background gives her a combination of creative design skills with a wide range of technical knowledge.