In conversation with Tina Gorjanc
In our new interview series we sit down with Tina Gorjanc, an interdisciplinary designer whose futuristic work sits at the cross roads of Speculative Design, Fashion, Science and Sustainability. After obtaining a Material Futures Master’s Degree from Central Saint Martins, her creations caught the attention of some of the biggest media companies including The Guardian, The New York Times, Dezeen, Motherboard and Trend Tablet.
Tina tells us more about what she thinks the future holds, fashion trends and innovation. Her practice blends far forward speculative and critical product design with scientific procedures and bio technology.
GW: Where are you from?
TG: I am originally from Slovenia.
GW: What is your job? And where are you based?
TG: I call myself an interdisciplinary designer although I usually get categorized as a speculative and critical designer as well. I have been studying and working in London for the past 6 years.
GW: How did you get started in your work which is at the crossroads of Bio technology and Fashion?
TG: Even though I was never officially trained in biology, chemistry and engineering past the general education level I always cultivated curiosity toward those fields by reading scientific journals and educating myself about the advancements in the field. I got introduced to bio-design in the first year of my master education which opened up the possibility for me to finally merged my long term interest with my design knowledge and expertise.
GW: How do you envision the future? Your preferable future?
TJ: My utopian future scenario includes a society that promotes interspecies relationships based on reasonable and mutually beneficial behaviour, that encourages everyone to develop to their own potential, that offers the ability to provide a safe and healthy environment for ourselves and the next generations and that does not promote polarization of ideologies.
A more realistic view is to offer these possibilities to as many people as possible.
GW: Do you think the future is predictable? Please explain a little bit your yes or no answer here.
TG: When it comes to predicting bugger shifts in human behaviour I think it is highly unlikely to get a good portion of the prediction right - and we have unlimited examples from the past that offer good witnessing of our inability to do so. Even though the research can be based on the most sophisticated analysis that speaks towards the direction of a specific field of practice, the history has thought us that the unpredictable circumstances (so-called “black swans”) that can affect the predictions of such fields are far more frequent than we expect. However, I do also believe that the use of speculation is highly important in order to shape the general direction in which research filed is going and to give the general public the ability to make an informed decision and empower them to become actors of change themselves.
GW: How do you research for your creations? What inspires you the most?
TG: I always draw inspiration mainly from inspiring debates in which my view on a specific topic gets challenged by a specialist in the field or a related practice.
GW: Do you have a specific process?
TG: I usually employed an immersive design process that firstly employes a really strict narrowing down of the research to a very specific topic in order to fully frame the design opportunity. Only when this is completely mapped out I zoom out of the selected topic in order to get an overview that looks into and links up to other research fields that could be impacted by the designed change as well as aims to discover new fields which might have been previously unimpacted by the selected discipline.
GW: What do you think about fashion trends?
TG: It depends on how the word trend is defined and in what context it is used. I do believe that there are patterns in human behaviour that can usually be predicted but I also think a big part of this responsibility is taken up by the media - especially in our current society due to the fast spread of information.
GW: If you had to sum up the creative process in 1 word what would it be?
GW: What is innovation for you? It's such an overused word but what does it truly mean for you?
TG: I think the word "innovation" perfectly describes the current nature of our society which is driven by the desire to constantly come up with new advancements which, consequently, unfoundedly categorize each year a vaster amount of products under this meaning of the word. However, I do believe that true innovations are the ones that can withstand their role to enable a better quality of human life and can still be applicable to our society in a span of a prolonged timeframe.