An afternoon with Lina Patsiou!


Designer Date

While meeting up with the fantastic Lina Patsiou in Milan for our latest feature story—for which we discussed, among other items, the roles she believes identity, memory, and her Greek homeland play in her work—we also took the opportunity to walk along the canal and grab a traditional gelato together (pistachio—delicious).

As we strolled, Lina told us a bit more about her background. A few highlights below:

1) The daughter of an economist and a high school philosophy teacher, Lina was born in Athens but spent her summers on the island of Lesbos with her parents and extended family. When she was very little, maybe four or five years old, she'd "help" her grandfather out at his deli, where her natural gravitation towards the aesthetic was revealed early on. "I wouldn't say that I helped him exactly, but—I was such a geek!—I would rearrange everything on the shelves by color and size, making sure it was all straight and just so. I guess I've always been interested in arrangement."

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2) The leather used in Lina's RCA graduation project, the highly poetic Forever desk and chair, was partially inspired by the traditional leather sandals so popular in Greece. "Everybody wears them—tourists and locals alike. I'll buy a pair all pale and lovely at the beginning of the summer, but by the end of the summer, they're always much darker; the leather definitely tans."

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3) Prior to studying product design under Tord Boontje at the RCA in London, Lina studied product and system design engineering at the University of Aegean on Syros Island in Greece. The department opened in 2000, and, according to Lina, it "essentially focuses on seeing every situation as a system of interacting parts. A system can be anything—the way a team collaborates, the way a user interacts with a particular tool, a production technique, or a machine that makes coffee. Once you've identified the system you're interested in, you can find ways for its parts to interact in a better way. You can redesign some of them, replace others, simplify parts, or add more functionality. Systems science is like a playground for me; it really matches my obsessive side. It's completely influenced the way I think and design." resized_LinaPatsiou_navigli_007   resized_LinaPatsiou_navigli_008

For more on Lina, be sure to check out our latest story, Poetry in Motion!

*all photos by Bea De Giacomo for L'AB/Pamono