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Interview with Aurelio Vázquez Durán

Aurelio Vázquez Durán is a graduate student from IADE, Artistic Education Institute of Madrid, Spain. He started his professional practice in 1990 and for 20 years he is the director of his company that now is called: DIN interiorismo.The company is specialized in interior design and architecture with 20 years of experience in Mexico. All their projects are the result of the correct combination between creativity, functionality, originality, innovation and quality.

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Q:Were you always interested in design?Tell us about the moment when you decided this is the way to go.

My family has always been related to the furniture industry and it is something I enjoyed while growing up and this motivated me to study interior design. At first, when I started studying, I just liked it, but as time went by, and I started my career as a professional interior designer, it became a complete passion. I enjoy very much what I do.

Q:Where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration keeping up to date in various creative expressions such as: cinema, music, art exhibitions, a good book, the gastronomic proposal of a fine chef and the latest skyscraper. Someone else´s achievement is the result of a full creative process that is always worth being analyzed and by doing it your skills improve when doing your own projects. We are always in the quest of finding the soul of every project and making sure that it always tells a story, we consider these two elements the best guide for inspiration.

Q:Can describe a bit your first interior design project?

My first interior design project was a long time ago; it has been more than 20 years! As far as I recall it was my first office that was located in a 500 sq m warehouse, it was both a very fun project and a challenge because I was my own client.

Q:How would you define your personal style?

I prefer to keep my design in the contemporary style, to use a lot of color and trying always to look for non orthodox shapes. However, I also think that the projects belong to the client and they have to get involved in them. This is the only way they will be able to feel it like their own, enabling them to understand and appreciate it. As each client is different, each project has to be different as well. Never the less, there is always a personal seal, because I don’t know how to do things I don’t like.

Q:What kind of people ask for your help?

I have been asked to help in a wide variety of projects, from a small 120 sq m apartment to a 3,000 sq m house. This also has happened in the commercial projects, I have done from small 70 sq m stores to a whole 3,000 sq m flagship store. In the corporate field I have done small offices and a whole TV and Radio Network. In the hotel business I have done from 9 rooms up to 200 rooms. I consider this to be the most enjoyable part of the job; I like to be not identified into a determined field or type of project.

Q:What would be your recommendation for “what to do first” in a decorating project?

Having your ideas clear on what you want to achieve, where to focus the efforts and have a very good communication with the client.

Q:What advice do you have for someone with a new house to decorate and perhaps a limited budget?

Not having a big budget doesn’t have to be an inconvenience for the development of an interior design project, if ideas are clear and consistent to the resources. Priorities have to be established in order to understand the process of the project. When there is a small budget there are a wide variety of possibilities that don’t implicate large amounts of money. Changing the colors or the fabrics are very affordable changes, sometimes even changing the way the furniture is located in the room may be all that is needed. The lighting design is also another way to make important changes without spending too much.

Q:What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as a designer? And the most rewarding one?

The most frustrating is definitely bad communication with the client or the fact that he or she does not understand what our job is about. The most rewarding one is —without any doubt— the fact of having an idea for a project, then develop it in paper, then into floor plans and step by step until it is completed. It is the magic of making ideas come true that is very fulfilling.

Q:Can you please talk around this project Casa A.P.

The challenge was the perfect combination between warmth and personality that must have been met in each space of the A.P. house, addition to meeting each of the simple and sophisticated design details involved in an area where five people cohabit. The family is the guiding principle of the whole interior project and set the tone for interaction between common and private areas. Long conversations with each of the family members allowed us to meet all requirements for the rooms design, their tastes and desires and even their dreams, were taken into account for the space creation where each element responds the form and function. Natural lighting, lighting design, colors and finishes selection, also were chosen according to areas needs and transitions between each.

The goal was to convey dynamism through furniture in the living room and bar, with items that can move, rotate and open to transform the space according to the desired event or activity. The breakfast area and family room communicate with each other through a wood and glass furniture, which allows the light passage and reflection, but add breadth to space. The game zone is the energy and comfort area, achieved with a color palette that highlights citric shades combined into walls, cushions and rug. Furniture consists in different size modules that play with dimensions to enclose television, video games and everything needed.

A.P. house stands out for its unique spaces in which wood variety is combined. This broad selection considered Maple for the bedrooms, zebrawood in the master bedroom and living room, and Indian rosewood for the dining room. The wood nobility and warmth allowed a color palette for children’s bedrooms and burned colors for common areas and the master bedroom, resulting in a high design family environment.

Q:What is your favorite book/magazine on design?

My favorite one is any fantastic art book.

Q:What you recommend for this autumn/winter and next year?

I strongly recommend wood with strong grain, mustard, eggplant and turquoise colors combined with mid gray shades. I consider we have to focus in designing spaces that emphasize the spirit of sustainability. It is also clear to me that there will be maximalism and the recovery of the icons of the past in combination with a speculation of the new icons; also healthy spaces and a great amount of reasonable luxury.

Q:What is the average time allocated to a project?

Since my team and I began to work in a project and we finish the construction there may be several months or sometimes years. In the development of the concept and the first ideas it may take between one or two months. This is the most important and fun part of the process.

Q:What advice do you have for young designers or architects reading this interview?

To have passion for what they do, if it is design or any other activity in their life. To be committed into acquiring a wide culture: art, music, sculpture, literature, cinema, reading, eating, etc.

Q:Tell us something unusual that happened in your career.

I have been surprised that after finishing a project I have found that there is something similar —in some aspects— in another corner of the world.

Q:What are your plans for the future?

Continue to develop in my career and my firm, and luckily to participate in a project abroad. Keep on being passionate of what I do.

Q:What do you think of our site?

I enjoyed it very much. I like the big size of the photos and the different and interesting topics you publish.