Interview with Teresa Sapey
Italian-born Teresa Sapey moved to Madrid in 1990 establishing quite an illustrious career in her adoptive country. The architect and interior designer opened her own studio, took part in the Hotel Puerta América project along with the likes of Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid, and now works as Final Project Director at the IED.
As such an accomplished and creative individual, she’s a bit of an inspiration here at the Half and Twice office, and we were absolutely thrilled when she agreed to have a chat with us ahead of her appearance as guest speaker at tonight's Ladies, Wine & Design.
Tell us a bit about your professional background...
I guess you could say that my career started when I came to Madrid. In 1990 I set up my own studio and since then I’ve been very lucky to have pretty much constant work both here in Spain and abroad.
What kind of projects are you working on in your studio?
I’m the owner of the studio, and in reality I’m doing both public relations and working as an architect. Whenever we get a project, I figure out the baseline with my team and then supervise the work, whether it be in Italy or Hong Kong. Right now I’m a travelling a lot, in fact, I spend more time sleeping in hotels than I do in my own bed. The small amount of free time I get is usually dedicated to learning and art. This year, for example, I’ve been the Final Project Director for interior design students at IED.
After so many years in the same industry, how do you stay passionate about what you do?
By maintaining that sense of wonder that you had on the first day. Staying curious, like a child, is fundamental, and you have to be interested in what’s going on around you.
What changes have you seen in the world of interior design?
A return to the origins, high-quality materials, and an interest in small details going against the ostentation we saw in the years before the financial crisis.
What inspires you?
Art, fairs, magazines, galleries, a whole world of things I can explore using my iPad, and pretty much everything I find along the way.
What inspires you about architecture and interior design in Spain?
I love the fresh creativity and daring that young, and not so young, creatives are showing here in Spain. Also, architecture and interior design is being thought of in terms of 100% functionality, which I love and is something that was lost for a few years.
Any plans and ambitions for the future?
To keep dedicating my heart and soul to projects that inspire me.
Do you have any advice for artists or designers who are just starting out?
They should be children of their age, accept their flaws, be humble, and never feel embarrassed about what they do.
What will you be talking about at Ladies, Wine & Design?
I’ll be talking about my dreams and ambitions, about how I always wanted to be an artist and how I was convinced to study architecture, and was later able to study fine arts. I’ll also be speaking about how I incorporate this fascination for art in every project I do, and how I stay enthusiastic and motivated after so many years. And how, even though I haven’t been able to be an artist, I still enjoy art by collecting it.
Is there an object you simply can’t live without?
My iPad, I’m completely addicted. I love the fact that I can be absolutely anywhere and still be able to explore and discover super interesting things. Having instant access to so much information is the best!
If you could change any famous building or monument, which would it be, and how would you change it?
Without a doubt, I would love to add colour to all the monuments in our cities which have become grey and drab thanks to pollution and the passing of time.
What’s your definition of happiness? And what's the meaning of life?
Happiness is my two children, and despite the fact that they live in different cities, I speak to them every day. The meaning of life, what difficult question! I guess it’s about being happy and well within yourself in order to be happy and well with the rest of the world.