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Interview: A Positive Approach to Design with Nadia Geller

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In case you missed our interview section, we hope this post will partially make up for its absence lately. Nadia Geller is an interior designer from USA whose works are a blend of vintage, classical and modern. Her interview answers reveal a warm personality, a positive attitude towards the field of design and last but not least, a lot of passion for her work. Enjoy!

  • Freshome: What determined your passion for design? Tell us about the moment when you decided this is the way to go.
  • Nadia Geller: My passion for design was something I was born with. It has always been a part of me to create my environment. I decided in college that I needed to jump into interior design. I didn’t know that I could make a living creating spaces. Once I found that out I could, I ran with it and started paving my way.

  • Freshome: Can you remember your first design project? Describe it a bit, whether it is a gizmo you worked at as a little kid or something that was sold at a large scale.
  • Nadia Geller: We moved into a new house when I was in third grade. My parents designed my first bedroom, but said I could do whatever I wanted with my new bedroom. I went with a very graphic primary heart wallpaper and made sure that everything in my room coordinated with it. I even hand stitched heart shaped pillows for my bed. I also recall purchasing heart shaped candy for my dresser for my guests to snack on. I guess details have always been on my radar.
  • Freshome: What field of design are you most interested in? Do your works have anything to do with it? (We are asking this because not many designers do what they actually want)
  • Nadia Geller: I am most interested in creating spaces that have a commercial existence. My company focuses on sales offices and model homes for the building industry and I love working in that realm. I also love creating office spaces and currently do that as well. I would love to venture into creating restaurants and hotels.
  • Freshome: Chronologically describe what you are going through (feelings and thoughts) on your way to work.
  • Nadia Geller: I work from home in a loft on my second floor. So I just make sure I have had something to eat and have a cup of coffee. If I am driving to a site in the am I tune into Howard Stern and give my brain a bit of a design break. That radio show is the only thing that seems to shut off my brain and let me laugh for a bit.
  • Freshome: What is your favorite book/magazine on design?
  • Nadia Geller:I like Metropolis, Interior Design, Wallpaper.
  • Freshome: How about your favourite site?
  • Nadia Geller: I really don’t have a favorite website.  Perhaps it would be 1st dibs.
  • Freshome: What inspires you?
  • Nadia Geller: Craftsmen.  people who own their craft and love what they do.
  • Freshome: What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as a designer?
  • Nadia Geller: If I had to dwell on a frustrating thing I wouldn’t be able to do this job, so I am not easily frustrated by my job as a designer.  I was a frustrated waitress once upon a time.
  • Freshome: And the most rewarding one?
  • Nadia Geller: The most rewarding aspect of being a designer is creating a space that I love and that my clients love.
  • Freshome: From your point of view, is design an art or a science?
  • Nadia Geller: It is neither. It is a production that relies on a lot of different artistic endeavors, scientific materials and a  mass amount of coordination of different elements to create a whole space.
  • Freshome: Tell us something unusual that happened in your career.
  • Nadia Geller: I walked into a raccoon going to the bathroom in a project I was working on.  Felt kinda bad for the little guy.
  • Freshome: Let’s say you entered a contest. You have to come up with a design for the first house on the Moon built for extra-terrestrial living. How would your project look like?
  • Nadia Geller: That would depend on the extra-terrestrial’s needs, style and desires.  I always start off each project getting to know my client and what they would dream of living in.
  • Freshome: If design were a product, what would it be and how would you design it?
  • Nadia Geller: I think it is a bit difficult for me to contain design into one thing. It is a process, it is creating beauty and function in things humans/animals need to live in, live with or use. Every product has to be designed.
  • Freshome: If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?
  • Nadia Geller: An environment that was completely hand crafted using no electricity and I would hire the best artisans and craftsmen in the world.
  • Freshome: Share something you would like the world to know about you or your ideas.
  • Nadia Geller: I really love to wear Frye boots and if I could have my head shaved I would, but I have a large bump on my head from an accident as a child. I call it my genius bump.
  • Freshome: What do you think of our site?
  • Nadia Geller: It is lovely. I really appreciate its design diversity.
  • Freshome: What advice do you have for young designers or architects reading this interview?
  • Nadia Geller: Make something. Creating on paper is really important, but producing your design is far more vital and where the real learning happens. Also, listen. The truly intelligent really listen.

For more information on Nadia Geller’s work, you can contact her Director of Marketing, Adam Herman at adam@nadiageller.com. We hope you enjoyed going through Nadia’s answers and stay tuned for other inspiring design interviews!

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