Celebrating: Rute Carvalho, CEO & Creative Director in Porto.

How would you introduce yourself in five words?
Enthusiastic, creative, dreamy, sensitive, caring.

What do you prefer to do when it comes to design?
To be honest, I like to do everything and to be involved in all phases of the projects. Having said that, the search for the concept and its definition is definitely one of my favourite phases. This state of divergency, where all dreams are allowed, is incredible for testing and experimenting. Beyond the concept, the development of synergies among people within projects is something that fascinates me. To be able to work with several people from different areas is very rewarding as well as being a huge learning.

What is the best compliment your work has ever received?
When people identify themselves with the work and take ownership of it causing it to gain a much greater life beyond the imagined.

“Choose something that excites you deeply, find your obsessions and transform them each day into something unique.”

What designer do you most admire and why?
Beyond their work, I am attracted to personalities who present themselves as citizen-designers, who have an active voice in society. Milton Glaser uses design as a way of communicating the sense of justice, honesty and creativity covered with a good dose of humor that makes him have a special voice. Jessica Helfand is an inspiration by the passionate way that she embraces design, finding the space to question it, to teach it, and to try to take it to another level: “Design matters because people matter, and the purpose of this book is to examine precisely this proposition: to consider the conscience-driven rules of human engagement within which design must operate.”

What would your advice be to a young designer?
Choose something that excites you deeply, find your obsessions and transform them each day into something unique. Allow your passion and enthusiasm to fuel your research and learning process. There is nothing better than feeling alive and connected with what surrounds us, finding in it the greatest source of inspiration.

Is there such a thing as Portuguese design?
Portugal is a country full of traditions and loaded with stories. It has its own etymology which goes far beyond a particular trend in design, by heading towards the construction of future memories, as are examples the work of Catarina Portas with the brand Vida Portuguesa, Pedro de Almeida for the brand Sanjo and Nuno Coelho for the brand Confiança.

“…the search for the concept and its definition is definitely one of my favourite phases.”

Is there such a thing as Feminine design?
Men and women think, live and work differently. I believe women have a greater unifying ability.

What is it like being a woman in the design business?
Being a woman in the world means having a sense of responsibility, sensitivity, resilience, persistence, patience and a spirit of creation and caring. In the design world nothing really changes besides perhaps the enhancement of all these characteristics.

Is the visibility of your work attached to a sense of achievement? Why?
Somehow yes, it is a path full of steps and challenges where the answers will be given taking as its premise the function and form, feeling that self-designation also embraces the citizen-designer.

“Portugal is a country full of traditions and loaded with stories. It has its own etymology which goes far beyond a particular trend in design.”

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Regardless of what I would be, I think my purpose would be the same: to change people’s lives, using creativity as a tool and sensitivity to know the right moment to act.

If music was the food of love, what would you eat?
Sam Cooke brings together the best ingredients… almost like a balm for the soul, which makes it perhaps the best food of love to which we must always return.

Where can we find you and your work?
I am the founder and maker of dreams at Romã Eventos — www.romaeventos.pt — and project coordinator at ESAD — www.esad.pt.