interview with the design studio P-06 atelier interview with the design studio P-06 atelier
apr 08, 2014

interview with the design studio P-06 atelier

P-06 atelier: joana proserpio, vanda mota, catarina carreira, estela pinto, nuno gusmão, pedro anjos and mário videira. 
photography © FG+SG




P-06 atelier is a design studio specializing in communication and environmental design on a wide range of scales. based in lisbon, portugal, it was founded in 2006 by partners nuno gusmão, estela estanislau, pedro anjos and catarina carreira. it has since undertaken a variety of projects from complex, large scale wayfinding systems, museum and exhibition design, to communication and editorial design.



DB: please could you tell us briefly about the evolution of P-06 atelier?
P-06: from the very beginning we actively engaged in collaborations with architects, urbanists, landscape designers and engineers, in a continuous, seamless workflow with complementing disciplines, enriching the firm’s scope of work and amplifying every intervention’s outcomes.


this attitude has incremented incoming requests for different challenges, because of the way that we approach every brief. today we work with both national and international clients on a wide range of projects.



lisbon bikeway (pista ciclável – belém/cais do sodré), pavement markings detail.
photography © joão silveira ramos



lisbon bikeway (pista ciclável – belém/cais do sodré), wall pannels detail.
photography © joão silveira ramos




DB: how do each of your skills compliment or contrast with each other?
P-06: the multidisciplinary attitude that we have began as an inside process, due to the different backgrounds of the founding partners (architecture, fine arts and design). our different skills play an important role on the global conceptual process and interact constantly with each other. which leads to an experimentalist approach, that defines our studio.



DB: what are your thoughts on specialization vs generalization?
P-06: specialization is perfect for technicalities, we surely need them at that point… but to develop an overall project, one should have a generalist’s perspective. to think with a broader mind, is crucial for a designer with our goals.



IPAM – the marketing school, exterior identification detail.
photography © IADE



IPAM – the marketing school, library graphics detail.
photography © IADE



reflex (a assembleia constituinte e a constituição de 1911), mirror side detail.
photography © joão morgado



reflex (a assembleia constituinte e a constituição de 1911), graphics / light box detail.
photography © joão morgado




DB: what drew you to wayfinding and environmental graphics?
P-06: different challenges and different approaches are what we love most but obviously projects that intervene on the built environment are our main focus. people see the work we have done in that area and approach us with similar projects, over time our experience has grown in this particular area.



DB: have new media platforms changed your approach to these projects?
P-06: the new media platforms have brought a whole new perspective by making a wider range of information accessible to everyone, which led to an increasing visual culture. but in its essence, our design approach has remained transversal to all changes.



DB: what do you tell young designers to pay attention to regarding environmental graphics?
P-06: be curious, inquisitive, experimental, and most of all, emotional about the whole process.



refracted light (pavilhão do conhecimento), entrance corridor view.
photography © joão morgado



refracted light (pavilhão do conhecimento), entrance corridor view.
photography © joão morgado




DB: how do you ensure you get useful and insightful feedback from a client?
P-06: it’s never a sure thing, every project and client is a completley new discovery.



DB: which projects have changed your outlook on life?
P-06: none in particular, but all the ‘meaningful’ projects have the tendency to change our outlook on life a little bit at a time.



DB: what are you passionate about and how does it feed into your work?
P-06: as a group we have a lot of passions and emotions, some of us are passionate about surfing, others abuot barbecues, art, sun, flowers, and so on. each of us enjoy the simple life with all its pleasures. these pleasures help us achieve the right balance between emotion and reason, in our design process.



skin (foyer pavilhão do conhecimento), graphics detail. see designboom’s coverage of this installation here.
photography © ricardo gonçalves



skin (foyer pavilhão do conhecimento), general view of the foyer.
photography © ricardo gonçalves




DB: what is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
P-06: today it would be ‘live and let live’ but it could be something else another day.



DB: what is the worst piece of advice you have ever been given?
P-06: it was so bad we can’t remember!

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