An interview with Kostas Neofitidis
Kostas Neofitidis is an eclectic creative based in Cyprus. In his multidisciplinary studio, he develops outstanding architecture, capturing interiors and objects and highly unique art pieces.
The pandemic's magical side is the reconnection after being far away from people, having met perhaps several years ago, and then set apart by differences in time, routines, and space.
IDSA-SF: Hello Kostas, thank you for your time to answer to these questions. Let’s start with you. Tell me a little bit about your background.
It's a pleasure for me to be able to talk to the IDSA community about my inspiration and experience.
I have studied to be an architect, but I believe that I could have studied any creative field. I am naturally inclined to create new ideas. During the 30 and over years of my career, I have designed buildings, objects, art. My philosophy is absolutely multidisciplinary.
Tell me more about your approach to a project.
When I start designing something new, I let my mind imagine a world. I have travelled for many years, especially in East Asia. I believe that the very spiritual approach of those cultures have helped me discover the true confidence in myself and in my ideas. So when I have in front of me a new brief or I would like to create a new art piece, the first research is within me. I rarely look for what others do or the latest trends because I feel that any design coming out of my pencil needs to bring vibrant feelings.
Let’s look at your work; it’s absolutely diverse! How do you define your project-focused side and rational personality with your artistic side?
I don’t find the two aspects being in contrast with each other. I believe that it is a mistake to think that creative fields are compartments. Both of the worlds live within me; they are just two different “modes." This is why I chose to put my artwork under the name of Kota, because it sounds almost like Kostas. I love this biomy between Kota and Kosta.
Kota is the way local habitants used to call me in my long travels around Asia. I got used to that, and it was really the place that has helped me to “come out” of conventional thinking.
What I have learned during my travelling is that qualities like innovation and sustainability are embedded in the concept. It is also interesting how traditional craft can be at the same time a vehicle of innovation when you apply it to different applications they were created for. Respect and support of those crafts is essential to achieve stunning results.
Your work has a powerful use of forms and colors combined that makes them “alive and dynamic.” Where do you take inspiration from?
There is not really outside inspiration. When I need to design something new, forms and colors lead my hand. I can [en]vision and hear the “music” of colors and shapes. Almost like listening to the sound of the universe. It’s there in my head and it’s ready to be read by everyone looking at that design.
I can “feel” colors as having different weights and putting them on the paper is like balancing everything in an harmonious way between those unfinished forms and those colors.
For me, paper is like a score for this universe music I carry in me.
You apply this in various forms and formats: from area rugs to tables and other objects. How does this work for you?
This is a natural passage. Creativity has no boundary of formats and shapes. My approach is the same in front of any projects, from a cup to a building. That is why I love my job.
You have experience in the US. How do you feel the projects are different from the European ones?
It's very different. European Design has less boundaries and tends to be more multidisciplinary. In the US, everything is more compartimented. Specialization is very important over there. I feel like there should always be left space to experiment and try new things. This is what makes our career very interesting.