Born in Istanbul to a Levantine family of Italian origin, Chiara de Rocchi is a designer inspired by the order of the universe and nature in her designs. Growing up in an art-oriented family and having the opportunity to experience both Turkish and Italian cultures, Chiara had the opportunity to broaden her perspective and prepare for a creative career. Inspired by natural sources while questioning the concepts of form and function, the artist successfully expresses the harmony created by contrast in her works. In 2018, Rocchi created designs she defines as functional artworks. Once started as designing furniture pieces and objects, she continues her creative journey in the medium of sculptures.

What are your sources of inspiration in your design process?
My biggest inspiration is nature, but even choosing materials inspires me. I’m not inspired by a single moment or a place. I believe that the inspiration in the design process does not depend on a specific space or time. In my designs, I am inspired by the process I have been going through. I don’t always start with the same feelings and thoughts. Sometimes at the end of the journey, completely different results come out. Each design is an experience for me. I like to convey these experiences. Connecting with iron and making it a fluid opens different doors to me every time.

What is the philosophy behind your works? 
The concept of duality in life, in nature, in humans interests me. My objects, designed without compromising the priority of anxiety, symbolize the yin-yang concept that takes over the whole of life, with the duality in their design and functionality. My designs, which I produce with the extraordinary raw materials of nature, come to life with natural materials such as wood and iron. Two of the most extraordinary substances our planet offers to us, these materials reveal a magnificent contrast when they integrate with each other.

What are your yin and yang?
No matter how many times I see the glass half full, one side of me always tends to think
negatively. Maybe everyone like that, but I believe that I have found the right balance
between the two. Instead of suppressing my negative thoughts, I try to turn them into
something good by accepting them.

Where does the essence of your creativity come from?
The influence of both cultures plays a big part. There are many similarities between the two cultures in terms of food and family relations. I can notice the cultural diversity of Italy in my designs. This is where my interest in the old buildings in Istanbul comes from. There are a lot of old buildings in Italy, and I can observe these structures for hours. Of course, the fact that my family are architects also plays a big part… architecture, art, cultural differences, life, nature all affect my creativity. Apart from contemporary art, I am also very interested in food. I like to experiment with different tastes, combinations. This is one of the reasons I converted a part of my workshop into a cafe. Italian and Turkish cuisine is very similar to each other. I also feed on two cultures here and I feel very lucky.

Can you describe your works in three words?
Fluid, functional and eye-catching.

Are you a night person or a morning person?
Morning person.

The motto of your designs is the beauty of contrasts. What is your motto of life?
If you want something bad enough you’ll eventually get it.

What is your favourite song to listen to in the workshop?
I don’t really get stuck on one song. I have playlists for different moods. I like to listen to
more romantic songs on rainy days.

In your everyday style, do you prioritize aesthetics or functionality?
Function and comfort are the most important in my everyday style. I always prefer comfortable and practical designs in my day and night outfits. My relationship with fashion is actually similar to the works I create. I prefer minimal and versatile clothes. I choose products that I can combine quickly.

Do you describe yourself as a dreamer or a realist?
I would definitely describe myself as a realist. Facing the reality is very important for me.

The artist who impressed you the most?
Bansky

A movie you won’t get tired of watching?
In the Mood for Love

What excites you the most nowadays? 
I was so excited when I visited the museum that the Rubbell family build to exhibit their art collection. I haven’t had this excitement in a long time.

What are your projects going forward? 
I’m working on industrial waste right now. I will share this work in the future.