After working with Eduardo Arroyo, Paloma Cañizares, a teacher of the Master of Interior Design and the Master of European Design Labs at the IED Madrid, set up her own architecture studio in 2005. She soon specialised in interior design, producing commercial and office spaces, with many of her projects appearing in a range of publications and exhibitions.
Her expectations were high, and in 2009, she presented her first furniture collection under the name PCM, whose products have been on display at several art galleries. Over time, her company has become a furniture design enterprise devoted to the search and promotion of new design talents. In parallel, Paloma, who qualified as a researcher in 2011, has been invited to be a member of the jury at the 2012 Design Festival at the French foundation Villa Noaille, as well as being asked to conduct workshops at the Domaine de Boisbuchet.
Recently, her work was awarded the 2012 Heineken Award to New Talents, which “pays recognition to the work she has carried out and offers greater professional exposure”, and which has allowed Paloma “to come into contact with new clients, such as Purificación García and Juanjo Oliva”.
Paloma, what did you learn when you worked with the iconic Eduardo Arroyo?
Eduardo helped me learn a new approach to work, a different way of dealing with projects and a more complex kind of architecture, where the intelligence of the process overrides the creativity of the individual.
In 2005 you decided to set up your own architecture studio. What difficulties and advantages has this brought about?
I never imagined I would set up my own studio, but as the commissions piled up they reached a point that I had to make a decision. The biggest difficulty is always inexperience, and the responsibility one takes on. The advantage is that, when you work for yourself, you are in charge of everything, so you can demand anything of yourself, improving your performance and even your potential. You learn to fight to make sure everything is done properly, and, when you achieve this, you realise that anything is possible. It is very satisfying to look back and realise that, after so much work, little by little, things work out.
Why does your architecture studio specialise in interior design?
Ever since I was young I have been very interested in interior design; my mother studied to be an interior decorator and worked for Juan Muñoz at Casa&Jardín. I grew up reading mostly British interior design magazines. On the other hand, my architecture degree provided me with a theoretical background and a new vision of space and its possibilities.
During the first two years of my career, as a freelancer, there were more commissions for renovation work than for new builds, and I had a good opportunity with a bakery (belonging to my sister) to carry out a more challenging project. It worked out well, and achieved certain notoriety, which contributed to other clients getting in touch with me for interior design projects.
What would you say to a student who is about to enter the work market? What do you think of the current professional opportunities at a time when we are experiencing such a brutal crisis?
Without a doubt, Spain is not the ideal place to begin a professional career right now. I would tell them to make the most of the training they have received, to use the time when they are taking their MA to study the market they intend to enter (which professionals are carrying out interesting work, what is being done in different countries, and why, and what is the situation in each of them), to find a niche. Also, and most importantly, they should try to carry out practical experience at studios or design offices.
What attitude and aptitudes are necessary for this kind of work?
One has to be very resilient, to face all the problems that come up; to remain positive and fight for things to work out. The necessary aptitudes, regardless of creativity, are the ability to work, to be empathetic and intellectually curious.
If you could make one dream come true, professionally speaking, what would it be?
I used to be more of a dreamer, but I no longer fantasise as much, because it doesn’t work. I look for short-term, achievable objectives, and when I achieve them I set out to find new ones. In interior design there are some projects which I would love to carry out: a hotel, a restaurant chain, etc. As for furniture design, I would like to launch some new product lines for PCM Design and have the chance to work with the most talented professionals, to get to know them and learn from them.
MASTER IN INTERIOR DESIGN
Program Leader: Luisa González-Portillo
Duration: 18th of October 2012 - July 2013
Timetable: 19:00 to 22:30. Monday to Friday, 4 and 5 days a week.
MASTER OF EUROPEAN DESIGN LABS
Program leader: Jaime Hayon
Duration: 29th of January 2013 - December 2013 (with a month’s holiday in August)
Timetable: Monday to Friday, full time.
Registration: +34 91 448 04 44