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//Explore a Career as a Sustainable Product Designer | Paula Cabo

Overview Info

Paula chose to apply her passion for sustainability into her career as a product designer focusing on furniture and interior design.

Explore a Career as a Sustainable Product Designer | Paula Cabo

Xpert:  Paula Cabo Lalanne
Role: Sustainable Product Designer & Creative Soul
Company:  Cala Creative Studio Habitat
Location: Bilbao, Spain

Sustainability is applicable to many fields. Paula chose to apply her passion for sustainability into her career as a product designer focusing on furniture and interior design. Tetiana Boiko and Paula talk about what it is a sustainable product designer actually does and what the future in the field is looking like.

Watch the full interview below or read the transcribed highlights

Xperienceships: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do as a Sustainable Product Designer?

Paula: My name is Paula Cabo Lalanne and I live in Bilbao. I am a product designer and I am also like the creative soul of my own design studio, Cala Creative Studio.

Right now I am in a workplace which is like a coworking place called Bilbao Design Hub – and we are all creatives that work from here. I work as a product designer but there are also others that work in other areas like architecture and so on.

But in my case, I have a plus, which is that I work in sustainable design. I have this speciality, because I went to Barcelona and I studied a master’s that specialise myself in sustainable product design. So, since that moment, I have been working in different projects related to different areas of sustainable design – like circular product design, or ethical design. So that’s my methodology. Not all projects I work on have a sustainable methodology itself, but my ethics is to apply sustainability in the project.

For example, one area I work in is automotion (dictionary definition: “the technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically.”) and that’s not the most sustainable area. But I work with the interior design, it is this speciality that creates material combinations and finishes for all the pieces. So at that point, you can decide what material you are deciding to put in a certain element. So that’s why it’s important because if you, for example, have to put a leader, you can decide that a maybe a leader that is more sustainable than another one. So it’s to work with that ethic.

Not all projects are the same, but is it to apply a sustainable way of doing things. And that is what I am working on and also I am a product designer for Habitat – I design furniture, lighting and those kinds of things. I am also working to introduce sustainable methodologies in those products.

X: What do you think about the future of the industry? Can you predict any big changes in the next 10 years?

P: In the furniture area, you can see that companies are doing a lot of changes. They are looking for a good furniture collection that is made sustainably. And for example, using new kinds of a manufacturing process like 3D printing for example. So, it is not happening that fast, but we are experiencing some changes.

And for example, when it comes to customers, they are also looking for that kind of focus. I was in a talk about trends in homes, and they said that people after being at home a lot of time because of COVID, they are looking for furniture that are more related to the environment and things that are more natural. So maybe it’s not just the companies that see that things are changing, customers are also asking for that kind of sustainable product. So, it is going to be a change. So I think that product designers are here to stay on the market for a long time. As a designer, I think that for designers sustainability is a really interesting area to do research about and to stay in, because there are going to happen a lot of things.

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