ANA AVANZINI’S REFLECTIONS ON ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
Ana Avanzini has been in love with Architecture for as far as she remembers. Born in a family of architects, she grew up almost without noticing how ingrained this art was in her. “I feel the interest in art and creation has always been something natural for me. Both of my parents, as well as my elder brother, are architects, and even without talking too much about that when I was young, somehow I already knew this profession had something truly fascinating,” she tells us. Ana clearly recalls the first time she became truly aware of architecture and its power to create and shape space, “I was around eleven years old, and I visited the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Moving through that space, I was able to realize how each element that composed it fulfilled a function and was harmoniously combined with the whole. It was all designed with the intention of proposing a new way to experience a place. It was a moving feeling.” This fascination led her to build a successful career as an architectural and exhibition designer. “I chose architecture because it combines creativity and the ability to propose alternative realities to the existing one.”
For Ana, architecture is “about composing all the elements of a space so that they respond to a core idea. To do this, I think of all the scales and all the elements that affect us in our day-to-day life, from the doorknob to the urban plan.” The Spanish architect finds inspiration in the smallest, everyday details, but ultimately, her drive to create comes from a passion for problem-solving. “The role of the architect is to help people solve problems, and I think that’s very inspiring. It is something that motivates us always to do our best work. Can you imagine a better way to live? Now dare to design it!” she explains enthusiastically. When initiating a project, she finds it essential to enjoy the process as a creative act as well as a professional one. “In architecture, numerous elements from various fields converge, and new variables emerge throughout the development of the architectural project. It is important to know how to absorb and integrate all these changes so that they contribute to the same idea, always listening to the user, who is at the center of our attention.” When asked if there is any message she wants to convey with her designs, Ana answers avidly, “I believe that good work can inspire other people. I try to make it evident that everything can be done in a different and better way both for us and for future generations. But ultimately, the claim that is probably behind all my work is a call against boredom. There is no time to get bored or to be boring!”
Reflecting on her architectural career, Ana admits it’s been a difficult road but one which at the same time is “ineffably beautiful” and one which she feels honored to have been able to pursue. She has worked for award-winning architectural studios like MAAV, in Spain and Garrison Architects, in New York. She feels lucky to have collaborated on very beautiful projects throughout her years of practice. Ana has also worked designing exhibitions for the Guggenheim Museum and Department of Architectural Graphic Ideation of the Higher Technical School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. She is waiting to start her next project, the exhibition design for the show of sculptor Constantino Nivola, which will open in May 2021 at the Magazzino Museum of Italian Art, NY. Ana emphasizes, however, that what brings her more satisfaction, and what provides her motivation to keep striving and pushing boundaries in design is the fact that clients are happy and comfortable in the spaces that she has carefully designed for them.
Ana’s recipe for success is straightforward “The key is always to be passionate about what you do. From my point of view, success has less mystery than it seems. It is ultimately based on effort and hard work.” For her, the biggest challenge to overcome when building a career in any creative profession is “staying true to your ideas and goals. Often, you have to make decisions that are difficult to justify, and that is why one of the things that you have to work on the most is self-confidence. Once you believe in yourself, it is easier to convince others.”