For this weeks addition of community member interviews, we were lucky enough to get a hold of Catalin Sandu after his jury prize vacation to New York City, visiting non other than his actualized ONE SIZE FITS ALL design submission from the LifeEdited project. With photos and all- Ready, set, read on!
Hi there! What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Catalin Sandu, I’m from Bucharest ROMANIA.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
26 years old, architecture student, never lived anywhere else except Bucharest. I took part in some other contests before, mostly architecture, in various local student teams but so far this is the first winning submission.
So as the jury winner of LifeEdited, what was your inspiration in designing One Size Fits All?
One of the first projects me and Adrian (my contest partner) thought of when reading the brief was Gary Chang’s apartment. But unlike it, we just wanted one dividing wall that splits the space in half, turning it from a livingroom in two bedroom spaces. After the contest, the inspiration came from other fields such as dorm rooms or even camping caravans and boat interiors.
Do you think you were personally influenced or excited by the LifeEdited philosophy?
Yes, in terms of possesions but I still find it hard to let go of the big working desk I use. I usually keep a lot of drawings and magazines around me.
Was it previously of any interest to you?
Well the room I live in is only 100sft so I’ve always kind of tought how to maximize it but haven’t really considered a murphy bed until the LifeEdited contest. I’m also much more passionate about interior design now than I was before this contest.
Were there any challenges in the process of having your design realized?
There proved to be more existing pipes inside the walls than we originally knew and most of them had to be relocated. This process slowed everything down. The moving wall had to be split in half in order to make it lighter, the bathroom area is just a little bigger now and we went for a Goliath table instead of a custom folding one. Everything else is pretty much the same. We spent a lot of time looking at different floor and cabinet finishes: regarding the floor, we started from maple, changed our minds to cork, switched to bamboo and went back to maple again.
How did you work with Graham? Did you go to NY?
All the work was done over the internet. Was a bit strange at first, it was my first time I worked with someone like this. But eventually, this method proved to be really efficient.
The seven-hour difference between New York and Bucharest allowed me to go to school and still be able to be in touch with Graham and the team. I think it’s a pretty efficient workflow:go to school in the morning – get back home and start working for LifeEdited based on the reviews I already had in my inbox from the team (by the time I would start working, it was already noon in NYC) and so on. Secondly, working from home is great. Not having to waste time commuting means more free time. Or more work time..
We heard that you team-up with Graham Hill for further projects. What kind of project are they?
Yes, by the time I finished my part of work for the apartment, I thought that was about all. But then a second apartment was booked for remodeling. Same building, same requierments as the first, but this one was even smaller: 350sft. The design is pretty much ready but the construction is currently on hold. Demo should start in autumn. I’m currently working as part of a bigger team on a mixed use development in Las Vegas as a part of Zappo’s DOWNTOWN PROJECT (http://downtownproject.com/). The building will have around 400 LifeEdited
apartments of 300, 450 and 600 sft.
What was the most beneficial aspect of working on this project for you or your career?
- having my first built project;
- having my first built project in New York City;
- having my first built project published in The New York Times!
Have you seen the apartment yet or enjoyed your Jury prize of a one week stay?
Yes, we’ve seen the apartment already, we just came back home this week (31st august). With Graham’s kindness, the one week say prize turned into 3 weeks of living in the apartment. We had a great time testing it out
Let’s have a look at the rest of the rest of the photos.
Thanks so much for getting in touch Catalin! And congratulations, it must be very exciting for you!