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Alma Laut, winner of 8th edition of the Roca One Day Design Challenge in Madrid, second best design student in Spain in 2020

06 / 03 / 2021

The Spanish Society of Academic Excellence (SEDEA) has designated Alma Laut, winner of the second prize at the eighth edition of the Roca One Day Design Challenge in Madrid, as the second best design student in Spain in 2020.   

In this interview we discover a bit more about her career, her future prospects and her vision of design and creativity.

Congratulations for having been designated as one of the best design students in Spain. What does this recognition mean to you?

This recognition is extremely important to me, as it is a reflection of all my efforts and dedication to my studies in these last few years. Knowing that I am following the right path to become a great professional is very motivating.

How did you find out that design was the right path for you?

I have always been very interested in objects, as a child I loved to observe everything around me, I was always curious to know how the objects that surrounded me were manufactured. Eventually, I realized that I wanted to learn to create and I decided to study design, as it encompassed everything related to manufacturing and creativity. 

In your opinion, what role does design play in society?

Design is a key element in our society, it can be found everywhere, in everyday objects, in spaces, in everything surrounding us. Design is a part of everyone’s day-to-day activities. The mindset of future designers will determine people’s lives, their consumption patterns and lifestyle. That is why it is essential that new designers get an education based on sustainable and ethical values.   

 

 

For you, what is the future of the sector?

The future of the sector is evolving towards sustainability, to continue improving products without compromising the planet’s resources.  The new generations of designers are increasingly aware of the amount of waste generated by society; that is why we can see that more and more companies are concerned about the use of sustainable materials, their life cycle and how to reduce their impact.    

During your student years and in your dissertation, you have shown a special interest in sustainability. How do you think design will evolve in this field?

Design is starting to evolve considerably towards sustainability, I think that any design development without a focus on sustainability will not be feasible in the next few years. It is essential to study new sustainable materials, processes and treatments with a low environmental impact. The design world is changing rapidly and in order to be good professionals, it is our duty to always be informed about the latest innovations within the sector to apply them to new projects.    

You won with Gabriel Jesús Santana the second prize in the 8th edition of the Roca One Day Design Challenge in Madrid, which took place in 2019. What was the experience like? What has it meant in your career?

It was a very positive and enriching experience, I really enjoyed that day, even though I was really nervous. It gave me the chance to apply, in record time, everything I had learned in my last university years; analysis and synthesis of a briefing that presents a real problem in a very short period of time, where we had to present a graphic and feasible idea. That day I learned what it meant to work under pressure, hand in hand with my partner, sharing work to be as productive as possible and to be able to present the idea on time, I think we only had 30 seconds left when we submitted our project. We were blocked and frustrated at times, but my partner’s support made all the difference.

 

What advice would you give to those thinking of participating in the contest?

I would give them different pieces of advice: read the briefing carefully, make sure your idea complies with all the requirements, organize your time well, divide all tasks between yourself and your partner, if you have one. Try to avoid very complex and impossible ideas, sometimes the simplest idea is the most feasible and above all, try to have a good time!

You are currently designing glasses and complements. Has the pandemic modified the trends in this sector?

Yes, the pandemic has changed people’s lifestyle; they spend much more time at home now, surrounded by screens. Many people who did not wear glasses before now use them with a screen protection filter. As for aesthetics, timeless designs are trendier now, with discreet colors, classic lines that do not go out of fashion and last for many years.

What or who were your sources of inspiration when you started designing?

One of my design icons is Dieter Rams, with his global idea of working on functional design, with simple and honest shapes. He was one of the first to think of circular economy, searching for timeless aesthetics and avoiding any unnecessary element. I believe that his influence on design can be found in many of our everyday products.

We also have a Spanish designer that follows this concept, André Ricard, who aims to design objects with the simplest and most sensible shape to meet their function.  

You just need a clear idea and certain values of what a good design requires to start designing.      

What project have you always dreamt of developing but have not been able to carry out?

In the last few years I have found myself thinking of conceiving a design strategy to remove all single-use disposable packaging, which protects everyday objects or food.  

We need to find a solution to the amount of plastic waste we are generating, in order to improve the environmental impact we have on our planet.