Where do you draw inspiration from?
I’m inspired by so many types of objects, experiences, concepts, moments and people: Black children smiling, the crisp morning air, traveling, speculative fiction, the patina on a piece of midcentury modern furniture, Afrofuturism, the taste of liberation and trans and gender-nonconforming people thriving.
Can you talk about your practice in the light of a global pandemic and sociopolitical crisis—what changed, what remains the same?
I identify as a dreamer, builder and problem-solver. My practice revolves around strategy. I like to create new formulas, solve equations and open portals that have been forgotten, overlooked or never seen before. The global pandemic, racism, shame and other harmful systems of oppression have not deterred my passion to mobilize ideas through a liberatory lens. It has strengthened my commitment to understanding that good design has the power to change the world while great design has the power to activate people.
Where do you see the future of design in the post-COVID world?
We are at a pivotal point where all of the traditional design elements that have been celebrated throughout history are being questioned and interrogated. Who created these principles? Why do these limitations exist? How do we dismantle these structures? My hope is that we continue to lean into this energy; deepening our understanding of the rich cultural landscape that exists beyond the concepts that have been taught and presented to us. The future of design will release the concept of perfectionism which is a product of supremacy culture. The future of design is in development. The future of design will be brave, unapologetic and divine.
Greek-born Vasia Rigou is a Chicago-based art critic and pop culture journalist, largely on the subjects of contemporary art, design, and fashion. She moved to Chicago in 2013 to study Arts Journalism at the School of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC,) where she was awarded the New Artist Society Merit Scholarship. She grew up to appreciate art after years of carefully planned, culture-filled travel itineraries and museum-hopping around Europe with her family. During this time, she received a bachelor’s in English Literature, in her native Athens; a master’s in Media, in Nottingham, UK; and studied foreign languages—English, German, and Spanish at the University of Salamanca, Spain. Her writing—reviewing museum exhibitions, gallery shows, art fairs, fashion shows, and music festivals among others—has been published nationally and internationally both in print and online. In 2017, she founded and now serves as editor-in-chief of Rainbowed.—an independently published website focused on the visual and performing arts, digital media, and popular culture. When she’s not writing about art or looking at art—wine in hand, she keeps up with Chicago’s creative entrepreneurial and startup community, makes lists for pretty much everything, drinks immense amounts of coffee and takes cross-country road trips every chance she gets.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rigouvasia.com