We had the good fortune of connecting with Rodrigo Buelvas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rodrigo, what matters most to you?
I’m constantly finding ways to simplify my life as much as possible… interacting only with those things that are essential. During my daily routine, I try to distinguish what’s most important from the clutter, which is challenging to achieve these days. We are bombarded with an overload of information, leaving no room to get bored, lost in thought, or focus on the essentials. I try my best to translate this principle into my design process, from conception to implementation, making things the way they are and what they need to be. As Greg McKeown says, “Do less, but do it better.” In the studio, we take an approach of being analytical, conscious, and stripping our ideas down to the essential. The design process is filtered through the lens of a no-frills, layered approach. I think designs that transcend essentialism become timeless and are in harmony with everyone and everything.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I think life puts you in places where you need to be. Being aware of those moments helps you to navigate decisions and listen to your inner will. Having previously worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Gensler, and carrying under my belt over 13 years of experience, I realized it was the moment to start designing my life and practice. In 2020, I decided to kickstart Studio Rodrigo Buelvas with a new focus.
We are a small but growing studio focused on multidisciplinary design practice. Collaborating with different disciplines and developing different types of projects, the studio now encompasses a diverse team of detail-oriented, holistic designers who offer a high level of expertise and passion in design. The studio is mindful of the design process by exploring ideas that translate into projects that not only look good but are timeless and educated. We are constantly pushing to implement our seven design principles while being conscious of minimizing design intervention. The studio now works on various types of residential, hospitality and retail projects and is creating sculptural furniture pieces to become large-scale installations.
The studio pulls toward human-centered design and believes in making a difference by collaborating with other disciplines. We work in the intersection of architecture, interior design, art direction, and objects, creating projects with intriguing narratives and perspectives.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, if you are coming to Miami, there is going to be a party for sure! Starting Friday with a nice walk on the beach, having a Colombian dinner in La Ventanita on Miami Beach and getting inspired by the fantastic Art Deco style and architecture there. We’d continue to explore the city and have drinks in Wynwood surrounded by the art and creative energy, maybe even crash a few parties if you have the energy.
I am very much inspired by the confluence of design styles, both heritage and modern, that come together in Miami. Next day, we’d brunch in the MiMo District and check out some modern architecture of the Miami Modern Style, also known as MiMo, and the influence that had on the city developed during the ’40s and ’50s. Why not early drinks at the Vagabond.
If we are hungry, we can hit the legendary Cuban restaurant Versailles in Calle Ocho for lupper and get ready to have fun and party all night long. Sunday is for resting at the Standard Hotel pool and their superb spa. And the hummus and the burrata toast is a must!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out to all of my students from my classes at SCAD Hong Kong for putting good energy into our studio classes. I am incredibly proud of all they have achieved and will continue to achieve in their design careers! Most notably, I am so proud of all the students participating in the Microsoft Sponsored Project who really went the extra mile and were rewarded for their efforts – two who were awarded the prestigious HKT Smart Living Awards, three students winners of the exciting Travel Scholarship from Steve Leung Design Group, and another who received the Emerging Interior Designer of the Year Award by the International Design Awards (IDA).
To all my mentors, in particular Jaime Velez, thank you for all the knowledge, encouragement and good energy you share.