I believe that everybody is an artist
1. If you had to eat one thing for every meal going forward, what would you eat?
Sushi, I could eat it for the rest of my life.
2. Where do you most hope to visit?
Berlin! It’s a city I would like to live in in the future.
3. What’s your dream job?
It would have to be something related to creation and transformation, like being the “creative boss” for a big brand of interior design, for example.
4. What is your most-used emoji?
The winking face 😉
5. If you were a fairy and could give one talent to a child, what would it be?
Creativity. I grew up in a poor country [Cuba], and when you have nothing you need to be creative in finding a solution for every problem. I think creativity is important for everything in life – for me this doesn’t just reflect on the work I do, but also on my personal relationships with friends and family, and on everything else really.
1. Could you tell us a bit about your background and what you are working on at Refugees Forward?
My background is in interior design, with a focus on circular economy. With my latest work I try to transform the problem of disposing garbage into an opportunity, by making furniture out of it. I have two exhibitions taking place at the moment: one in the “Café de Ceuvel”, in north Amsterdam, and the other in the restaurant “A Beautiful Mess”.
My business – Oruga Designs – is not just about selling my furniture pieces. I also provide consultancy services for private projects and will offer workshops on how to repurpose used materials.
2. What motivates you in life?
Creation: create new friends, new life, new initiatives and ideas, and motivate other people to also create. I believe that everybody is an artist. With my furniture pieces I want to motivate others to do the same and explore their creative ideas.
3. What did you learn from the people involved in this program?
I learned a lot about the Dutch culture. In Cuba problems are handled in group, but here each has his own idea and business, so I’m learning about how I can manage problems and develop solutions on my own. I also learned about friendship – it’s counterintuitive but despite being more individualistic, people here are very open and willing to hear new ideas and different opinions.
4. Do you have any key figures in life that inspired or deeply influenced you?
Many people inspire me. Architects are my main inspiration – Gaudi, Niemeyer – and my friends in a way. I also look up to leaders of communities, like Martin Luther King for example.
5. Why did you join RF?
When I arrived in Amsterdam I was very interested in the design scene, and started thinking about how I could use my past experience to start a career here. I knew making the right connections wouldn’t be easy. So when I found the program I saw it as a great opportunity for me and my business.
6. If you picture your perfect future in 5 years from now, what does it look like?
I have many friends in Germany who also work in the concept of sustainability and smart cities, so I see myself living between Amsterdam and Berlin. In 5 years my company will be well established and I hope to see a lot of my furniture around the city. I plan on continuing to work in different projects and collaborating with different people!
Follow Eduardo’ instagram page to get updates on upcoming exhibitions!