My interview with Sina Moghanian, artist designer as he likes to define himself, started with the simple question: “Who are you?”.

Sina didn’t answer me with personal information, such as a list of his graduates degrees or of the places where he lived in, but he simply explained to me that it wasn’t easy to find an answer to this question. To him it was a philosophical question that required a long reflection of which he was not sure he could find an answer to.

So, from the beginning, I started to get to know Sina better and his attentive, profound and inquiring personality, with an active eye on the world.

Maybe, during the interview, I understood who Sina is.

Sina Mognanian

Sina Moghanian was born in Iran in 1981; he studied Interior Design and Theatre/Acting-Stage Direction respectively at the University of Tehran and at the Islamic Azad University. Then he moved to Milan to study Product Design at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera.

He chose Milan as his new home because design fascinates him and Milan it’s the center of it.

However, when I asked him if he preferred to be considered a designer rather than an artist, he replied that these categories aren’t important to him. As a proud designer artist, Sina believes that the important thing is finding a balance between design and artistic elements, connecting this way two apparently irreconcilable worlds. Indeed, Sina wrote: “I basically introduce myself as a designer who knows art or an artist who knows how to design!”.

Probably, this lack of distinction between design and art it’s due to his particular vision of his profession, which partly coincides with what Sina is. Being a designer artist does not mean only what he learned and experienced, but also to imagine his own future every day, thinking of himself in different contexts and times.

He has a very similar vision to the international designer Karim Rashid, to which Sina refers with the sentence: “I hear so many times people saying about art or design “I could have done it” but they haven’t”. So, for Sina his profession coincides with imaginative activity, which allows him to create new realities.

In this vision, it’s completely useless for Sina trying to define himself; it would be better to define himself as a free creator that, in his projects, doesn’t think only of the function or of the artistic elements, but that mixes these aspects to obtain original results.

Also, his last work the Tappeto Volante is an hybrid project, a sofa able to draw a visual link between Iran and Italy: indeed, it’s both a work of art and a piece of design, with a precise function and also producible in several pieces.

Sina Moghanian, Tappeto Volante, tappeto Persiano, imbottitura, struttura in acciaio, 2017
Sina Moghanian, Tappeto Volante, Persian carpet, padding, steel structure, 2018

Indeed, it’s a flexible steel structure that permits the sofa to assume different positions, covered with a padding and then with an original Persian carpet.

The Tappeto Volante is an operation of reinterpretation of two objects, belonging to different cultures,  the Italian and Iranian ones, but interweaved thanks to the work of Sina. Indeed, the Tappeto Volante is the encounter between the traditional Iranian sitting, the poshti, composed by two pillows covered by Persian carpets, one of which is the seat and the other the back, with the minimal concept of the Italian sofa, a famous icon of design all over the world.

A traditional poshti

From the poshti Sina took the immediately perceptible aesthetics: as the poshti, Sina’s Tappeto Volante is on the floor, it has a soft shape and, most of all, is covered by a carpet. The carpet is for Sina a central part: it is part of his life and of his childhood, “ I grew up inside it”, he told me. And the carpet is also linked to a strong feeling pervading all this work: the nostalgia.

Even the title is in some way related to nostalgia: the flying carpet recalls the magic carpet, the possibility of traveling in time and space to reach amazing and fantastic places. In fact, it’s what we feel when we sit on Sina’s sofa: we have the impression of perceiving his nostalgia of his childhood years in Iran and we are pushed by this feeling of nostalgia to travel back in time, to faded memories. About that Sina wrote: “Our nostalgias are linked to the objects and they stay inside them.

Sina Moghanian, Tappeto Volante, tappeto Persiano, imbottitura, struttura in acciaio, 2017

Moreover, the carpet is for Sina a metaphor of his country, Iran: they both are complicated, they welcome different elements in themselves, they have a thick plot and they draw from different cultures. Maybe for this similarity Sina decided to work with carpets.

Sina added to this traditional element the minimal concept of Italian sofa

Mario Cristiani ed Eugenio Gerli, Tavolo T92, 1960
Mario Cristiani and Eugenio Gerli, Table T92, 1960

. In particular he was inspired by two previous projects: the T92 table of Eugenio Gerli and Mario Cristiani in 1960 and Fabrizio Ballardini’s canapè in 1988. In both cases there is a flexible structure that permits the object to assume different positions. Obviously, they are only two starting points, reworked by the artist.

This work can be interpreted as a synthesis of two fundamental aspects of the life and the personality of Sina: on one side, there is his Persian culture, the childhood memories, elements that can’t be completely forgotten; on the other side, there is his contemporary and minimal eye, born from the encounter with the Italian culture that allowed him to revisit the tradition, giving it new life. So Sina, thanks to the constant presence of tradition, manages to show a simple and sophisticated language, able to communicate memories, feelings and dreams.

Sina Moghanian, Tappeto Volante, tappeto Persiano, imbottitura, struttura in acciaio, 2017
The Tappeto Volante exposed for the IV edition of Accademia Aperta, 2018

When I asked Sina if he is going to use carpet again he answered that it’s possible, but not a certainty. However, Sina is an eclectic designer, who loves to experience with different forms and materials. Then, as a true connoisseur of carpets, he knows that they are not only fabric, but also a philosophy, a mentality and a tradition that, maybe, also find a place in his projects.

Now his future artistic project is to create a variegated community of artists, called PIU’, where various kinds of artists, dancers, performers, photographers, designers, could meet to create a multi-layers and multi-cultural project. A kind of living carpet, where different mentalities, methods and culture encounter to create something homogeneous and colorful.

Ludovica Matarozzo

For more info about Sina and to contact him:

Potographic credits: Sina Moghanian