Using design to understand cultural and human experiences, particularly around fine dining, Saudi-Italian designer Lina Saleh challenges conventional notions of functionality in her work, introducing new ways to interact with dining experience.
With the combined knowledge of both commercial and creative product design (trained at Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Art, respectively), Lina Saleh fuses human experience with functionality to turn everyday objects into dynamic encounters. Particularly interested in the human interactions connected with food and dining, her work aims to challenge the functional perceptions of dinnerware and serveware by transforming their application into a responsive dialogue. Her interest in fine dining has led to several collaborations with London based chefs to create multi sensorial experiences that connect the diner to the food in new and engaging ways, while addressing the future of dining. Our exclusive collaboration with Lina Saleh explores the relationship between artisanship, experience and fine dining to have a profound effect on the sensory experience.
Below, the designer discusses her design philosophy, the role of geography in shaping her work, and how she makes time for herself in a constantly connected world.
How would you describe your design philosophy?
My design philosophy is to create objects of meaning that fulfill an intended purpose.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you begin with considering an object’s function and then design around it, or is it the other way around?
The function of an object – or its perceived function – is always at the center of my designs. I can either work around its traditional notion of function or challenge it, depending on the object’s objective intention.
Describe the role of geography in shaping your work. How do your surroundings inspire/inform the process?
My surroundings form my observations, which translates to thoughts. From visual language to design requirements, my surroundings inform my practice and enrich the level of work.
What were some of your references when designing the exclusive collaboration for &YOU?
For this particular project I looked into a lot of natural and organic shapes of gardens and flowers, but I was particularly interested in observing how people plate their food, and how it informs their eating habits.
Can you share your take on how your home (or surroundings) impact your overall well-being?
I believe you should surround yourself with positive energy, and for me that means an open space filled with only the objects I need and/or use on a daily basis.
If the objects in your home could speak, which would have the best story to tell?
My Moka machine, (a small Italian Aluminum coffee machine) It’s probably the most intimate object I own as it has seen me wake up everyday, has supported me through difficult conversations, fun anecdotes and has helped me welcome people into my home. I truly believe this Moka knows more than the walls in my home.
We are always curious about how artists and designers keep their spark and creative drive while running a business. What’s your process for working on yourself while you’re working on your business? In what ways do you choose to invest in yourself?
I believe in taking life slowly, especially in a constantly connected world, by creating time to work on your mind and health. Aside from my work, this is always a priority of mine. I set time aside to cook for myself and my family, as the act of cooking is so primal and rewarding. It connects me back to myself on a daily basis by being in charge of my food.