RFI [Radio France Internationale] Invites… Artist-architect Daniela Busarello

[Voice over] RFI Invites… [With presenter] Silvano Mendes

[SM] She’s an architect and an artist. RFI Invites today the Brazilian Daniela Busarello, who currently has an exhibition here in Paris. Good morning, Daniela

[DB] Good morning


[SM] You’ve been in Paris since 2007, you’re a qualified architect, and 2007 was the same year you won the National Architecture Prize in Brazil with the project of a house. Why leave the country at a time when your work was being recognised?

[DB] [laughs] That’s the question my father always asks me! I think I had arrived at a stage where people knew me well enough in my own city, and I wanted a bigger challenge.  And it was a moment – I didn’t have a family, husband, kids – when I could spread my wings more widely… and do so freely


[SM] You are from the South of Brazil, isn’t that so?

[DB] Yes, from a Brazil that’s more introspective [laughs]


[SM] And you’re based in Paris, where you work in different projects, not only as an architect, but also as a set designer. I recall you collaborated with the luxury group LVMH in a project about Brazil, in the Jardin d’Acclimatation in 2014, and also with the furniture designer Cassina. Working with scenic design, was it a kind of transition from architecture to your work as an artist? 

[DB] I don’t think so, because I see architecture as an all-encompassing work, which goes from a micro-scale - that is, from a single object, furniture, bedroom - to a whole city. In Brazil we study architecture and town planning. Over there I was a lecturer in three universities, so I was always involved with this mindset, in theory and in practice. For me, architecture is a whole and, as it deals with personal and social wellbeing, with the wellbeing of cities – for me everything is connected. But obviously, working in a smaller scale gives one freedom to go even further with the creative process 



[SM] It’s increasingly more common, this falling of barriers, especially in the arts. Do you recognise yourself in this trend for architects to be also artists?

[DB] Absolutely. And sometimes I talk to people and they say, “but you do too many things”, but for me this is natural. I don’t have any barriers - that’s it - because for me everything is only one thing, for I’m passionate about what I do, so everything goes together.


[SM] And following on from this idea of ‘doing too many things’, as you said yourself, your art work is being exhibited until the 5th of November in the Galerie Agnès Monplaisir, at the Rive Gauche, here in Paris, in a group show. Could you tell us a bit more about this event?

[DB] Yes. I’m very happy because it’s a sign of recognition. I’m not one of the gallery’s artists, I was invited to exhibit, so this is also something interesting, something different. And, gradually, maturity in one’s personal life also brings maturity to one’s professional work. There have been many encounters with various people that have led me to do this. It is not something that I have done on my own. There was a course at the École des Beaux-Arts, there was the Maestro whom I met in Murano, there was my encounter with Agnès… Slowly, all this has led me to a path that now seems obvious… One only has to be patient and wait for life to reveal what is there. Everything leads to where it should go.


[SM] You’ve mentioned Murano. In your work, in your work as an architect, we see that you get inspiration from urban areas, modernist architecture, and, in the middle of all that, Murano appeared in your life. How come this Venetian island and its Murano glass entered your life?

[DB] [laughs] I have a friend who introduces me as “Brazilian-born, Parisian by adoption, and Italian - intermittently”. I am… mi chiamo Busarello, therefore I have Italian citizenship, so I feel myself at home in Italy. And it was one of life’s coincidences that I arrived in Murano - it just happened that I met these people, thanks to a friend, thanks to a client who became a friend. And it was a somewhat long journey, because it all started in 2010. And now that I’m feeling more mature, now that I have understood how the process works – namely, [laughs] that there’s no possibility of controlling it –, which means we have to accept this is how it works with craftwork. And as an architect this is difficult, because as an architect you have to predict everything, you have to organise everything, you have to measure everything. So, speaking about Murano, but also about this contradiction of being an architect and an artist, one side is totally conceivable, the other side is completely antagonistic. 


[SM] Just explaining to our listeners, you devise pieces that are made in Murano and that are displayed in this exhibition here in Paris.

[DB] Yes, and I make them together with the Maestro, which means, it’s work done by 8 or 10 hands, depending on the size of the work. So they don’t create the work without me, and I don’t create it without them. It’s teamwork, therefore whenever I go there, we discuss which colours, I suggest the form, the kind of process – there are different forms of working with the glass – but it’s always blown glass, it’s always a unique piece, and it’s always signed and numbered, and I make a point of signing it together with the Maestro. We both co-sign the piece


[SM] And what’s the role of Brazil in your work? Maybe the organic, natural look of some of your pieces?

[DB] It’s not only in my work, it’s in my own being. It was only outside of Brazil that I understood how Brazilian I am. And how proud and pleased I am of being Brazilian, and of showing our culture in this exuberant, generous way – full of light, love, passion. And of course, sometimes this takes shape in a more organic and sensuous form; sometimes in a more geometric form (because we have a history full of fantastic modernist architecture, which is well known). So it depends on the theme, on the subject, on how I feel, and then it comes out in one way, or in a different way. And I think even this [process] is very Brazilian


[SM] Daniela, we’re reaching the end of the Paris prêt-à-porter week. I know you’ve collaborated with the department store Merci. Is the fashion world something that inspires your work? 

[DB] Oh, yes. I love it. Because it is a contemporary aesthetic – I’d say ‘art’, even though this might be controversial. It’s a democratic art. And they get so much inspiration from architecture, art, colour, form, texture, which is from where I get my inspiration too. I love it. I think it’s amazing – the search for new technologies and all that. It’s amazing for the fashion itself, and also for the hype, people coming and going, there’s a fantastic energy of renewal. Not to mention all the industry that’s attached to it, which is very important.


[SM] And craftwork, which employs many people in Paris and other places

[DB] Exactly


[SM] That’s right. RFI invited today the Brazilian architect and artist Daniela Busarello. Thanks for coming. 

[DB] It’s been a great pleasure


[SM] Let me remind you that her work is on display until the 5th of November in the Agnès Monplaisir Gallery at the Rive Gauche, here in Paris