Blog 1711 Neubau Eyewear Designer Sonia 1

Peop­le of neu­bau: pro­duct desi­gner Sonia Serlenga

neubau eyewear isn't your typical anonymous label but a familiar brand with dozens of different faces and real stories to tell.

Sto­ries about the love for high qua­li­ty, strong design, inno­va­ti­on as well as per­so­nal expe­ri­en­ces in Vien­na’s Neu­bau district and latest dis­co­ve­ries in their neigh­bor­hood. Frame of Mind wants to intro­du­ce the peop­le that make ever­ything hap­pen. An insi­de view of wha­t’s hap­pe­ning behind the sce­nes. The second one in this seri­es is Sonia Ser­len­ga who’s working in the com­pa­ny for ten years alrea­dy. When the Ita­li­an born mother of two isn’t designing frames like Sig­mund, Dia­na, or Heinz, she finds her inner balan­ce while pas­sio­na­te­ly doing yoga. She’s a true crea­ti­ve with count­less sur­pri­ses yet to be dis­co­ve­r­ed. Enough rea­sons to get to know her better…

What is your favo­ri­te part about your job at neu­bau eye­we­ar?
Being a desi­gner. The who­le expe­ri­ence I’d say! I mul­ti­task con­ti­nu­al­ly. I love being curious about peop­le and their uni­que styles: fin­ding out that spe­cial detail that makes them more inte­res­ting. I am like a spon­ge. I obser­ve rea­li­ty and absorb infor­ma­ti­on quick­ly and deeply: from design, to art, music, and food… And as soon as I take a new pro­ject I love to take a huge breath and dive deeply into it.

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Is the­re anything peop­le might not know about your job as a desi­gner?
I love being iso­la­ted when I draw: I can real­ly focus. I wear my big head­pho­nes and lis­ten to good music. Each of my frames has its own spe­cial soundtrack.

From all the glas­ses you have desi­gned, which one is your favo­ri­te and why?
They’­re all my child­ren” and repre­sent dif­fe­rent peri­ods of my life. It’s like con­nec­ting the dots in order to under­stand the big pic­tu­re. They’­re all part of a tra­jec­to­ry that you can­not ima­gi­ne in advan­ce, but it makes sen­se when you stop for a moment and watch with atten­ti­on. Each pro­ject inspi­res the next. What mat­ters is they are not sta­tic… Not­hing is per­ma­nent and the style reflects the moment in which I live.

What makes a good design for frames? Is the­re anything par­ti­cu­lar you always keep in mind when designing?
With each new neu­bau design the key word for me is to be con­tem­pora­ry. Try­ing to sen­se the zeit­geist, fin­ding out the gift” of this pre­sent moment and trans­la­te it into a uni­que indi­vi­du­al shape.

Blog 1711 Neubau Eyewear Designer Sonia

Do you have a cer­tain pro­cess when designing?
I don’t work… I only play.” Tha­t’s a quo­te I love and tha­t’s how I design: I try to have fun in what I do. I open my eyes to all the beau­ty our incredi­ble world has to offer and find my own way of trans­la­ting this into my designs.

Occa­sio­nal­ly some­thing comes strai­ght into my head, but the most important thing is fee­ding it with lots of visu­al mate­ri­al, it does­n’t mat­ter if it’s good, bad or indif­fe­rent, but it is then a resour­ce that pro­vi­des the mate­ri­al that can be reas­sem­bled or used in dif­fe­rent ways to make a new thing.

I don’t think any idea comes when I want it to. I guess the­re are ways in which my thin­king evol­ves but it is usual­ly more coin­ci­den­tal. Like see­ing some­thing while you’­re thin­king of some­thing else and that then having an influ­ence, a spark, so that your ima­gi­na­ti­on does the rest.

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Does the fact that you have Ita­li­an roots influ­ence your designs?
Oh si! It is the lega­cy of us Ita­li­ans to have an eye for beau­ty and an appre­cia­ti­on for the sen­sa­tio­nal they say. I belie­ve what draws all Ita­li­an design tog­e­ther, is an ini­mita­ble sen­se of dra­ma. And tha­t’s what I like to play with when designing a new pair of eye­we­ar for neu­bau. Loo­king good has always been a key aspect of Ita­li­an cul­tu­re. Pas­si­on for fashion is our natio­nal passion!

But in gene­ral I’d say that ALL desi­gners share the same pas­si­on, to sim­ply crea­te. It’s in our blood, not from the coun­try we come from. The­re’s real­ly no secret: fol­low your heart, put a part of yourself into the work to share with others. Let them see YOU”.

You have two kids – what is your best tip for balan­cing a good work life with fami­ly-time?
A con­stant in my style and my life: the enthu­si­asm and ener­gy that I infu­se into what I love. I am always busy…that can be a good thing though, if you love what you do. My tip is to try to stay posi­ti­ve wha­te­ver hap­pens – this world needs posi­ti­ve people!

Stay in the pre­sent moment. The pre­sent for me is some­thing that you real­ly have to live inten­se­ly becau­se it’s a gift. Bet­ween fami­ly and my work life I can­not live so much in the past neit­her be trans­por­ted in the future. I am now. This is my prac­ti­ce, some­thing that I try to focus on and cul­ti­va­te, day by day, like a small plant: the seed you water it grows and beco­mes a big tree eventually.

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Apart from spen­ding time with your fami­ly, what is your favo­ri­te thing to do or place to visit to relax and gain new ener­gy?
I love to tra­vel becau­se it’s when I feel most ali­ve. It always chan­ges my per­spec­ti­ve. Tra­vel­ling makes me fall in love with my life over and over again. It is a time when I’m inspi­red to seek new adven­tures, to explo­re, to make new memo­ries, to con­nect to our beau­ti­ful Earth and ever­ything around me. I also love to prac­ti­ce yoga, medi­ta­te and being crea­ti­ve… I love to open my heart and my mind to the world, and find the things that con­nect with me.

What is one place ever­y­bo­dy should visit in Vien­na?
Har­vest’ – it’s a nice cosy vege­ta­ri­an bis­trot I love to have long brun­ches in. I’m Ita­li­an, so I like moments when we all eat tog­e­ther. Con­vi­via­li­ty to me is a very important moment in Ita­li­an cul­tu­re: whe­re the­re is food the­re is well-being. So, if you look for a con­tem­pora­ry place with excel­lent music choices and good food, tha­t’s your place for rela­xing and get­ting inspi­red on so many levels…

If you had to turn this place into a pair of glas­ses, what would it look like?
I would say it would be a uni­que con­tem­pora­ry shape like Fri­da for example.

If you could design a per­so­nal pair of glas­ses for anyo­ne in the world, who would that be?
I’d love to design a pair of sun­glas­ses for Xavier Rudd, an Aus­tra­li­an sin­ger, sur­fer and eco acti­vist. He is a natu­ral mys­tic, a beam of light poin­ting in the right direc­tion… I love his music and the mes­sa­ge he con­veys through his lyrics (he had been the sound­track for many of my neu­bau frames). He is a peace­ful war­ri­or invi­t­ing us all to move from sepa­ra­ti­on to union.


10 Nov. 2017 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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