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Redefining Aesthetics: Theodore Psychoyos on Sustainability and Design

"Transforming Reclaimed Materials into Timeless Beauty and Shaping Culture Through Design"

In a world where art, design, and environmental responsibility converge, Theodore Psychoyos emerges as a visionary artist. His work embodies both the ethos of sustainability and aesthetic minimalism, seamlessly aligning with THEMA's mission to merge beauty with social and ecological responsibility.

At the heart of Theodore Psychoyos work lies a commitment to reclamation, where discarded materials are given new life. Through a meticulous process of selection and a deep appreciation for the human modifications and natural alterations imprinted on these materials, he transforms them into designs that bridge the realms of modernity and archaism.

But his work is not solely a testament to responsible craftsmanship; it also delves into the profound influence of art and design on our culture and society. As Theodore Psychoyos explains, art and design have the power to frame, contain, or liberate our thoughts and actions.

In Theodore’s view, the impact of their work transcends the mere creation of functional objects. It is a spiritual journey through matter, a quest for meaning and grounding in a world marked by consumerism and virtual distractions. Their designs are not just for the few but for the few who seek a deeper connection with their surroundings, urging us to reevaluate what already exists and to find beauty in the overlooked.

We will dive deeper into Theodore Psychoyos artistic philosophy and explore the profound impact their work has on the spaces and communities it touches.

How do you align your work with THEMA’ s mission of combining beauty with social and ecological responsibility ?

We work exclusively with reclaimed materials, mostly marble that has already been processed in the industry and exposed to natural elements. Our practice consists mainly in selecting these materials and taking advantage structurally and aesthetically of the human modifications and natural alterations upon them. We then store them until they fit or inspire one of our designs. We use minimum energy and efforts to process them, every movement is carefully thought and remains essentially human. Through this process, we ensure a continuity with what already exists. As we work with a rather perennial material, this approach often leads visually to a straightforward combination of modern and archaism.

In your opinion, what role do art and design play in shaping culture and society ?

Humans are essentially adaptive creatures. To use an exemple, if you’re in a field on a hot summer day and there is only one tree, you will probably walk there and find its shade perfect. Art and design are activities that can either control or set free the movements and minds of people. They can frame, contain, direct or they can generate space, liberate, emancipate. We are more of the second type. We intend to generate space. But you can also ignore the tree, stand right under the heat, sweating and making plans on what direction you will build a shelter. Or even plant the perfect tree at the perfect place to obtain the perfect shade… in 20 years.

How would you describe the aesthetic or ethos of your work ?

Our practice consists mostly in not doing rather than doing. Not doing is a pretty challenging exercise in our times. We constantly tune down our projects, tuning them to their lowest volume if I may say. Within this process, we focus on the few ideas that survive this silence and do our best to give them ground and balance. Even the most minimal environment or object can be loud, as is contrast with the silence of a loud stormy sea. We don’t pay much attention to aesthetics and change or modify only what presents a practical problem. For instance we would never polish a surface if there is no functional reason to do so. Most of the aesthetic part is a projection of the viewer or the user on our work.

What kind of impact or effect do you aim to achieve through your work ?

I am convinced that it is by undergoing a path through matter that one can achieve spirituality. In other words, gravity is not a curse to us but merely a path to spirituality. In a context of high consumerism and cheap virtuality our work is addressed to a fewer public, more wealthy, more grounded. We would like to express to our public but also to a greater public that there is already so much around us to contemplate and reuse and interrogate, and that running for more is not necessarily the wisest or more satisfying thing to do. Within this vision, we work more and more with municipalities, not in the context of costly projects but rather in order to fix and infuse a spirit to what is already there, and often remains unnoticed and longing for care.


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