Frida Al Rashaid MFA, PH.D.
Frida is Aorta’s founder and lead designer, as well as a professor at Kuwait University’s department of architecture. With extensive experience in product design, Frida has been making furniture for more than ten years; during which time she developed her trademark of combining traditional craft techniques with industrial processes to create a new genre of domestic objects. Frida has established a unique furniture range with a variety of design options and high-end finishes, recognisable by their curved structures achieved through a complex laminating and bending process she has pioneered and mastered. It is almost impossible to duplicate these curves, hence each piece produced is exclusive and personally signed. Her collection is designed to conceptually combine many visual triggers, emotions, and meaning. As such, the furniture becomes more than just an object to its owner. Frida's research interests have included studying the social aspect of sustainable development, particularly the theory of ‘product attachment’.
The theory advocates emotion-focused design processes and methods, which look beyond the physical functionality of everyday objects and consider the emotional, inspirational, social and cultural needs of their user. It implies that if a bond is created between an object and the individual, the latter will cherish the product and prefer to repair it rather than dispose of it. This offers solutions to the environmental issues associated with sustainable consumption, by promoting an extended and enriched relationship between object and user. Using this theory as her rationale and direction, Frida developed a range of products that push the boundaries of conceptual design, reflect the stories told by clients and encourage a progression of memories between individuals and their domestic objects, providing a richer context and history. It is hoped that such designs will eventually contribute to the development of more sustainable objects, thereby positively impacting today’s culture of consumption.
In addition to Frida’s furniture collection, her small but rapidly growing company specialises in contemporary interiors, high-end crafts and commissioned artwork, with clients worldwide including discerning individuals, property developers, and retailers. Focused on the continued development of Aorta, Frida’s recent achievements have included commissions to create bespoke furniture for Liberty London Café and the Daniel Galvin Jr Salon at the Lanesborough Hotel, London. In December 2017, she was welcomed as a Liveryman to The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, the British furnishing industry’s central organisation, charity, and patron.