Paula de Álvaro playfully champions design’s role as one of expression rather than service

These thoughtful sensibilities recently manifested in the design of Bau Design College of Barcelona’s graduation diploma. “Every year they choose a professional designer who studied at the university,” Paula recalls, “and this year I couldn’t believe it when they proposed it to me.” Rethinking the traditional diploma format, Paula sought to make the object more personal, bringing it closer to those receiving it by having them take part in the process of its design. “I can’t tell you much more about the project because it is a surprise gift for the students,” Paula reveals, “who will receive their graduation diploma next week (stay tuned!).”

Another project that saw Paula’s interests and practice align was Book®Archive, a personal project exploring books, office supplies, household goods and retail trade. “Book®Archive is a project where everything is possible,” she explains, “my only way out from day-to-day work for clients,” providing Paula a space to experiment and investigate her own personal brand and identity. “This project above all,” Paula adds, “helps me to rethink my own practice and where I want to go.”

Looking ahead, Paula’s potential personal prospects are equally as eclectic as her design practice. “My dream in life would be to have a stationery shop with many objects designed by me,” she says, imagining “a huge bazaar,” listing “diaries, notebooks, books, magazines, office supplies, clothes, accessories, a thousand things.” Paula also stresses her urge to learn and train to complement her practice. “I think it’s essential to constantly update yourself,” she concludes, “especially if you don’t want to become a boomer.”

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