Kostantia Manthou is a Greek architect. After working with the Campana brothers to develop an experimental furniture collection for a new hotel in Athens, she moved to Milan to study at SPD. During her studies she took part in a special project with Poliform in 2011. Since then she has worked for architectural firms and participated several times in the Milano Design Week exhibiting her design work. 

Let’s talk about the Voi project that you conceived together with Manuel Torres for Poliform. How was your experience with the birth of this project? Any blank page syndrome?

Our ingredients were a classic but still contemporary piece to be reinvented (the Io wardrobe by Paolo Piva) and a company with a clean and precise image (Poliform). You cannot start with anything but the blank page syndrome, but for an entire month we actually lived inside the factory. It’s been like an awesome and intense boarding school of design.

Voi seems to be such a small architecture, a pure volume comprising different functions.

A piece of furniture with two different personalities was an intriguing point. The Io storage system, which was our reference in the Poliform catalogue, was a slightly bigger architecture, like a boat that floats in a room. On a small scale Voi is everything that Io was, and even more, as it is an exploded storage facility that can hold clothes, papers, books, stools…

Kostantia, you are an architect with a passion for design. These two territories share a human centred approach so that one tends to imagine products, which are in close relation with a space. Do you feel more challenged as a designer or as an architect?

Honestly, after some years of practice within both disciplines, I think that design is a form of recreation for an architect. If it is not your main job, it’s like doing architecture in a smaller scale. And then it is your chance to be creative beyond rules and restrictions.