Student Work

Graduation Series: Silvia Bianchini

Mon 25 Mar

In this interview of our graduation series, we delve into the journey of Silvia Bianchini, a master's student at the Piet Zwart Institute. Silvia's study in Interior Architecture: Research + Design has led her to blending personal narratives with spatial inquiry, and pushing the boundaries of conventional design.

Silvia Bianchini by Christóbal Pereira

Could you tell us about your graduation project?

"My focus right now is on completing my written thesis, which I've been working on since September. It's almost finished. My project delves into a fascinating legend I stumbled upon last summer in my grandmother's house—a tale about a witch in the Italian Alps who steals flour from villagers to make bread. This legend sparked my research into rye cultivation, rural village dynamics, and the loss of cultural practices. My aim is to analyze the communal aspect of bread-making, particularly the role of women, from a feminist perspective."

What inspired you to choose this subject?

"It was an instinctive choice, fueled by my personal connection to the legend and my love for cooking. Growing up with my grandmother, who played a significant role in my life, also influenced my decision. However, I've worked to broaden the scope beyond my own experiences, incorporating the voices of the women who lived in those villages."

How did you link this narrative to interior architecture?

"The legend itself has spatial elements—the witch's cave, surrounded by rocks resembling domestic furniture, intrigued me. Although fictional, the cave exists, and its inaccessibility due to natural overgrowth adds another layer of inspiration. Initially, my focus was on people and social dynamics, but this project led me to explore landscapes and nature more deeply."

Do you feel pressure about graduating?

"Absolutely. The prospect of life after graduation is daunting, especially as I've had limited work experience outside of Italy, and I don't speak Dutch. The academy has been a safe space for experimentation, and the transition to the professional world feels like starting from scratch."

What excites you the most about your project?

"I'm eager to complete my writing and focus on the design aspect. This project has provided a unique opportunity for experimentation, and I want to make the most of it before graduating."

What are your plans after graduation?

"I'm currently exploring job opportunities in the creative sector, aiming for a stable position that allows me to continue my exploration within interior design. While I'm not set on a specific career path yet, I'm open to experimentation and eager to gain more experience."

What are your dreams for the future?

"I'm not much of a dreamer—I prefer to stay grounded and focus on practical steps. My priority is to gain work experience and discover what truly resonates with me in terms of career direction. Ultimately, I hope to find fulfillment and success in my chosen field."