WantedDesign sat down with Chantal Hamaide, founder and editor in chief of Intramuros, to discuss her special passion and fantastic eye for discovering new design talent, as well as 30 years of producing the acclaimed bilingual magazine. Hamaide, trained as an architect, is a globally acclaimed design journalist who has been known for finding innovative designers early in their career and catapulting them to front-cover status.
Intramuros, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, has become a unique design encyclopedia, chronicling the depth and evolution of our industry—all thanks to Hamaide’s leadership. WantedDesign has been pleased to list Intramuros as one of our media partners since year one.
WD: 30 years of Intramuros, how many designer portrait covers does that equal
CH: Intramuros has published over 165 portraits of designers.
WD: Why did you decide to dedicate your covers exclusively to designer portraits?
CH: I wanted to write about the men and women that are behind the products. For me, the creative part of the research was essential. I wanted to explain that a product is the result of collaborative work between a designer and a company director in response to specifications.
WD: Intramuros is certainly the only international magazine covering not only the big design fairs but also the new ones around the world. What are you looking for when you visit?
CH: We are looking for new designers, new products, new companies or very old ones coming back on the center stage with new proposals. We are looking for new technologies and new ways to produce things, but we’re also looking to old methods when that industry still exists. This is the history of industry and design.
WD: What are the main changes you’ve observed in the design industry over the past three decades?
CH: The real novelty is that you can’t create anymore without a computer. Everything is conceived by digital assistance, and you can send your projects to the other side of the word. The thing that does not change is that you still need humans to work on it. The success of a company is due to the people and their goodwill. More
WD: And what excites you the most for the years to come?
CH: The new way young people are going to appropriate the world.
WD: You are particularly interested in discovering new talents, visiting schools and being part of various design juries. What are the main challenges for young designers today?
CH: To understand the needs of society and companies. The ecological challenge is also essential, but young designers are very aware of that today.
WD: What makes a good designer?
CH: A good designer must keep an eye on the history of the companies with which he is working, must care about ecology, must be clever and sensible. And he must know a little about design history and actuality.
WD: When did Intramuros start to become a bilingual French-English magazine?
CH: Intramuros started to be bilingual in 1994 when I left the company that edited the magazine at that time. I bought the title and created my own company to publish the magazine. We started to be bilingual to reach an international community.