Spotlight on our alumni - Elisabeth Alarie
Élisabeth Alarie, a makeup artist who graduated from Inter-Dec College in 2001, has put into practice and perfected her art with the biggest names in the business, both here and in the United States.
Finalist project of the CoDIC 2020 Awards, given by the College of Interior Designers and Decorators of Catalonia. "Awakening in the last century (20th century)"
Tell us about your project and its goals.
"Awakening in the last century (20th century)" is based on the restoration of a family farmhouse to transform it into an agritourism where family, travelers and friends live together.
The abandonment of countless rural villages and their farmhouses, historical heritage, has caused these buildings to enter a state of deterioration that in many cases is almost insurmountable. It is therefore not surprising that no one is interested in investing in their conservation. The main objective of the project is to recover the farmhouses by reorganizing and restoring their spaces.
What have you been inspired by? What have been your references?
The project was born from the family. Specifically, from my mother and grandfather. They made me see that the building deserved it, it deserved someone to dedicate time to it. And although, at that time, none of us were aware of all the issues that rehabilitating a building full of nostalgia could entail, I saw it clearly and I got down to it.
Mas de la Vall (the name I have decided to give to the agritourism itself) is faithful to the history and essence of the farmhouses. It is based on the family and its way of living and sharing. And it highlights the authenticity that surrounds these buildings, provided by its character and identity, its imperfection and its commitment to natural materials and handcrafted finishes.
What was the work process like, from the moment the idea came up until you developed the project?
It really went much more smoothly than I expected. As soon as I decided to listen to the family, to the farmers who also live in farmhouses, and to other professionals, the ideas started to emerge and everything began to make sense. There were only two things left: to dedicate hours to it and to flesh out the details.
Were there any challenges you faced during this process? How did you solve them?
A lot! Starting to design the entire space in confinement, without being able to physically go to the site, was a challenge. I printed the plans in parts on A4 sheets and glue them together to see them in detail and make corrections. I asked for photos, made video calls when someone was able to get away to show me the areas, etc. It has really been curious how the project has gone, but it has also connected me in a different way to the place. And not just myself.
This is your final degree project. Do you think it reflects everything you have learned during these four years at LCI Barcelona?
I like to think that it reflects much more. It has been a compilation of all my knowledge, but also an evolution of my way of thinking and understanding the world. It is important to deconstruct yourself to see that there are thousands of ideas, methodologies, etc. Many of these were carried out years ago and were not made with the intention of lasting in time, but they have! And I think it is interesting and necessary to recover them and take them into account as well.
How did you feel when you found out you were a finalist in the CoDIC Awards given by the College of Interior Designers and Decorators of Catalonia?
Being such a big personal project (the Mas consists of almost 1000m2 of living space) I felt very excited, but also relieved. I began to breathe easier when I thought that, if a group of professionals valued the project in this way, it meant that I had been on the right track. I am very grateful to the recognition and to the people who have helped me during the process.
I can say that it lacks hours of work and to deepen some details, but "Awakening in the last century (20th century)" has become a legacy, a gift to the family and to the people of the countryside.