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Visibililty Interview

Based in New York City and founded by Joseph Guerra and Sina Sohrab in 2012, Visibility is an industrial design studio that focuses heavily on a project’s material and formal actualities. Their overall goal is to distill an object to its purest form while retaining its human sensibilities.

Who are you?

We are Joseph Guerra and Sina Sohrab, an industrial design studio operating under the name Visibility.

What do you do?

We design everything from products to furniture to exhibitions and spaces. We try to work diversity into the projects we take on, not only to present ourselves with new challenges but also to expand our thinking.

Where did you grow up? 

S: I was born in Tehran, Iran, and I moved to the US when I was 7. From there I grew up just outside of Detroit, Michigan. Detroit has a long history of design and art, and growing up that was something I gravitated towards.

J: I was born in Los Angeles and lived there until I was 13. Then I moved to Atlanta, Georgia where I stayed until I left for college. I think the culture clash between the two places gave me an appreciation for every day idiosyncrasies that are easy to take for granted.

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When did you take your first big risk in life? 

The biggest risk the two of us have ever taken was going full-time with our studio. It was a bit like jumping off the deep end of a swimming pool for the first time.

It was terrifying then, but it’s been a decision we’ve stood behind. It was necessary for us to push ourselves further.

Why have you persisted with the path you’re currently on?

We’re united in our goal of continuing to design beautiful things, and it’s a difficult road to travel alone.

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Who is someone you’d love to work with, but can’t?

This is tough. We’d really like to think that there isn’t someone we couldn’t work with, one way or another.

What are you working on now?

Summer is a very active time for us. Right now we’re wrapping up a few projects that have been ongoing for the past two years and also starting some new ones.

It’s still a bit early to tell what will be happening over the next few months, but at the moment, our plate is filling up with furniture projects and a commission by one of our longtime collaborators.

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Where do you spend most of your free time?

We love music as well as art. New York City excels at both so we always have something to go see or do.

There’s a small terrace attached to our studio where we end the day. It’s always nice to sit and have a drink and reflect when the work is done.

What do you think is your biggest success so far?

Success is always difficult to quantify. Our most recent project we showed in Milan through Wallpaper Handmade was really exciting for us. We’re starting to work with more and more of the companies we’d hoped to be working with.

So that in itself is a success. Of course, the project itself is always most important- so our newer work has felt like a success to us: being able to develop our language and our abilities in new directions.

Written by Jane Park