Maria Rästa completed a furniture design degree in 2011 at the Tartu Korgema Kunstikool (Tartu Arts School), and during her exchange program in the Finnish Kuopion Muotoilu Akatemia she also gained experience in the interior design field. Her final TKK work, the project ethno-themed family of luminaries was nominated for the Brunole awards in 2012.
Post her studies, Rästa made a decision to take her design career to the next level; turning her hobby into a full-time occupation. Maria Rästa Design deals with production of interior design elements. Her work is known to convey a playful feel and bring positive emotions.
What was your first real job? How did you get inspired to work in the design industry?
I got my first paid job during my faculty physical education studies at the Tartu University, I was a part time acrobat teacher. My interest in design sparked only years later. In my first home, I sketched designs of furniture pieces, which then were actually made for a custom order. Then finally, I thought to myself, I found an activity that brings me joy and feels close to my heart. I researched into it, and then found out that there is a course in furniture design at the Tartu Korgema Kunstikool, and then evidently, I went to study it.
What does your typical day entail?
At the moment, I am on maternity leave. I have two small boys; one is two and a half, and the other one is six months. Besides that, I try to manage my small company daily. Also, I designed the furniture and toys for the playroom and my children’s bedrooms.
Are there motivational quotes that you live by or that inspire your work?
I would have liked to be… a design author!
Lounge Chair Wood by Charles Eames. I admire its form, playfulness and comfort.
If you could, what Estonian designer would you collaborate with?
I would like to collaborate with many Estonian designers, I think it would be fun. Especially, designers in leather or textiles.
What was the last cultural event that you have visited?
Bizet opera by the name of ‘Carmen’. Good opera is the most powerful cultural experience for me, and I try to watch operas at least a few times a year.
Translated by Margit Potsepp