I am so delighted to introduce Bulbo, Giulia Serpi and Gioia Casu’s Sardinia-based multi-disciplinary studio. Bulbo, translated from Italian ‘bulb’, is the brilliant combination of Giulia and Gioia’s shared love for nature, elegant aesthetic and different expertise in architecture, interior design, web design, art direction, branding and social media marketing. They have been working with many local businesses in Sardinia from craft makers, photographers, designers, luxury clothes stores to cheese and liqueur producers, supporting them to find and develop a new identity. I went to visit Giulia and Gioia at their studio in Cagliari to find out more about their projects, inspirations and ideas…
How did Bulbo come about? What were you doing before?
I and Gioia have known each other for many years since high school. We went away to study different things and in different cities, to then find each other again back in Oristano, our hometown. It was a time that we were both unhappy with our respective jobs and one day we went for a run and started talking about new choices for our future, together. That’s how Bulbo was born: from a run in the countryside, which is a symbol of the melting of our different skills in marketing, social media and architecture as well as our willingness to work together.
We started in Padua, where we opened our first studio but with a team of four and we were called Pattern. Then after two years, a mixture of values, ethics and commitment to our work, led us to pack our stuff and move back to Sardinia. To start everything from scratch again – to find a new name, a new space to work, new clients, a new life.
How and how much did your choice to move back to Sardinia impact on the development of Bulbo?
It was essential. We are Sardinians, the sea has always been both a blessing and a curse for us. It led us to go far away to study, but it had always been a strong call to come back.
From the moment that we started working, we always knew that sooner or later we will have moved back here to Sardinia. It’s happened before we expected, and we are really happy about how things have turned out. In Sardinia there is so much work that needs to be done in many sectors, and event more work in those in which we operate.
Let’s talk about creativity and Sardinia. You, like many other creatives in the last years have decided to make of the island your base. What do you think about this new creative scene in Sardinia and how do you think it will evolve?
There is so much that needs to be rooted out and a keen eagerness to make that happen; this is what we see and feel in all the other people who do the same job as us.
It’s like we all go around holding a hoe, ready to smash all of those preconceptions and opinions and shout: “Heyy things can be done in a different way, the 80s and 90s have way gone!”.
We share the same intention. What we see and hear around is a commitment to offer to Sardinia and Sardinian businesses an identity that is more international. That doesn’t mean losing your own roots or forgetting about the past but it’s just about evolving and developing. In fact, that should just be the natural course of things.
A very interesting aspect of Bulbo is the collaboration between you two. Can you tell me more about how you work? How does your creative process happen?
The research bit is a shared process. We share our thoughts and references to develop a creative direction/aesthetic that we both like. Sometimes the project is clear since the first meeting with the client, some other times we need more time to align our ideas.
With the years we have learned how to naturally organise the work so that each of us develops one aspect of it independently. We work really closely so we constantly share inspirations, information and suggestions, with any project. Luckily, we have a very similar taste and aesthetic view although our references and inspirations come from two different worlds. We both share the love and passion for nature, that’s for sure.
Do you ever argue? :S
Gioia is a Taurus and I am a Libra. I guess that’s enough of an answer, right? 🙂
Going back to the Sardinia creative scene… how important is the collaborative aspect here?
It’s essential. We’ve always been fighting for this idea. We believe that the more we share, the more interlinked the professional network is, the better. Collaboration can only bring advantages and be a means of support. You don’t get that far on you own.
What is the project you have been most proud of at the moment? And why?
This is a really hard question.
We don’t have one single project we are proud of, but we are definitely proud of the fact that we put our soul and heart in everything that we do. We feel emotional when we see new ideas develop from scratch, knowing that was made possible thanks to our support.
We feel attached to all of our projects; each of them has allowed us to express ourselves fully at 100%, while representing the personalities and dreams of the people behind it.
Any sneak peaks of your future projects?
We have always got thousands of ideas and too little time.
One sure thing is that we won’t be leaving Sardinia at any time and will be focusing on projects that contribute to our personal development from a human point of view.
Interview by Valentina Orrù