Ioana Corduneanu


  • How would you introduce yourself to strangers?

Somehow, we already met. It cannot be that until now, in the last 15 years, you have not seen my projects. You entered them, you bought from the shops or the displays that I had imagined, or at least you have passed them by. I graduated architecture, but I am fascinated by retail. That is why I specialised in retail design, a complex discipline, at the border between marketing, design, architecture and communication. It is the same with me, I am in between the most enjoyable occupations: design, traditional blouses, cooking sessions, rugby, gardening, cookery book and again, traditional blouses..

  • What made you choose architecture as a profession?

I chose architecture right at the beginning, since always. My first memories are with the wooden cubes with which I used to build: palaces, roads, fortresses – just to reorganise them the next day. My room was like a toy construction site. I have imagined and drawn since I was little, everyday something else. From playfulness, my occupation became a job, in the most serious manner.

  • How has architecture influenced you personal development?

I was lucky to have wonderful professors, who have encouraged me and continue to encourage me and to support me to this day. All I have learned in school I have learned out of love and curiosity. There were entire days when I didn’t make it to class because I forgot to get out of the library. Architecture – as I have learned it, has prepared me primarily for variety and for options. It doesn’t matter what you want to do, first you have to dream, then to develop a plan and then to get to work. The higher you want to build, the more solid a foundation you need to prepare.

  • How would you describe your alternative activity to people unfamiliar with it?

I felt the need of an archive which would hold in order, for eternity, the oldest and most beautiful patterns which have been sewn on our traditional blouses. I have realised that people will not respect them as long as they will only see them as mere ornaments. I try to translate traditional patterns, those whose meaning has been lost in today’s language. In fact, the ideas I send out are eternal and will never be out of style. That is how I ended up to name the archive “Sewn Signs” (Semne Cusute). On google, available to everyone, for inspiration, for meditation, for future generations.

  • How has the transition from architecture to your alternative activity occurred?

I simply waited for the right time. In every moment of our lives we have priorities. When my daughter declared herself “independent”, I was able to organize my time differently and I was able to devote myself to other activities.

  • How do the two activities influence each other?

These are just two of the activities I try to hold in balance. I also do a little sport, regularly. I like to eat well, and so, I cook and tend to my vegetable garden outside of Bucharest. I like to travel. I like to go the Peasant’s Museum, at markets, to see what’s old, what’s new and chat with friends. This is what Sundays are for. There is time for everything. And for me to savour every moment fully, to be efficient, to obtain the best results, I try to make sure none of these activities are influenced by the other.

  • To what degree are you present in each of the activities?

Body and soul, 100%, in both and I hope I will be able to maintain the same rhythm and work mood. Just being healthy, with all my loved ones.