Sofía, architect and designer

Design is a very important tool to define your ideas, your thought, and turn them into something physical.

Sofia owns the restaurant Santa Vida in Roma Norte, not far from where I lived. This small place caught my eye and the yellow color attracted me, the sign promising a “kitchen from the roots”, tables outside were a nice invitation to sit. That’s how I met Sofia and Fabricio, the chef. Talking to Sofia, I discovered she was architect and designer of the place. It was those complementary skills that gave place to this project.

What is your definition of design?

I think it’s art… design is a tool to define your ideas, your thoughts and turn them into something physical. You start with a blank piece of paper and you can do anything.

Could you tell me more about your experience?

I studied architecture and I started working for a firm but I didn’t like it; long hours, low pay… shortly after I had the chance to work as a graphic designer in an advertising agency. It helped me bring together two arts: architecture and design.

Why did you choose this career?

Actually, I was between art and graphic design. But I felt that architecture was much more complex, it gives you an idea of space and dimensions. It offers another perspective. Graphic design is 2D.

Which project makes you feel proud?

My current project: Santa Vida.

As an architect you have an idea of what you want to do of a place. It’s more about the functionality. As a designer, you define what you want a person to feel when they arrive to your place. You work images, colours…

I started Santa Vida a year ago. The building and brand design took 6 months. I collaborated with different people. As for the architecture and graphic design, I made it myself. But I don’t cook so I hired someone. We opened two months ago and I’m very happy with the result and how it has evolved.

A project needs different people to create a whole.

Nowadays, you specialize in a topic and you get together with others to carry out a project.

I’m proud that this project is 100% mine: economic and concept wise. All the skills you have, you put them at the service of its conception and you realize you have them. You realize that your ideas become reality.

We wanted Santa Vida to be homey. We picked the colors, the wood to feel at home, at ease. Also for people to come back. Here is more an everyday place. You can come for the bread, for a talk with us, or because you like the food. We also chose fresh food: a simple but delicious kitchen, with fresh ingredients always.

What are the skills needed for your job?

A restaurant is very demanding; you are dealing with the health of people. I wasn’t used to working so many hours, seven days a week. So I’d say, constancy.

What makes you happiest?

That a person arrives, sits here… We like interacting with people, that’s why we chose the bar. When they talk, they like their food and they leave satisfied, you are fulfilling your business’ purpose.