Behind the Designs: Saba's Geometric Dreamland
With Hannah McIntosh
The founders of Saba — both of whom are women — built their company from the ground up. Since 1987, the Italian furniture design company has been creating unique, innovative furniture with a keen human touch. Each piece is designed with poetics and precision in equal measure, never lacking in a comfortable, livable appeal. We interviewed Amelia Pegorin, founder and CEO of Saba, who shared her thoughts on being a female business owner, her creative process, and how women are moving the needle in the design industry today.
What inspires your creativity?
“Creativity is hard to explain using language. In my opinion, it’s an intuition that lights up beyond the limits of awareness. Creativity is not just natural talent, it often requires training and learning. In my experience, creativity comes with attention, research, knowledge, and effort.”
What is your approach to design?
“My own design research has been powered by philosophy. This is the fundamental key that invites me to question. Why can’t a sofa, with its complex shapes, be flexible, too? Why can’t a sofa adapt to my needs? This way of thinking is the origin story of our Pixel and Limes sofa models. The second key to my creative process can be divided into four sources: heritage, function, comfort, and poetry.”
Who do you design for?
“When I’m thinking about a project, I try to imagine it for real people who love tangible things, who reject perfection, who actually want to use the furniture, and who love playing with materials, texture, and colors. I find pleasure in wonder, beauty, and the harmony of proportions. I love joining the present with a piece of the past and a desire for the future.
What does owning a woman-led company mean to you?
“A woman-led company is strongly linked to personal well-being. The primitive symbol that represents the woman is the circle: the circle is the symbol of wholeness, centrality, and well-being.”
What does it mean to you to be a woman today?
“Being a woman is an adventure that requires bravery to truly honor the self. From every direction in society, women receive the message that she needs to constantly be improving. There is so much pressure to achieve perfection. My perspective is that a woman should honor herself by accepting who she is and appreciating it. I have found that this is the key to being in touch with my femininity: the ability to understand, the strength to remain open, and the vision to create. I give myself permission to be who I really am and not what society imagines for me.”
What role do women play in the history of your craft?
“The presence of women in the furniture design industry has been quite invisible until recently. We often worked in a man’s shadow. Today, the feminine presence in the design industry is joyfully blooming, and from this, more natural ways of working and thinking are arising, distinguished by a deep sensitivity. As a woman, design is not limited to the making of objects — it also generates experiences, relationships, and community by putting the collective quest to care for others in the center. The results are lightness, poetry, and the capacity to dream.”
How important is it for you to work with other women?
“The strength of women often lies in their solidarity with other women. Knowledge sharing is the basic concept for a successful business. Women who believe in their work and in their craft have a propensity for sharing and building positive relationships.”
Interview questions were translated to English from Italian, and edited and condensed for clarity.
Thank you, Amelia! Support women-led businesses and planet-friendly practices by shopping Saba.