Their small apartment doubles as their office, and so their work never stops, not even when cooking or doing laundry. While one of them is quite firm and confident, the other tends to get lost in details—they still have great chemistry. The armchair dubbed Mix won the ArtHungry award and the Hungarian Design Award for the duo in 2018. We interviewed Sarolta Csoma and Máté Horváth, the founders of Forms Design.
Máté | We first met at university. We were in the same team in a workshop in Budapest, and our work practically started there, but, I must admit, it was not cloudless: Saci went against everything I said or did, but this is exactly what I liked about her. We grew to like each other soon and shortly we were going to the classes both of us attended hand in hand.
Sarolta | It was my second year at the university when we first met at the train station in Sopron, from where we traveled to Budapest, to the workshop organized by BME, which lasted for several days. I remember that one night we talked until dawn. I was in the middle of a great monologue about the origin of the universe, the stars and planets, and after a while I realized that Máté was not answering my questions: he fell asleep. But perhaps even so I wasn’t that boring, because both of us attended our joint classes very diligently, and I don’t think it was because of the fascinating subjects or the professors.
Máté | We always work together. Both of us have our strengths, which we are aware of. We appreciate each other’s knowledge and we listen to each other. Of course we have our disagreements, but we always handle them objectively. As a couple, separating work from our private life is quite challenging, but we do our best. The fact that our apartment doubles as our office does not facilitate this situation either. Before the pandemic started, we were planning to rent an office, but then fate wanted us to stay.
Sarolta | We work together, even though in a different pace and not necessarily in the way we would work in an office eight hours a day. As we live in a tiny apartment, sometimes the line between work and household chores blur. There are times when I leave Máté for a bit to prepare our launch or to do laundry, but thanks to the size of the apartment, all this takes place in a single room, so we can talk about everything immediately. Recently our work together has been pushed to the background because I have been working at Alex Fémbútor Kft. as a designer since the summer. As a result, Máté has more tasks, but I’m very proud of him because he is doing great on his own.
Máté | We are the most inspired by our own furniture. There are always products that lose their good looks over time and their faults come to the forefront. I want to repair and further improve these. By the way, Saci has a very good eye for shapes. I love that she knows how things can be done, as she is an engineer, too, and so she is familiar with production technologies, but she still thinks freely. She usually comes up with the basic shapes, but she has great ideas in almost every field.
Sarolta | Máté is very dynamic and extremely motivated. Many of our friends and acquaintances say that spending time with him always cheers them up. His enthusiasm towards various topics is contagious and he keeps motivating me, too. I love how he approaches each project, and on top he helps everyone selflessly. He is firm and has well-thought-out ideas, he does not get lost in details, which does happen to me quite a lot of times.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OR CRITICISM
Máté | We have already told each other at the very beginning what we think about the work of the other, and this hasn’t changed since then. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to accept criticism, but time has really toughened us up.
Sarolta | Between the two of us, I am the harsh one—I can be blunt and most of the time I focus on the bad things. I am quite a maximalist, and it can have its drawbacks. Máté tends to offer praise more easily and is a much more positive person. We are continuously working to find the balance between acknowledgment and criticism.
Máté | We dream a lot—we would like to take our studio to the next level and take our designs abroad, but we’ll have to work a lot to achieve this. In the near future, we would like to have our own home with a big garden, where we can keep sheep.
Sarolta | Máté is a huge cat fan, and over the seven years we have spent together, he turned me into one, too. Thus, once we have our own house or apartment, we’d like to get a kitten.
Sarolta and Máté | We have traveled to a lot of places within Europe and Hungary over the past years. Sometimes to participate in exhibitions and at other times to rest and explore the world. There were times we got into troubles with the local law enforcement, while at other times we left our luggage, and with it, our swimsuits and towels, at home, which we only realized at the beach. We have traveled together with extraordinary creatures, including a baby chameleon—you’d never think how fast it can be in your hand if its freedom is at stake. We could also tell a few good stories about our hobbies—how I didn’t catch the fish of my life a few months ago, or how Máté turns into a little boy in a second every year when assembling his LEGO train at Christmas. These are the moments that add color to our life together.