Dwell 24: SinCa Design



Dave Sinaguglia and Maria Camarena of SinCa Design use traditional woodworking techniques to form their minimalist and sculptural furniture designs.

The Yin Yang Chair by SinCa Design.

Sometimes inspiration comes just from keeping your eyes open. “We might borrow a line from a timber-framed building or the upper neck of a bottle of mezcal‚” says Dave Sinaguglia‚ 37‚ of SinCa Design. In 2016, he founded the studio with his wife and partner‚ Maria Camarena‚ 36‚ who trained as an industrial designer. Sinaguglia arrived at furniture design by way of sculpture and boat building.

The Yin Yang Chair by SinCa Design.

The Yin Yang Chair by SinCa Design.

Photo courtesy of SinCa Design

In the duo’s meticulously crafted pieces‚ there is not an unnecessary detail to be found. The Yin-Yang chair is the perfect example. A gentle‚ swelling line rises above a stool‚ providing back support and a subtle springing motion. 

“Wood is always moving‚ so we have to design for the movement‚” explains Sinaguglia. 

“For us‚ wood is less a material and more a practice—the way yoga is‚” says Camarena. Balance prevails.

Learn why Sinaguglia would like to redesign a nightstand, and why Camarena finds it hard to work from home, plus more from our Q&A, below.

Hometowns: Tolland, Connecticut (Sinaguglia); Guadalajara, México (Camarena)

Current Location: Tolland, Connecticut 

Describe what you make in 140 characters. We design and make contemporary wooden furniture using traditional methods of craftsmanship.

What’s the last thing you designed? A chair. —Sinaguglia

Do you have a daily creative ritual? I try to divide my day into two parts, with half of the day working on business-related tasks, and the other half working in the shop. Days in the shop are sometimes spent working on orders, finishing samples, and when time allows it, new designs. Everyday is different, so it’s hard to have a consistent ritual. — Camarena

How do you procrastinate? Working from home is hard for me. There are always tasks that distract me from the studio, especially during the summer when everything outside is growing; I feel the need to work in the garden while it’s producing food, and then, I want to cook that food. — Camarena

What everyday object would you like to redesign? Why? A night stand, because I think there are a lot of little problem that could be solved. —Sinaguglia

Who are your heroes (in design, in life, or in both)? In design: Hans Wegner, although that might sound cliché. In life: immigrants, because they risk everything for a better life. —Camarena

What skill would you most like to learn? How to speak another language. —Sinaguglia

What is your most treasured possession? My eyesight, along with the dreams expressed through my pen. —Camarena

What’s your earliest memory of an encounter with design? I remember making mockups of parks and houses for my PLAYMOBIL toys. Yet, the fun seemed to disappear once I completed the building process. —Camarena 

What contemporary design trend do you despise? Epoxy tables. —Sinaguglia

The Mezcal Table by SinCa Design.

The Mezcal Table by SinCa Design.

Photo: Jamie Chung

Are you left-handed or right-handed? We are both right-handed.

Finish this statement: All design should…solve a problem. —Sinaguglia

I sketch with a…pen. —Camarena

I work best with…silence. —Sinaguglia

We both do our best work…first thing in the morning.

Our studio is…a study in head-clearing minimalism.

Instagram is…an amplifier for design ideas. —Camarena

Choose one: Bauhaus, Memphis, or Brutalist? Brutalist. —Sinaguglia

Rank the following: (1) Form, (2) Function, and (3) Fun —Camarena

Choose one: Less is More, Just Enough is Enough, or More is More? Less is More. —Sinaguglia

Choose one: Past, Present, or Future? Present. —Camarena

If you had to pick a favorite material, what would it be? We both would pick wood.

What’s in your dream house? A garden, a dream kitchen, and a pool. —Camarena

You can follow Camarena and Sinaguglia on the SinCa Design website or on Instagram.

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