Bianca Cheng Costanzo is truly a designer who cannot be limited by any category. With roots in Brazil and Italy, and a global influence in her creative ventures, she has created an impressive portfolio that spans design, music and technology. The innovative design of the "Origami Bag" for for my ladies collective is just one of the many masterpieces (correct - I said "masterpiece") she has created.

Bianca, how did you transition from the tech world into design?

Bianca: "Throughout my life, I have been curious about geometric forms and folds. As a child who always invented paper toys and dolls, it was my dream to transform them into something beautiful that I could have at home. Then during my time at MIT, I was introduced to more elaborate forms of origami, and a language for analyzing and generating those 3-dimensional shapes. Thus, Bloom Blanket was born."

Bianca has many talents. While she describes herself as a designer, musician, and "tech geek," she actually considers herself an artist and adventurer. And who could blame her? With a fabulous eye for aesthetics and detail, her curiosity constantly drives her to scale new creative heights while pushing boundaries. Literally - no summit is safe from this climbing enthusiast.

for my ladies collective x Bianca Cheng Design

Bianca's collaboration with for my ladies collective is not just another item in her design portfolio. It shows her willingness to collaborate with other women and create something special together.

Bianca, why did you decide to design for for my ladies collective and what inspired the Origami Bag?

Bianca: "They say that if you want to go fast, go alone, and if you want to go far, go together. As my studio grows I have been looking for a creative business partner like Sandra Hösler and a community like for my ladies collective as a home base for my artistic work. My first collaboration with Sandra, the Origami Bag, is a practical piece that still transports a sense of whimsy in the surprise unravelling of its pocket. The bag is crafted in vegan corn-based leather, with the unique aesthetic of soft geometry that most represents my tastes lately."

Origami Love meets Artificial Intelligence

Bianca draws inspiration from geometry, symmetry, and especially origami. She has reinterpreted this ancient Japanese art of paper folding in a modern, functional form, which makes the bag a real eye-catcher.

But that's not all. Her interests in artificial intelligence (AI) show that she always keeps her finger on the pulse of technology and design. And it's this combination of art and technology that makes her work so captivating.

Bianca, you just recently developed your own AI, Kumar. Can you please explain what Kumar can do?

Bianca: "Kumar is an instance of the Stable Diffusion AI technology that I trained on models of image sets of my origami textiles and taught to favour my design aesthetic in 2022. I used Kumar to generate large scale architectural visualisations for my booth at Salone del Mobile at Milan Design Week in April of this year. At this time, the technology was not widely accessible to artists. I spent 6 months crafting configurations for Kumar that were unique tools to my studio and my practice.

Since then, AI technology has become so prevalent that some of the features that I prototyped last year with Kumar are now available as a part of Adobe Photoshop’s beta version. It was one of those fun challenges to explore the frontiers of an emerging technology through the lens of art."

Studies show that women are often considered less competent than men - most especially in math and engineering fields. You have degrees from Harvard and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), worked on patented innovations during your time at Apple, and built the prototype for the iPad Mini's operating system. Yet have you ever found yourself in situations where your expertise or competency was questioned?

Bianca: While studying at MIT, I didn't feel that I fit in with my peers and I rejected the dress down dress code of the other engineers. While the majority of my classmates dressed in a bland and monotone style, I was far more expressive.

My love for fashion brought on continuous bullying and questioning of my cognitive skills. The average MIT student associated my openly displayed affinity for fashion with being shallow.

Later this whole thing would turn on its head. When I left university, I still kept dressing creatively, but at Apple people realized how this creativity transported not only into my design work but also engineering solutions!"

In April 2023, Bianca reached a major milestone in her career. She was accepted as an exhibitor for the prestigious Salone del Mobile in Milan.

Bianca, tell us about your personal highlights from Milan.

Bianca: "I loved talking design and dreaming of future projects with my friends at ASTEP and BYBORRE who also had beautiful exhibitions this year. I followed ASTEP to the 3 Days of Design conference this past June in Copenhagen and got to relive that same Milan energy and inspiration once again!"

What makes your heart sing most at the moment?

Bianca: "My heart is literally singing bossa nova these days as my summer project This is Bossa has completely taken on a life of its own. So my next challenge is to balance my career as a professional musician with my art and design practice. All of my hobbies are growing into their own."

Bianca Cheng Costanzo singt Bossa Nova

If you look back to when you crossed over from being an employee to founding your own company: what are 3 tips you would give to yourself back then?

Bianca: "Bianca: Looking back as well as looking at myself today, the thing that I most tell myself is to focus and refine. I’m tempted to pursue so many projects, to try so many things at once, the real challenge is to force myself to prioritize in order to move forward without distraction. I’m still working on it.

Two more tips remain for my past self while opening Bianca Cheng Studio. I would first tell myself to unapologetically be the protagonist of my own artworks. As a singer I now understand the value of my own presence and representation of myself in my art. I must present my studio pieces in a personal way, take photos with them and represent them with my identity.

My last tip would be to enjoy the ride. It’s easy to get caught up in always thinking of the next steps, but wonderful to look back and enjoy how far I’ve come."

September 11, 2023