We can all agree that the future is such a complex and abstract idea. For some it is something that is to come, while for others it is something they are already living in. With concepts like blockchain, DNA editing, post-humanism, and climate change becoming popular topics of discussion, a decision must be made whether this future looks like a utopia or a dystopia. However, there are only a few things we can predict as the future is unknown and unexpected.
Rohan Mirza, a 3D artist from Paris, likes to see it as a sci-fi inspired journey. The creative, who describes his creations as prostheses, has an inherent curiosity to dive into cyberspace and the game as a source of inspiration. Through his work, Mirza encourages us to seek new possibilities of the human form and to embark on a journey between reality and fiction.
The 21-year-old’s creative practice is not driven by futurology or anticipation, but by human connection and accessibility. Mirza’s new collection, available at Ap0cene, is derived from concrete props fully modeled in 3D, as are the accompanying campaign visuals. The range seeks to connect us to the digital world by offering jewelry that robotizes us aesthetically.
Scroll down to read our interview with Rohan Mirza.
What inspired you to start your journey as a 3D jewelry designer?
I’ve always been interested in computers, video games and anything digital. So this passion, in one way or another, ended up influencing my way of perceiving art and design. 3D rendering struck me as the perfect tool to express my creativity and ideas.
Why is it important for you to look to the future to inspire your creations?
It’s hard for me not to be interested in it. I always wonder what it will bring and, above all, how to create it. My work is oriented towards this concept, more precisely, the idea of human representation. It’s very special to take the human body as a starting point and imagine what we will look like in the long run. I try to look at the future with positive eyes, I imagine a better world in which we are happy and thanks to technology we have improved our abilities. It may be a utopian vision, but it reassures me.
Why do you find the digital world so fascinating? How does this influence your designs in terms of structure, jewelry, color, texture, etc. ?
First of all, the digital world is very convenient. I’m not very good with my hands, so working in digital allows me to start over, test and change things quickly. In addition, the freedom offered by 3D modeling is really vast. Everything I imagine can be reproduced on my computer in one day and printed the next, even the smallest detail.
Who or what is Rohan Mirza’s muse?
I don’t necessarily have a muse, I am inspired by what surrounds me, the people I meet and the people I work with.
What does the metaverse look like to you?
The way I envision it is heavily influenced by the book Ready player one. I see it as a parallel and highly connected world, in which everyone can be what they want and be who they really are. I don’t mind the idea of spending my time in a virtual world, I don’t distinguish between “physical” and “virtual”, I consider the moments I spend on the internet as real and as important as those outside My room. It’s the interactions with other humans that matter to me, not the form they take.
What does your creative process look like, from initial ideas to rendering the final product? Do Web3/fiction value systems influence your practice?
My creative process is quite chaotic. I often spend hours trying to find inspiration and nothing can come to me. But then, suddenly, an idea pops up out of nowhere and begins to obsess me. I then write words to describe it and I produce some drawings to then develop them in 3D. What I love about this process is that the initial idea never tends to be the last. I love the journey of improving my craft and exploring the possibilities of design. I’m still learning Blender with each new prototype. Evolving as an artist is what gives me the most pleasure.
How was the collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier, especially with the brand’s Vasarely-inspired collection, which transforms the icons of the 90s into future cyber clothing?
The creative director of the project, Loïse, and I contacted many different brands for the styling of our campaign. Jean Paul Gaultier was the first to respond to us and upon receiving their cyber lookbook, we knew it was meant to be. Also, the Vasarely print is a very important reference to my work that I always include in my moodboards, so having the opportunity to actually incorporate it into this campaign was amazing.
Walk us through the process of creating a digital campaign.
We worked with the 3D artist Erwin, who is a very talented creative and perfectly knew how to bring our vision to life. The hardest thing was translating the process of creating a physical campaign digitally. Models are digital representations of real humans as avatars or, as I like to call them, alter-egos. We were also able to play with the abilities of humans by doing this, depicting a surreal contortion of the body that resembles the silhouettes of the drawings.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your designs?
I want them to feel confident and powerful, like when a video game character finds an artifact that gives them powers. I would like these accessories to increase the “HP” of people. The goal of this collection was to be able to produce tangible accessories that reflect our universe and our futuristic aesthetic. As a young designer, it has always been very important to me to be able to share my work and see it worn by people. This is why this first version is very important to me.
Offering a product accessible to everyone has been a big part of this capsule collection. Why was this important to you?
If this collection took so long to come out, it’s because I was waiting to make a product that could be offered to everyone. As a young adult, I know it’s hard to find one-of-a-kind pieces at an affordable price, so I wanted to talk to people who are like me who I could ask for feedback. Last year, I released some rather expensive pieces because my production system was too complex. This time, I am very happy to be able to offer my creations at a more affordable price.
What does your future look like?
I would like to look like a human/robot in a few years. I hope to be able to implant chips under my skin, digital lenses and AirPods connected to my brain. I know, totally rational!