25 Questions with Roz
French-South African born Roz de Waal is the perfect mix of left and right brain. Starting her career in Law, she moved quickly into the luxury travel arena and language acquisition training, this led to the move to Australia and her long-suppressed passion for design. Roz, while studying at Torrens University, immersed herself in all things design and found herself the state chair of the Design Institute of Australia, leading her to cross paths with her now partner Chris. Together with Chris, she launched Unlmtd Agency, a multidisciplinary design agency located in the heart of Brisbane, Australia. Unlmtd created interiors, furniture, products and pushed the boundaries of creativity and technology. It was during this time, Roz entered the Andreu World International Design contest, and her success there with the inspiration that became the Ray table, lit the spark that is now Markian. Roz brings the design inspiration, the classic elegance and surprising contradiction that is the Markian essence.
We sat down to pick Roz's brain for our Markian 25 Questions series.
- What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I really don’t like my feet
- Dream country to visit?
I want to go back to Georgia
- What are three things you can’t live without?
Chanel Beige perfume, wine, and my cat
- What 3 people living or dead would you like to make dinner for?
Phillipe Starck, Jesus Christ, and my father
- What’s your current TV obsession?
Clarkson’s Farm. Jeremy Clarkson is a hoot!
- Most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
I’ve done some crazy adventure stuff. I’ve jumped out of planes, I’ve done some dare-devilly things, but I think the most adventurous thing that I’ve done is believe in myself and open a business.
- How would you define yourself in three words?
This is actually something that I was able to hone when I was at university, and the three words that I feel define myself, and what it is that I stand for and believe in is relationship, task, and legacy. I believe that your relationships are core to everything that you do. You need to be integrous with your relationships, and if you look after them, they will look after you. Task is the second one because I feel that there is an excellence required for tasks and if you apply yourself with excellence through what it is that you do, then that will bring you joy and fulfilment. The third word I always use is legacy and that’s because I believe that we build those legacies through what it is we do in relationships and how we do the things that we do in life. I believe that building a legacy that is of hope, positivity, and joy is what will stand the test of time.
- Superpower you would want?
I want to be able to understand, write, read, and speak every single language on planet earth and maybe not just on planet earth, it would be cool to be able to understand aliens.
- What’s inspiring you in life right now?
I'm really inspired by the resilience that the world is portraying at the moment because of COVID-19. It’s beautiful to see how communities have pulled together. People are realizing that there's so much more to life than just chasing money and chasing things. For me there's so much inspiration in that. It draws us back to why we exist and how we can be better for each other
- Best piece of advice you’ve received?
- Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
It’ll be okay.
- A book that everyone should read?
I think everyone should read the best translation they can find of one Dostoevsky’s works. There are so many layers of intricacy, and the way that he unpacks subjectivity and characters is phenomenal. I really enjoy his work.
- What would you like to be remembered for?
I’d like to be remembered as welcoming, as encouraging, and as loving.
- What’s your favourite colour, and what's your least favourite colour?
Beige is my favourite colour, even though it’s not really a colour. It makes me feel ensconced, and warm. It’s a colour that occupies space in a way that the starkness of white or the engulfing of black can’t really do. I don’t have a least favourite colour, I love them all!
- What's your coffee shop order
A small latte.
- You are stuck on an island, you can pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it, what would you eat?
Pasta! and cheese...
- Must have interior object everyone should have?
Vintage Louis Vuitton trunks or beautiful coffee table books.
- Favourite smell?
I must say I really fell in love with the Markian scent when we created that. Beyond that, one of my favourite smells is a mixture of Neroli and citrus notes, such as lemon or even basil. The scent of Nice, or the Amalfi coast - I really love those kinds of scents.
- If you made a documentary, what would it be about?
I’d really love to use a documentary to foster collaboration between designers. Bringing multi-disciplinary designers together – fashion, product, graphic, interior, architects, UX, UI – and giving them a task to showcase that design isn’t singular and that collaboration in design yields much better results. The Design Institute of Australia, which I have volunteered for since moving to Australia, fosters this and I think a doco on their hard work would be so great.
- Favourite living designer
I am such a fangirl of Virginie Viard, what she’s done with Chanel, and how she has reintroduced the essence of femininity back to the house. I love how she’s drawn her ambassadors into what the house is busy with, and how they are creating collections based on spaces. She is phenomenal in terms of her creative direction as well as her own design. I am in awe of the woman.
- Song you can listen to on repeat?
I could listen to anything by Van Morrison for the rest of my life.
- If you could switch lives with someone for a day who would it be?
My cat. It would be interesting to experience the world from the eyes of a feline.
- What are you most excited about at this time in your life?
I’m most excited about Markian, and where Markian is placed. I’m most excited about our team and how we’re busy building the foundation of something which we hope will stand the test of time. We’ve also got tickets to see the European Masterpieces exhibition from the Met at GoMA.
- Your go to for having a good laugh?
I love Seinfeld, Friends, and Cougar Town (no judging).
- Your affirmation for today?
You are enough. Where you’re at is where you’re at and enjoy wherever that is.