DE­SIGNER SPEAK

An in­tro­spec­tion with five de­sign­ers who use novel ways to in­no­vate in de­sign, ma­te­rial, bi­ol­ogy and be­yond

The Ideal Home and Garden - - Contents - IM­PRES­SIONS: BENOY SE­BAS­TIAN

Take in­spi­ra­tion from these de­sign­ers on de­sign, ma­te­rial, bi­ol­ogy and be­yond

What prompted you to be­come a prod­uct de­signer?

I have al­ways tried to make sense of the world on my own terms – from break­ing down a les­son in school, to imag­in­ing the swirling air cur­rents bounc­ing off sur­faces in a room. I sup­pose I wanted to be able to cre­ate my own bits of re­al­ity.

What is your spe­cial­i­sa­tion?

Although I stud­ied prod­uct de­sign, I have al­ways been in­ter­ested in prac­tis­ing many as­pects of de­sign, and over the years have taught my­self and con­tinue to de­velop many more skills - de­sign­ing spa­ces, fur­ni­ture, graph­ics, sys­tems and strat­egy.

Who are your icons and in­spi­ra­tions?

I am of­ten in­spired by the ev­ery­day; for in­stance art made by chil­dren al­ways rep­re­sents to me a vi­sion of the world un­coloured by prej­u­dice, al­ways think­ing out­side the box. Di­eter Rams, nat­u­rally, for his ab­so­lute and au­thor­i­ta­tive clar­ity on de­sign.

Best thing that you have de­signed?

The Jolly rocker rock­ing stool.

Ad­vice to young self-starters?

Stu­dents go from be­liev­ing they can change the world in col­lege to be­com­ing a cog in the cor­po­rate wheel in the blink of an eye. It’s al­right to work to sur­vive, but don’t for­get to try and change the world!

What prompted you to be­come a prod­uct de­signer?

I liked to draw or make things since my child­hood and imag­ined to be a per­son liv­ing with mak­ing things, but it was not a de­signer at all. Look­ing back, I think I was rather in­ter­ested in crafts. I can say this in­ter­est has led me to the work I am pro­duc­ing now.

What is your spe­cial­i­sa­tion?

My client is na­ture, so, I al­ways con­sider ways of de­sign­ing things and liv­ing within the nat­u­ral cy­cle. I would like to pre­serve the beau­ti­ful world for the fu­ture. I would like to make things cel­e­brat­ing that rich di­ver­sity of the uni­verse in col­lab­o­ra­tion with them.

Who are your icons and in­spi­ra­tions?

Some­one who, I think, cre­ates things with ap­pre­ci­a­tion to life like Sori Yanagi, Isamu Noguchi, Taro Okamoto, An­toni Gaudi, Kazu­masa Na­gai, Terunobu Fu­ji­mori, Ro­nan and Er­wan Bouroul­lec; and prim­i­tive things, but, most im­por­tantly na­ture.

Best thing that you have de­signed?

I would say it is An­ima, a table­ware col­lec­tion made from food waste and Urushi, Ja­panese lac­quer.

Ad­vice to young self-starters?

Be hon­est with your­self. Be kind to oth­ers. These are the best ways to make the world a happy place.

My cu­rios­ity and the charm of the in­ven­tion made me choose to work in the de­sign world where there are new things to dis­cover in each project.

What is your spe­cial­i­sa­tion?

In my per­sonal de­sign process the goal is al­ways to of­fer a con­tent with a strong com­mu­nica­tive con­tent. To do that, the start­ing point is the con­cept devel­oped into the study and de­sign of the most in­no­va­tive fea­tures in all the de­tails. My de­sign is in­spired by sim­plic­ity and guided with the right po­et­ics through me­taphors that ex­press both func­tions and qual­i­ties of each prod­uct. I use the whole cre­ative process us­ing the prepara­tory draw­ings and the pro­to­types.

Who are your icons and in­spi­ra­tions?

Achille Castiglioni, Di­eter Rams or Vico Mag­istretti are the ba­sics for ev­ery de­signer. For me, I take in­spi­ra­tion from any per­son I meet and from all the things I see and feel. From the art to the food any­thing and any­one can be an in­spi­ra­tion.

Best thing that you have de­signed?

It’s the Volta ta­ble.

Ad­vice to young self-starters?

I must quote Castiglioni: “If you are not cu­ri­ous, for­get it.” With­out cu­rios­ity you could not have the needed pas­sion to go on fac­ing all dif­fi­cul­ties which un­avoid­ably you’ll meet.

What prompted you to be­come a prod­uct de­signer?

Since child­hood I had in­cul­cated a habit of writ­ing anec­dotes about ev­ery­day life events, such as visit to the zoo or a school pic­nic and the likes of it. I saw these young de­liv­ery boys with rolled up news­pa­per strug­gling with all their might to aim and send across pa­per rolls to the se­cond and third floor bal­conies in the apart­ments. I felt em­pa­thetic and de­cided to do some­thing. I de­signed a spring loaded news­pa­per launcher, which even­tu­ally won me my first de­sign award in 2001. That was the point where I felt, what if I could put my ob­ser­va­tional skills to not just draw car­toons and make re­marks about prob­lems in ev­ery­day life, in­stead be­come a so­lu­tion provider to those prob­lems which I have iden­ti­fied.

What is your spe­cial­i­sa­tion?

I am a de­signer of ev­ery­day ob­jects and pre­fer not to im­pose a ‘fit-to-all’ aes­thetic lan­guage to my projects; how­ever, the com­mon thread is the util­ity that I add that brings the wow fac­tor to the user. I be­lieve in vol­un­tary sim­plic­ity. It is about want­ing less.

Who are your icons and in­spi­ra­tions?

I take in­spi­ra­tion from ev­ery­day life.

Best thing that you have de­signed?

It will be rather un­fair on my part to pick one de­sign as all ideas are like my ba­bies. But, if you in­sist - the an­gu­lar multi-plug will get my vote.

Ad­vice to young self-starters?

The cost of a prod­uct lies at the tip of our pen­cil. It is very im­por­tant for a de­signer to think through the com­plete process of man­u­fac­tur­ing the prod­uct even be­fore it has been given a def­i­nite form or func­tion.

What prompted you to be­come a prod­uct de­signer?

I spent my child­hood in my mother’s tai­lor shop, play­ing with scraps of pa­per, fab­rics and colour pen­cils. I at­tended Pratt In­sti­tute’s In­dus­trial De­sign grad­u­ate pro­gram where I learned how to de­sign prod­ucts, and my first job came right be­fore the grad­u­a­tion, which was with Sam­sung’s mo­bile phone di­vi­sion in Los An­ge­les.

What is your spe­cial­i­sa­tion?

I like con­cep­tu­al­is­ing, vi­su­al­is­ing, strate­gis­ing and lead­ing projects from start to end. I en­joy work­ing with dif­fer­ent groups of peo­ple such as me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neers, qual­ity as­sur­ance en­gi­neers, cost­ing an­a­lysts, pack­ag­ing de­sign­ers and brand mar­ket­ing.

Who are your icons and in­spi­ra­tions?

I highly re­spect Andy Warhol, Don­ald Judd, Isamu Noguchi, Naoto Fuka­sawa, Di­eter Rams, Jonathan Ives and Ayn Rand.

Best thing that you have de­signed?

I am cur­rently fo­cus­ing on de­sign­ing con­sumer baby prod­ucts, and I am proud about the car seat buckle mag­nets, which re­cently won IDEA Bronze Award.

Ad­vice to young self-starters?

Find things you love the most and turn your pas­sion into your ca­reer.

AB­HI­MANYU NOHWAR

KOSUKE ARAKI

MARCO DE MASI

PAUL SANDIP

SI­MON KANG

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