Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Josue Rivera Gandia (JR) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Josue Rivera Gandia by clicking here.
Interview with Josue Rivera Gandia at Saturday 1st of February 2014
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
JR: My major influence has been my family, an unconditional self-taught mother and an exigent, crafty mathematician for a father. Although, studying architecture allowed me to surround myself among passionate and proud faculty.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
JR: LOA Design is a recently established studio. Even though we have multiple design objects in our drafting tables we decided to produce LOA Coffee Cup as a starter.
FS: What is "design" for you?
JR: The materialization of the surrounding context through the process of inquiry and exploration, armed with a high sense of optimism to achieve it.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
JR: Definitely a Church. Suggestive objects that allow me to meditate about them and what I do with them. In short, all objects that make me question and edit my convictions.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
JR: Locally, in Puerto Rico, the works of Architect José Javier Toro and the furniture designs of Francisco Gutiérrez; mostly their attention to details. And outside of Puerto Rico, the work of the firm and Madridejos Sancho, and also should mention the work of Aires Mateus.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
JR: My first design was an steel gate for a local architectural firm, Rigau & Penabad.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
JR: My favorite platform / technology are Smart phones.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
JR: During late night silences.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
JR: The multiple effects of light.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
JR: I become exited as a child, an infant.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
JR: Throughout the creative process I experience a state of profound sadness that is radically dispersed by an extreme happiness brought by the designed product itself. I enjoy both feelings.
FS: What makes a design successful?
JR: I believe that design success is relative, but I think that when design inspires or motivate others it becomes successful.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
JR: I consider its use, imagery and context.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
JR: Technology and immediate access to information are - and will continue to be - catalytic for new possibilities.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
JR: Last was a collective exhibition sponsored by Ketel One at a local art gallery in San Juan.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
JR: It comes most definitely from the works of local architect and ceramist Jaime Suárez.
FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
JR: Would have to say contemporary, but my main approach is through form explorations and proportions as well as how well light performs with the design objects instead of mere functionality.
FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
JR: I live in Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island of strong contrasts, textures and diverse natural landscapes. Thus, in my work local context informs but does not limits.
FS: How do you work with companies?
JR: I haven't got the opportunity to work with companies.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
JR: To pay special attention to the designer's work.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
JR: Every design object is particular, and its way to approach it differs but through research and the involvement of the client/user becomes - most of the times - the common denominator in our design process.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
JR: I live in a Late Modern apartment building so I have to say the space itself. Inside it, a stair, a chair, and of course my coffee cup.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
JR: I spend my days teaching 1st an 2nd year architectural design studios at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and my professional practice at LOA Design.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
JR: To question everything around you.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
JR: I would have to quote Rafael Moneo, "I am most grateful to Architecture for allowing me to see life through its eyes". The positive; being able to be positive in a quite pessimistic environment. The negative; the responsibility of keeping your feet on the ground when dealing with situations of extreme optimism.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
JR: Being emotionally moved by what is being designed.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
JR: Be passionate and constantly dissatisfied and critical of design responses through the process.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
JR: I mostly rely on drawings, technical and sketch. But use many of the current available design softwares.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
JR: It's definitely the most difficult tasks. Sometimes quite effectively and other cases with overtime.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
JR: Depends but always as stipulated in the contract or agreement.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
JR: What are my references?
FS: What was your most important job experience?
JR: Staff Designer in the office of architect Luis Flores Architects.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
JR: Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, LU/CA, Pure Soul, Colaito y Desquicio.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
JR: Designing spaces
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
JR: Simultaneous to the architecture continue to work with other utilitarian objects.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
JR: Always! I have a group of friends and colleagues very demanding critics.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
FS: How can people contact you?
JR: firstname.lastname@example.org y email@example.com
FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
JR: I am very happy with the opportunity to participate in A Design Award and to represent Puerto Rico in a competition in this category. I hope to encourage other young designers to participate.
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