THE AWARD
CATEGORIES
REGISTRATION
SUBMIT YOUR WORK
ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS
TERMS & CONDITIONS
PUBLICATIONS
DATES & FEES
METHODOLOGY
CONTACT
WINNERS
PRESS ROOM
GET INVOLVED
DESIGN PRIZE
DESIGN STORE
 
THE AWARD | JURY | CATEGORIES | REGISTRATION | PRESS | WINNERS | PUBLICATIONS | ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS

Interview with Daniel Cox

Home > Designer Interviews > Daniel Cox

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Daniel Cox (DC) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Daniel Cox by clicking here.

Interview with Daniel Cox at Monday 15th of October 2012
Daniel Cox
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?
DC: I was pretty confused until around age 22! Initially I went to university to study Oceanography & Geology, but dropped out. I still wonder whether this wasn't a big mistake on my part. Following that I travelled around Europe for a while, then decided I really had to do something with my life! Was always pretty good at art, and had good science-based school qualifications... So, thought about Architecture - but that was 7 years duration... Then I heard someone talking about something called product design...

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
DC: After a decade working as a design consultant, and another as an educator, I really wanted to try producing my own stuff. So I set up Newmakers. The name of the company pretty much describes it well... We simply try to make new thing. It all started out in Northern Thailand, and now has moved back to my home country; the UK. We use simple materials and a mix of hand and automatized production, depending where the product is made. Whatever we do is always self-production, and very hands-on.

FS: What is "design" for you?
DC: I'm sorry to say, but the word 'design' has, I think, become vastly over-used and perhaps corrupted to some extent. I work in the 3D arena, so I get concerned when I see so many 3D simulation images which claim to be objects. I don't think many of these shiny pictures are really any more, or better, than a sketch. If you've had experience making things, either craft or industrial, you can quickly see that a lot of this stuff either just can't be made, or would collapse, or is just plain useless... I'm getting old I suppose.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
DC: I like designing for kids! Fun is a big part of what we do, and kids have no opinions, or knowledge of trends or fashion. If they like something - they're all over it. If they don't, they just ignore it! I think that makes my job a lot easier - instant, honest feedback!

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
DC: The Opinel pocket-knife. I've had the same one my Dad bought me as a kid on holiday in France. They are honest, useful, have a really simple locking mechanism, and are easy to sharpen. I always feel good, and remember our holidays, when I pull it out of my pocket.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
DC: An industrial switching unit for AEG... Got an IF Hanover prize for that one!

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
DC: It changes, but right now I'm really excited by laminates, plywood and CNC cutting.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
DC: In the workshop, or just before I sleep and my mind has strange ideas.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
DC: Production. I like to make it as easy for the production people as possible.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
DC: It's relaxing... Also I get a sense of hope and endless possibilities... All rather unrealistic of course.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
DC: Relief! I take a long time to finalize things, and tend to work on multiple projects at the same time... So it's always good to think you now have more time for the others... again, it's unrealistic and never really works out that way.

FS: What makes a design successful?
DC: That is not a question I know the answer to.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
DC: Whether there's a point to it... Is it really necessary, or desirable to make this thing?

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
DC: I don't think it's just a designer's responsibility, I just think we all really need to take a bit of a reality check, and become more responsible at all levels. Right now the world seems a total mess, and it's our fault. Everyone needs to stop talking the talk, and start walking the walk.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
DC: Hopefully design will evolve into something more useful than it is today. Maybe when society as a whole starts to grow up a bit.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
DC: London Design Festival 2011. It was nerve-wracking because the whole economic mess thing was in full swing. So I spent four days on my feet having lovely conversations with people... But knew after day two that I was going home at the end with very little business to show for it. I have had a lot of interest in my kids stuff from Korea... I'd love to show all the new things we're working on for the first time over there!

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
DC: All over... I get a lot of ideas from technical magazines, just watching things (not TV, I haven't got one), and I also steal a lot of inspiration from a very good friend of mine who is an artist... and hasn't seemed to notice yet!

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?
DC: Someone described the style as 'Simple, fun and quirky'. That's fine with me. I do tend to start complicated then reduce, reduce, reduce. This has to do with my own background in Germany and Asia, because efficiency of form and function is important in both

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?
DC: Right now I live back in the UK. Previous to that I was in the US, Germany & Asia. I've done work in countries from all over. I don't think the UK has influenced me so much. However Germany has been a very big influence in how I approach both quality and production. Aesthetically I am probably most influenced by my time in Asia, especially Japan and Korea design.

FS: How do you work with companies?
DC: I used to work as a design consultant, with big clients like AEG, Siemens, Bosch, Daewoo. Now I work on my own designs for our own Newmakers brand. Maybe I'd like to do some more work for exterior companies if the project was right.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
DC: Don't go for either the cheapest, or the currently in vogue! I know so many extremely good, experienced, designers who find it very difficult to get work because they have not been in a magazine for a while, or will not offer discounted (unrealistic) pricing. If it were my money - I would invest it in someone with a lot of experience who charges a sensible price.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
DC: As I get older, it takes longer! I don't really have to work to such strict deadlines now as previously. This allows me to work on multiple projects at the same time. Sometimes, if it's not working, I will leave something for maybe a year before coming back to it with some new material, idea, or production technique.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
DC: I honestly don't think I own a single design item! My mobile is an ancient Nokia, and the rest of the stuff I have is mostly just useful things. When I started moving around a lot, I drastically down-scaled, so now I don't own much of anything really.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
DC: Early out of bed; a lot of coffee; check internet for anything needs doing; into the workshop; grab snacks intermittently; walk my dog somewhere peaceful; a beer; early to bed with a good book.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
DC: Either never give up, or give up early enough to do something else.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
DC: Sad to say, but I think the positives have reduced greatly from when I started. It is a very insecure job, and usually poorly paid. A lot of the projects you are asked to work on are completely pointless and not needed. I would not recommend my children to become designers. However, for creative minds, I think areas like alternative energy, housing etc offer terrific opportunities to make new things that are really relevant and positive.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
DC: That it's not important

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
DC: perseverance, perfection, humility.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
DC: Usually minimum one year.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
DC: When will you get a real job? (my parents)

FS: What was your most important job experience?
DC: German industrial experience; Asian craft.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
DC: Newmakers

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
DC: Kids products because they give perfect feedback; either 'I like it', or they ignore it!

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
DC: Developing the Newmakers brand.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
DC: Myself for the design, but production is always a team effort.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
DC: We will be introducing some new rocking characters soon, also in smaller size, plus a complementary range of wheeled ride-ons which are pretty cute.

FS: How can people contact you?
DC: Contact details are available at www.newmakers.com


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


Press Members: Register and login to request a custom interview with Daniel Cox.
SOCIAL
+ Add to Likes / Favorites | Send to My Email | Comment | Testimonials
 
design award logo

BENEFITS
THE DESIGN PRIZE
WINNERS SERVICES
PR CAMPAIGN
PRESS RELEASE
MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
AWARD TROPHY
AWARD CERTIFICATE
AWARD WINNER LOGO
PRIME DESIGN MARK
BUY & SELL DESIGN
DESIGN BUSINESS NETWORK
AWARD SUPPLEMENT

METHODOLOGY
DESIGN AWARD JURY
PRELIMINARY SCORE
VOTING SYSTEM
EVALUATION CRITERIA
METHODOLOGY
BENEFITS FOR WINNERS
PRIVACY POLICY
ELIGIBILITY
FEEDBACK
WINNERS' MANUAL
PROOF OF CREATION
WINNER KIT CONTENTS
FAIR JUDGING
AWARD YEARBOOK
AWARD GALA NIGHT
AWARD EXHIBITION

MAKING AN ENTRY
ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS
REGISTRATION
ALL CATEGORIES

FEES & DATES
FURTHER FEES POLICY
MAKING A PAYMENT
PAYMENT METHODS
DATES & FEES

TRENDS & REPORTS
DESIGN TRENDS
DESIGNER REPORTS
DESIGNER PROFILES
DESIGN INTERVIEWS

ABOUT
THE AWARD
AWARD IN NUMBERS
HOMEPAGE
AWARD WINNING DESIGNS
DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
MUSEUM OF DESIGN
PRIME CLUBS
SITEMAP
RESOURCE

RANKINGS
DESIGNER RANKINGS
WORLD DESIGN RANKINGS
DESIGN CLASSIFICATIONS
POPULAR DESIGNERS

CORPORATE
GET INVOLVED
SPONSOR AN AWARD
BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS

PRESS
DOWNLOADS
PRESS-KITS
PRESS PORTAL
LIST OF WINNERS
PUBLICATIONS
RANKINGS
CALL FOR ENTRIES
RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT

CONTACT US
CONTACT US
GET SUPPORT

Follow us : Twitter Twitter | Twitter Facebook | Twitter Google+.
Share |