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Interview with Eckhard Beger

Home > Designer Interviews > Eckhard Beger

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Eckhard Beger (EB) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Eckhard Beger by clicking here.

Interview with Eckhard Beger at Sunday 18th of March 2018

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?
EB: Early in my life, I had a very broad set of interest such as technology, music, photography, business. With regards to education, I made the rational choice studying engineering and business administration. This led me to a corporate career in business development, marketing and sales. Over time however, I felt something was missing.As I always cherished artistic activities like music, photography and design and therefore started investigating possibilities to have a professional activity including an artistic side. Having designed objects and furniture on a regular basis, the idea matured within me to setup a design business. This is how I became a designer, which is my third “professional life” after working in the medical devices and the high-end watch industry.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
EB: I am a contemporary art furniture designer from Geneva, Switzerland. My work has gained international recognition for my designs and since 2012, my creations have been awarded more that 20 international design awards. Furthermore my realizations have appeared in exhibitions in Milan at Museo Poldi Pezzoli, at Venice Design 2016 in the context of the Architecture Biennale, at Venice Design 2017 in the context of the Art Biennale and at PAD Geneva in 2018.ArteNemus is the company I founded for the design, manufacturing and distribution of my creations. ArteNemus is located in Geneva Switzerland

FS: What is "design" for you?
EB: I am designing contemporary art furniture with a focus on the conception and the aesthetic side of my creations. I see my creations as beautiful objects with a secondary function. This purist approach favoring aesthetics over function leads me into the field of decorative arts.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
EB: I like to design furniture with a purist approach.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
EB: I very much like the understated elegance of Bauhaus. I particularly like the lamp by Wilhelm Wagenfeld from 1923. I also like Ron Arad’s language of curves in his « After Spring » deckchair.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
EB: My preferred material is wood. It is a very sensual natural material and the variations in color and grain give it its uniqueness. The manufacturing of organic shapes however is complex.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
EB: It is difficult for me to be creative « to order ». It is therefore important for me to feed my mind and my imagination with ideas on a regular basis and follow different concepts in parallel. It is also important to take notes immediately when inspiration strikes.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
EB: The aspects I focus most during the design process are the basic concept, the aesthetics determined by the harmony of shapes and proportions, the choice of materials and their combination.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
EB: There is a multitude of emotions I feel when I design. I feel a mix of curiosity and satisfaction when a new design concept emerges in my mind. During the design process itself – the translation of the concept to the real design – there is a mix of positive and negative emotions based on the progress of the process. The process can also be tedious when one is stuck.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
EB: When a design is realized, I feel satisfaction. I also hope that my satisfaction with the design quality will be durable and not wear off rapidly.

FS: What makes a design successful?
EB: A good design is characterized by the right blend of conceptual, aesthetic and functional characteristics. From an aesthetic point of view I believe that the following characteristics are part of a good design: harmony, tension, shapes proportions, conception, craftsmanship, originality, colors, originality.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
EB: When judging a design, I first let the overall impression sink into me to see what my emotionally reaction to it is. In a second step, I will make a more rational and analytical assessment of the functional and aesthetic characteristics as mentioned above.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
EB: My last exhibitions were PAD Geneva in early 2018 and Venice Design 2017 in the context of the Venice Art Biennale 2017. Future exhibitions are in preparation.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
EB: I am person with multiple interests such as travelling, music, aviation, photography, food & wine and I live in an international environment. All these elements feed my inspiration. In addition, I also have a conceptual side in which helps me to translate an abstract idea into a concrete creation.

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?
EB: As a contemporary art furniture designer I blend conceptual ideas (e.g., designing a table based on the morphology of an octopus) and a distinctive contemporary design language with the use of figured wood species (e.g., flamed maple, Indian rosewood or macassar ebony) and art craftsmanship. I think of my creations as functional pieces of art.

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?
EB: I live in Geneva Switzerland, which is an international and multicultural place.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
EB: The outset for each creation is an abstract concept. Regarding Octopia the initial idea was to design a table based on the morphology of an octopus and in the case of Commodia the desire to create a chest of drawers with organic shapes. In this context, nurturing mind and spirit through curiosity and travelling is essential to foster this creative step.The second step consists in translating the abstract concept into a physical concept. In the case of Octopia the question was how to physically arrange the body elements of an octopus to create a table with a captivating design. In the case of Labyrinth, the question was how should the drawers be designed, to create a thought-provoking front.The third step is a design step in which dimensions, proportions and curvatures are refined to create an accomplished creation. This step is the longest as many iterative steps are required to complete the object whereby the modification of one single curve can fundamentally transform its character.The last step in the process consists in the choice and combination of materials as well as their layout on the surfaces of the objects. In the case of Labyrinth, the combination of flamed maple and ebony, as well as the shifted marquetry work add to the aesthetic tension.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
EB: For me it is important to give a new design some time, to let it « age ». Putting a newly made design aside and looking at it a few days later allows looking at it with a new eye and making some improvements. Going trough this process a few times is what I call letting the design « age ».

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
EB: My design tools are paper, pen and eraser as well as CAD software and rendering software. It is also important for me to feed my inspiration with activities not directly related to design like travelling, photography and reading.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
EB: The length is variable: it can take a few months to more than one year.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
EB: My most important professional experiences were my participation in PAD Geneva in 2018, my participation in Venice Design 2017 in the context of the Venice Art Biennale, my participation in Venice Design 2016 in the context of the Venice Architecture Biennale and my participation in the exhibition "Quasi Segreti" at the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan in 2016.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
EB: I am working at two aspects of my design business: expanding my distribution through cooperation with new decorative arts galleries and the broadening of my collection of creations.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
EB: I conceive and design my creations on my own and work with my partners for the manufacturing

FS: How can people contact you?
EB: Email : eb@artenemus.com; Phone : +41 22 310 66 06


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.


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