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Interview with Ufuk Bircan Özkan

Home > Designer Interviews > Ufuk Bircan Özkan

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

Interview with Ufuk Bircan Özkan at Monday 31st of October 2016
Ufuk Bircan Özkan
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?
U: In my childhood I had been playing with play dough and building bricks mostly. I also loved drawing at that time. I didn't usually buy new toys, instead I built my toys from parts or pieces of my old toys. These were the early clues of my interest in design. Then I was interested in cars in my adolescence. Being an industrial designer became a solid target for me when I was 16.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
U: I currently design passenger seats for commercial vehicles in Inova Otomotiv, in Bursa/Turkey. You can find more information about Inova on its website: www.inovaotomotiv.com

FS: What is "design" for you?
U: As design is one of the oldest activities in the human history, it is an inevitable daily habit for me too. Design makes a progress for your life, it makes the change between now and tomorrow.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
U: I like to design anything that makes people say "I need it!", regardless of the product's category.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
U: I can say that my favorite design is always the one I will design next. I don't have a specific favorite one because it may slow me down in means of being productive.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
U: The first mass-produced product that I design is a bellboy trolley for hotels. Details are available at: http://ufuboid.blogspot.de/2011/06/peb511-bellboy-arabas.html

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
U: The material I use for a product design depends on the project. Some products need to be produced from acrylic materials where some need conventional platforms like milling, welding and mounting.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
U: I feel most creative when I have an idea even I don't expect myself to come up with.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
U: I think that a product has a value if it is usable. So I focus on the product's function, and then form follows function.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
U: In the beginning of a design process I feel ambitious and I don't want to call a design "finished" until I feel satisfied.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
U: Realization of a design only proves that it can be produced. I am elated on hearing the high demand from the market.

FS: What makes a design successful?
U: I call a design successful only if it blends function, aesthetics and commercial value well together. If any one of these features is missing then it lacks some design quality.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
U: Being good or bad for a design depends on the solution it offers to the root problem. We should not judge products in every objective, but in the subject it covers.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
U: In fact, everybody is a designer, but a professional is the conscious one. So a professional designer should take action and be a leader that care about the human and earth. Every single subject including energy consumption, production materials and effects of operating the product should be considered as a chance to take social responsibility.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
U: Design is being more and more digitized. Through the evolution of design from the first human; design chronologically focused on function, commercial value and aesthetics. Now it becomes more interactive with user experience with the support of digital interfaces.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
U: I never had personal exhibitions but my designs are already exhibited several times: 04.06.2009 - 07.06.2009, Ankara/Turkey: METU ID Graduation Projects Exhibition 18.01.2012 - 21.01.2012, Antalya/Turkey: Anfaş Hotel Equpiments Expo 28.03.2012 - 01.04.2012, İstanbul/Turkey: Hostech by TUSİD Expo - Hospitality Technologies Exhibition 21.11.2013 - 22.11.2013, Chennai/India: Product Design Days http://www.designamid.com/magazine.php?pageno=132 10.05.2013 - 12.05.2013, Gdansk/Poland: About Design http://www.designamid.com/magazine.php?pageno=197 15.04.2013 - 27.04.2013, Ex-Chiesa di San Francesco, Como/Italy: MOOD https://competition.adesignaward.com/gallery-expand.php?t=2&y=2012 17.04.2014 - 18.04.2014, Bursa/Turkey: Otomotiv Tasarım Yarışması Sergisi (Automotive Design Contest Exhibition) 04.08.2014 - 25.08.2014, Broletto di Como, Como/Italy: MOOD http://competition.adesignaward.com/gallery-expand.php?t=2&y=2013 25.09.2014 - 02.10.2014, Hannover/Germany: IAA Commercial Vehicles 2014, 65th IAA International Motor Show - Commercial Vehicles 11.10.2014 - 14.10.2014, Chengdu/China: Master of Design - Chengdu Design Week http://competition.adesignaward.com/gallery-expand.php?t=2&y=2014 04.12.2014 - 06.12.2014, İstanbul/Turkey: Türkiye İnovasyon Haftası Sergisi (Turkey Innovation Week)

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
U: I have inspirations often from the environment of the object that I will design. I had inspirations from architecture when I had been designing hotel equipments. Now I have my inspirations from humans and automotive while designing passenger seats.

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?
U: I like Rams' design philosophy which is pure and functional, but the world has changed in time. While keeping purity, I try to use more organic forms and surfaces with industrial finishes. This style helps me blend human and industrial products at some point.

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?
U: I live in Bursa, Turkey. As I have worked in global companies since the begining of my professional life, I tried to avoid my culture affecting my designs. I have to focus on the design brief as it describes the target market well.

FS: How do you work with companies?
U: I usually prefer working as an in-house designer which keeps me really comfortable.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
U: That question actually needs a literature-long answer. Every company has its own characteristics and needs. It's an important HR job I think.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
U: Positives of being a designer are mostly seen in daily life. It effects every habit you have. You see things in different perspectives and you have more empathy and sympathy in daily life. Probably the most disturbing negative is that your brain rarely rests. You may have thoughts about design every moment.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
U: Unfortunately "Which software are you using to design?". I have to declare that design does not require a software, or its quality does not depend on the software you use. It is same as asking a poet "Which pen do you use while writing poems?"

FS: Who are some of your clients?
U: I have designed products for market-leading brands including Burosit, Evinoks and Grammer.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
U: In short term, I want to add more value to my company's product range. I want to be in automotive industry as a designer in the future. It is one of my oldest dreams, from my childhood.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
U: I don't have a team, I prefer designing my own products. Of course, I get engineering support when needed.

FS: How can people contact you?
U: Anybody can contact me on http://ufuboid.blogspot.com.tr/


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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