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Interview with Eric Schockmel

Home > Designer Interviews > Eric Schockmel

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

Interview with Eric Schockmel at Tuesday 15th of April 2014
Eric Schockmel
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?
ES: As a teenager I thought I was going to study finance or law, but after spending two summers jobbing at a bank, I realised that these careers weren't for me. Having played around a lot with Photoshop, graphic design quickly became the obvious choice. During my graphic design studies I developed an interest in animation and art, which in turn led me to motion graphics and installation work.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
ES: I am a freelancer for commercial motion graphics and animation, as well as an artist with a personal practice.

FS: What is "design" for you?
ES: Design is a creative process channelled to fulfil a commercial brief. It should aim to be intuitive and efficient.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
ES: Moving images.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
ES: I recently came across a video game called "Monument Valley" by the studio ustwo, which I think incorporates all the best practices in design. The interaction from the user is perfectly integrated with the aesthetics. Every design choice has a coherent logic behind it, and the usability is gradually and intuitively introduced, making a perfect interaction possible even to a non-gaming audience.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
ES: A poster for a festival event.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
ES: Anything that shows moving images.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
ES: At night.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
ES: I try to find aesthetics which serve a narrative purpose.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
ES: Complete euphoria, sometimes interspersed with utter despair.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
ES: A certain pride that perhaps my work serves a useful purpose.

FS: What makes a design successful?
ES: A design is successful when you can't separate beauty and usability.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
ES: I first consider whether a design is easy to use or understand. A creator can go as far as they want in their own creative universe as long as they allow the audience access to understand that universe.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
ES: To be efficient, sustainable, and to add beauty to everyday life.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
ES: The optimal future for design will be when things have become so natural and intuitive to experience that we forget that a process design is even involved.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
ES: My last exhibition was at Gallerie Helga Maria Bischoff in Berlin. I'm particularly looking forward to an installation I am planning later this year at Luxembourg's Casino Forum d'art contemporain.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
ES: Science fiction, computation, artificial intelligence, computer games, art history.

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?
ES: Not sure I can be very objective about this. I'd rather let others establish where I stand in a global design context.

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?
ES: I'm originally from Luxembourg but live in London at the moment. I feel that perhaps coming from a small country with less cultural baggage as most larger countries has equipped me with a certain permeability to different influences. It broadens the horizon in terms of accepting outside influences, but at the same time it doesn't make it easier to find one's own creative identity.

FS: How do you work with companies?
ES: To the best of my abilities.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
ES: A company should be aware of how a designer's style fits in with the goals and intentions of their product or message. But that awareness should not keep them from trying out new things and allowing the designer to make the choices that they are good at.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
ES: I start with a lot of research and considerations about whether there are specific constraints from a brief. Ideas and solutions usually start appearing from the start, and then it is merely a matter of trying out design options.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
ES: I'll name just the first one that comes to mind. It's a Nouspelter Péckvillchen. Look it up, they are cool.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
ES: It usually involves a lot of coffee and work. But not only.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
ES: Always keep learning.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
ES: The positive side definitely includes the elation of being able to see your creations and design choices being useful or enjoyable to an audience. The negatives can include the pressure of having to control your creativity, which sometimes flows in unpredictable ways.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
ES: You can get away with breaking the rules, but never with not knowing the rules.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
ES: Mastering your tools, and the awareness of context.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
ES: 3D modelling and animation software, video post-production and editing, and some audio design tools.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
ES: By planning ahead and allowing a design to mature either for as long as possible.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
ES: Depends on the object.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
ES: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
ES: Freelancing for all kinds of clients while still at university. It gave me great groundwork in learning how to design for people, and not only for myself.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
ES: Some of my most memorable clients include Intel, which I got to make an experimental animation, entitled "The Great Western Singularity" for. And I enjoy working with interactive studio unit9 on anything that I possibly can.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
ES: I most enjoy projects that combine two elements: The design work should be close enough to my speciality and skills that I am at ease with the medium, but at the same time be new and challenging enough to present the opportunity to learn something new as well.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
ES: I would like to continue designing location-specific moving image work, and I'm hoping to direct an animated documentary in the near future, pending funding.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
ES: Depends on the brief and the client.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
ES: My design "Vestibule" plays out in a narrative universe which I am constantly developing. The overall project is called "What If You Created Artificial Life And It Started Worshipping You". More from this is already under way.

FS: How can people contact you?
ES: By email: contact@ericschockmel.net

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
ES: I'm always looking for interesting collaborations and compelling challenges. Get in touch!


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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