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Interview with Wouter Van Riet Paap

Home > Designer Interviews > Wouter Van Riet Paap

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Wouter Van Riet Paap (WV) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Wouter Van Riet Paap by clicking here.

Interview with Wouter Van Riet Paap at Monday 14th of April 2014
Wouter Van Riet Paap
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?
WV: I am an architect. I graduated from University in 2006. Before I graduated I also studied Art-history for a few years. So my interest has always been broader than just architecture. Long processes and budgets that are allways under pressure made my enthusiasm shift towards 'smaller' projects, like furniture.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
WV: De Ontwerpdivisie is my answer to the changing world of architecture in The Netherlands. Making my own projects, taking initiative, and looking for spin-offs.

FS: What is "design" for you?
WV: "Design" is the result of searching for the essence of an object.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
WV: Furniture and buildings.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
WV: Tavolo Livelli, the layered table, because it shows how beautifull simplicity can be.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
WV: A villa in Driebergen, The Netherlands.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
WV: Wood and steel are my favorite materials.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
WV: At the beginning of a design, when I make my first sketches.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
WV: How well the initial concept is still visible in the design.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
WV: Happiness and frustration.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
WV: Fulfillment

FS: What makes a design successful?
WV: When people like it, when it is usefull to people.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
WV: First I consider whether I still like the design.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
WV: I think we (designers) should not harm our environment and by creating beauty I hope society gets a little more beautiful as well.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
WV: Design will be more personal, by using 3D printing and custom design over the internet.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
WV: I have not held an exhibition before.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
WV: My design inspiration primarily comes from my everyday live: When I need someting I design it, hopefully someone else needs it as well.

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?
WV: My design style is minimalism. I first explored this style in architecture during my studies and later implemented in my furniture design. I like to keep things simple.

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?
WV: I live in The Netherlands. The Netherlands have a strong tradition of design: Dutch design. I personally admire designers like Gerrit Rietveld.

FS: How do you work with companies?
WV: I work with companies that I have learned to know in my work as an architect. I like to make them part of my succes.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
WV: Look at their designs, their way of working and who they are. Don't just consider their price.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
WV: First I sketch as a way to get ideas. When an idea is right I make 3D models to show to the client. I use their input to perfect it and than finalize the design in AutoCad.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
WV: Orange Slice, Eames DAR, Eames DSW, Artemide Tolomeo and the Tavolo Livelli

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
WV: I go to work at the architecture office I work every day. When I finish there at about 18:00 I go home and start working on my own designs. It is quite intensive but the feeling when finishing a great design is worth it.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
WV: Follow your dreams and don't let anyone tell you it is too difficult. You can do it!

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
WV: Positive: Being creative is wonderful. People are happy when you design something especially for them. Negative: The importance of money/budget, especially as an architect.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
WV: Keep it simple.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
WV: To be able to visualize your ideas and to be able to make people enthusiastic for your ideas.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
WV: Handsketching, SketchUp, Rendering, AutoCad, Photoshop. Inspiration is found in my everyday life and own imagination.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
WV: Just work until you are too tired to continue, there is not a lot of managing involved.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
WV: That is always different.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
WV: How do you get these ideas?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
WV: To experience the power of your own enthusiasm.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
WV: Housing companies, private clients, developers.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
WV: I enjoy designing for my own house the most. Because I am probably my most critical client.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
WV: Expanding my collection of furniture with storage space. And selling them.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
WV: Mostly by myself.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
WV: I am currently designing a sofa with the same principles as the Tavolo Livelli.

FS: How can people contact you?
WV: They should sent me an email at: info@ontwerpdivisie.nl

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
WV: No thank you.


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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