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Interview with Steinn Sigurðsson

Home > Designer Interviews > Steinn Sigurðsson

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

Interview with Steinn Sigurðsson at Tuesday 15th of April 2014
Steinn Sigurðsson
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?
SS: Design, shape and looks of things didn´t interest me until I was about 18 or 19 years old. Then I found a need to rebuild and redesign and modernise things like radios, clocks and furnitures. Although my profession was not in the design field I used all my free time for designing and drawing and have done that ever since.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SS: KulturogKaos is the name of a company that me and a colleague established five - six years ago. We specialize in making prototypes of lamps and tables but are preparing to make prototypes of sofas and chairs as well.

FS: What is "design" for you?
SS: Design is very important to me and the way things in my surrounding look and are designed matter a lot to me. I enjoy good design in the smallest things, such as packaging, cutlery to furniture and cars. New design"twist" and rule breaking is the first attempt in developing new items.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SS: I like to design almost everything and have designed lamps, furnitures, household items and cars.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
SS: My most favourite design was when I participated in an international design contest to design and build a body over an electric car chassis that only had 145 cm wheel base. It was a challenge to draw such a small car that still had to look like a car rather than a square cube. But the result turned out great and I won the first prize for it. I have to add my second favourite design which was also a car, which I named Xtremer and is a 4x4 super car built for the Icelandic wilderness.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SS: The first thing I designed for a company was an exterior finish for digital "taxi fare meter" which was to be put on a taxi car dash board

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
SS: My favourite material to work with is aluminum, plastic, plywood, iron and metaltubes.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SS: Sometimes it can be difficult to be creative and solutions don´t always come when you need them but I find that sometimes the best ideas come when I relax and when I jog I often get my best ideas.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SS: I first focus on apearance or looks, second on looks, third on looks. Simplicity and new solutions are important.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SS: It is always exciting and challenging to start working on new design and ideas

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SS: Sense of achievement and excitement when an idea works out well.

FS: What makes a design successful?
SS: In my view a successful design is when usage is not compromised by looks or appearance.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SS: Originality, looks and usagecome first.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SS: I think it should be the designer´s responsibility to think of the environment and use environfriendly material and stay away from wasteful developements.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
SS: A combination of simplicity, usage and decorativeness is the answer. In my mind design is always becoming more and more important

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SS: I exhibited four new tables at DesignMarch which was held at the new Orchestra Center, Harpa, here in Reykjavik in March 27th - 30th 2014. I would like to show my work in Europe, preferably in Italy, as I think my design would be appreciated there.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SS: The harsh and challenging landscape in Iceland has had great influence on my work and sometimes when I travel in our extreme nature it gives me ideas. For example a few years go I was traveling in a remote part of Iceland I pictured in my mind a car, Xtremer, that I later designed and built.

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?
SS: Firstly I try to be original and different. I like to have my design be modern simplistic and hopefully rulebreaking.

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?
SS: I live in Iceland, a land of extremes, with hot springs,active volcanoes and glaciers. The landscape and extreme weather has given me inspiration and has affected my design more than the culture. The pros of living in Iceland is that the country is vast and everybody has a lot of space and that helps to have an open mind.

FS: How do you work with companies?
SS: My small company KulturogKaos design and make prototypes and then we try to find companys that are interested in producing.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
SS: My suggestion is that the designer should be able to work as independantly as possible. For a company to select a good designer it is important for the designer to bring something substancial to the table, such as a working prototype

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SS: First I get an idea then I design it, often numerous times, and then develope it and finally make prototypes.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
SS: My favourite items are all items I have designed and built myself, stand lamp, table lamp, a concrete TV cabinet, sofa table (Kaos) and small tables that I call Sills that you bring with you and use next to you wherever you are, called Place to Place.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
SS: Each day is different, depending on if I am working on a new idea or if the idea is further along and I can start thinking about making a prototype. And at that time it is convenient to live in a small city like Reykjavik where it only takes a few minutes to get the material as most of the suppliers are close by.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SS: In order to become a successful designer it is necessary that it is your dream and you have to realize that it is a lot of work and never be happy with your work but redesign again and again.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SS: The positive side of being a designer is to see an item that you created that wouldn´t be there if it wasn´t for your work.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SS: My golden rule is to be original.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SS: To be able to see, think and draw in three dimensions

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
SS: All my sketches are done on the drawing table and on later stages drawn in the computer.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SS: Sometimes making a design works like a dream but otherwise it can be very time consuming.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SS: Sometimes it can take years to perfect an item, like a household item that I made a few years ago, called Visio Vac, which is a culling device for vacuum cleaners.

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

FS: What was your most important job experience?
SS: My most important job experience was when making the Visio Vac device that includes hundreds of hours in design and mechanical drawings along with numerous travels to an engineer in Germany and business partners in Denmark and trips to Trade shows and to China for the production.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
SS: My culling device has been sold in department stores in Iceland, Sweden, Denmark and a few European countries. My furnitures are sold under the name KulturogKaos mostly on the internet.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
SS: I enjoy most to design small,environment friendly micro cars, as I feel that is most challenging.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SS: Chairs, sofas but also micro cars

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
SS: I develop my designs myself, but also work as a team.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
SS: I have always work in progress but don´t want to discuss tha for now, I prefer to talk about the work I have already done.

FS: How can people contact you?
SS: Best by e-mail: steinnsig@simnet.is ; kulturogkaos@gmail.com

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
SS: No, I think this has been very thorough


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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