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Interview with José Merla Laguna

Home > Designer Interviews > José Merla Laguna

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

Interview with José Merla Laguna at Monday 21st of April 2014
José Merla Laguna
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?
JM: My formation as a designer began with my family; my relatives are designers, architects, doctors, lawyers, engineers and entrepreneurs. In this environment I developed an special sensibility to aesthetics, to hard work and to understand the natural engineering of how products are developed, how they should work and how to set up what it’s needed to make it reality. I wanted to become a professional where I could combine my sides of formation: the "engineer" side, the "creative" side and the "entrepreneurial" side, I found in the Industrial Design this conjunction, where I formed myself nationally and internationally with extensive education and professional experience. I have always loved to self-thought my self, spending everything in books and visits to any type of museum wherever I was traveling, this curiosity and amusement from objects, houses, projects, technology, design, fashion, medicine, ecology, business and personal relationships let me work every project I have made with enthusiasm, enjoyment and love. Work has been always part of my nature, added to long hours of development, I have been able the see the "full picture" to grow projects in different areas of expertise with innovation.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
JM: My professional experience began as an external consultant, and grew up into a design studio. Nowadays my Design Strategy it's a piece of the mechanism for a company to succeed and we participate with a partnership in new projects to develop them from and within the factory.

FS: What is "design" for you?
JM: It's a language where the society and industrial realities communicate and express their own culture and emotions. Design can be used as a tool for achievement.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
JM: Where technology represents the soul of the new system.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
JM: I love design as a system solving, not just isolated but integrated into a methodology, where through it you solve social problems. I consider IKEA not just a smart business but a whole world of communication where they managed to create solutions to a wider range of the society. Good design can’t be isolated nowadays to a single product; it belongs to a communication strategy, a financial strategy and many factors that make business and companies vulnerable if they don't think through design. If I think in a product itself, I would definitely admire Sotssas design, timeless, clean and contemporary.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
JM: Objects made out of glass

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
JM: Steel, Glass, numeric controlled process.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
JM: During the night when I sleep, I workout my designs

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
JM: Usability, reality of the product with an specific niche of market.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
JM: Satisfaction, mind sharp feel.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
JM: Satisfaction and fire when you see that everything can be improved.

FS: What makes a design successful?
JM: The correct integration into society

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
JM: 1- To whom its designed for + aesthetics. 2- Cost of production, reality of industrialization. 3- Market reality.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
JM: Bad products are remembered forever. (economic, social and nature impact)

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
JM: Design must be a certificate products must have, but design must evolve into the integration of different fields as; communication, ecology, society, arts, etc...

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
JM: More than exhibitions are presentations. Milan will be always Milan but we need to look for New horizons - Japan / New York / Shanghai

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
JM: Inspiration come from the connection of different realities. Ideas come from the connection of neurons , the more you see, feel and learn more possibility to connect dots / neurons you have....

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?
JM: I try to make my designs timeless and less risk investment, Industrial design its an expensive investment, where products are in the market for more than 5 years, My designs intend to be contemporary thought time and more serious and a formal contribution with society. My designs come from the bones of the object, the technology of the products that I design show off the aesthetics of it.

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?
JM: Nowadays I am based in Mexico City although I still go back and forth to Italy to keep on with the projects. I would like to have an stronger language of my country but in the contemporary globalized world Industrialized products sometimes cant have such an strong accent. I am planning to develop a line of products where this will be the main factor of difference.

FS: How do you work with companies?
JM: As a consultant and with a project together.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
JM: Designers are like doctors, you wont choose the cheapest and not experienced doctor to take care about your tumor isn't it?. Design its a project worked out within the company, designers are not magicians and implementation comes from the work of both sides.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
JM: My design process care the cycle of the product, is not an isolated product which will make the difference for the company, the company has to make changes in the way communicates whit its clientele, product design its just a part of the cycle where I work with the brand, product, packaging and communication.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
JM: My 18th century chandelier, the hifi speakers I have designed, my plants (plenty of them), the alessi / rossi expresso maker, the sotssas / alessi sugar container, the limoge / white classic ceramic.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
JM: Monday where all the week appointments are made. Early in the morning to do exercise Morning for concentration and studio working Evening to visit clients or providers. Night to write down the accomplishments of the day.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
JM: Time is Your Only Limited Resource

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
JM: Positive: imagination its your frontier Negative: discipline its your frontier

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
JM: Be realistic, demand the impossible

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
JM: Curiosity, self-though, problem solver.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
JM: Adobe - Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign; Corel Draw, Rhino, Fryrender Before I used to know more than 20 programs, nowadays I don't have time to loose time.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
JM: Organization, segmentation, don't fall in love with time consuming programs.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
JM: Depends of the object, some projects I have taken 2 years some 1 month...

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
JM: How to get more clients

FS: What was your most important job experience?
JM: With tutondo in Italy and with Studio Corradini in Cina, nowadays in Mexico with ioolot.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
JM: my cv its my clientele.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
JM: Working with technology, tangible.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
JM: Implementing a group of start-up design based companies.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
JM: Both ways but mainly by myself.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
JM: I have 3 start-up companies but its secret for now

FS: How can people contact you?
JM: by my email mail@merlalaguna.com


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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