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Interview with Matthew Heywood

Home > Designer Interviews > Matthew Heywood

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

Interview with Matthew Heywood at Tuesday 15th of April 2014

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?
MH: I have always been really creative, right from a very early age I was always making things and drawing. I am a great fan of Lego and I think it was this early obsession that prompted me to look to architecture as a possible career. I love the way that it requires a really broad span of abilities and interests.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
MH: I worked of 7 years with Future Systems which was a wonderful time. It was a great team of people with tremendous talent and we were lucky enough to work on some fantastic projects. When I left, I couldn’t imagine that I could work in the same way for anyone else and therefore took the bold step to start up on my own. Over the last few years my work has been focused on smaller domestic projects and I have loved being able to work on every aspect of each project.

FS: What is "design" for you?
MH: Gosh that’s a hard question. For me, design is about the beauty of function, but also about simplicity and economy of materials. One test is when something seems so obviously right that you cannot imagine any other way it would be. But more than that, it has a beauty that transcends its purpose.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
MH: Absolutely anything. Architects want to design everything they see. It is probably our biggest flaw.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
MH: Very hard to pick a favourite and my mind fills with so many options. The original VW Beetle, Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair, The Farnsworth House or an Apple iPhone…..and a hundred other things.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
MH: I am not sure I can remember that far back. The first thing I did at Future System was draw up a sketch of a “no cycling” sign for our little lime green pedestrian bridge at West India Quay in London.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
MH: Glass

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
MH: When no one want me to design anything.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
MH: That’s a trick question. Good design should not prioritise. It is about the balance between beauty and function.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
MH: Delight and despair.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
MH: Delight and despair.

FS: What makes a design successful?
MH: It works and looks good.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
MH: If it works and looks good.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
MH: We are very responsible for some aspects of the environment and the environment can impact society more than anyone realises.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
MH: I believe that good design is more important than ever and people are becoming more and more conscious of it and make choices accordingly.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
MH: I haven’t exhibited my work.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
MH: Jan Kaplicky taught me to look everywhere for inspiration regardless of scale, function or material. In particular I like to look to God’s creation for inspiration, whether this is the structure of a tree or the colour and texture of a sea shell.

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?
MH: I am not big on categorising my design, but I would say that I am firmly routed in modernism with a look to the future.

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?
MH: I live in London. I do feel a cultural heritage and I love my city and country, but I am also open to influence from anywhere and I actively seek out inspiration from all over the world.

FS: How do you work with companies?
MH: Very well I hope.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
MH: Look for designers who have designed something you like (whatever it is). Meet them and make sure they are someone that you enjoy being with.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
MH: I work for much longer on each project than anyone else imagines. It is the only way I can do it.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
MH: Impossible to say. Some ideas come really quickly, others take weeks to develop into something good.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
MH: People frequently ask me to tell them what questions I am frequently asked.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
MH: Working alongside the brilliant Jan Kaplicky.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
MH: Charlie, Claire, Jonathan, Bob, Stephen, Stefanie, Fiona, Nick, Tony, Oliver, Sarah, Noah & Jonah. They are all lovely people.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
MH: I think I might have a cup of coffee.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
MH: I like to work on my own for the initial design ideas and them open it up to others to contribute.

FS: How can people contact you?
MH: They can email me at matthew@matthewheywood.com. I love receiving emails from real human beings.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
MH: You haven’t asked me about my obsession with Chelsea Football Club……maybe next time.


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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