Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Anna Moraitou (AM) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Anna Moraitou by clicking here.
Interview with Anna Moraitou at Thursday 17th 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?
AM: Born in 1977 in Athens, Greece, I studied Architecture. Since graduation, I have worked for several architecture firms and since 2008 I've been a member of Desarch Architects. I became an architect, wanting to change the world, instead architecture changed me. Now everything is about form, colour, utility, design, and aesthetics.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
AM: Desarch architects set architecture as an anthropocentric art that brings man back to the natural environment. Our main activities range from architectural studies of public and private buildings, urban configurations and landscape, protection of archaeological and historical sites, monuments and listed buildings, with emphasis on applications of new technologies and bioclimatic principles, ensuring less wastage and therefore lower cost.
FS: What is "design" for you?
AM: For me "design" is a way of thinking and a way of living. It means being inspired and creative.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
AM: Apart from entire buildings, I like designing most furniture, decorative items, lighting and everyday objects - from cloths and accessories to tableware. I love design in every aspect of living.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
AM: Nature itself.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
AM: Interior of a house complex.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
AM: It must be uncoated concrete. I love its roughness and its flexibility. It can be used everywhere, either as a structural material or a furniture. Inside or outside. It can be casted and take every form I want.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
AM: While I'm sketching. When I put my thoughts on paper.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
AM: Usability, minimalistic forms, flexibility.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
AM: Fullfillness mostly. Being creative and unique always makes me happy.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
AM: I am very proud realizing an idea. I also feel powerful, creative and useful.
FS: What makes a design successful?
AM: Utility, economy of materials and space, uniqueness, flexibility.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
AM: To be unobtrusive, simple and understandable.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
AM: First of all to be honest, not to "manipulate" the consumer and second to design objects that people actually need for their well being.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
AM: I think the future is in recycling and creating with new materials.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
AM: It was in 2013, at "Greek design=good design" with other Greek designers, in ATHENS/GREECE.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
AM: Nature, light, materials, colour. Life.
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?
AM: I'm influenced by movements such as modernism and minimalism. I love forms that are clear and practical. The notion that "Form follows function" is my main approach.
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?
AM: I live by the sea in Athens, Greece. The combination of the industrial scenery and seascape is what I see every day through my work space. Greek cultural heritage has affected my designs, as the cultural and economic crisis of nowadays as well. Design is not affordable or approachable to most of Greek people.
FS: How do you work with companies?
AM: I am a free-lancer designer and architect. I work with other companies mostly by project.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
AM: A good designer shouldn't only produce good work, they should also be realistic and cooperative. I think competitions like this one and PR Campaigns which not do they promote the designs but also focus on the designer as well, are a smart way for companies to check out new designers and select the ones that suits them best.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
AM: The following are the main steps of my design process. First of all I am assigned a task and I Define the Problem. I am interested in the customer and his specific needs. Background research and specification of requirements is the next step. Later I work on several ideas and I choose the best one to employ. I create a prototype and test it. I improve my product, by revising and making the appropiate changes, even redesigning it if needed.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
AM: my kid's bed, a sofa, my sunglasses, the coffee machine and above all our coffee table.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
AM: I am a working mother and wife. I design anytime and anywhere possible, during the day. Sometimes at night too. I use public transportation to the office and back. I try to find time for photography, reading and walks with my family.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
AM: It's very useful to have a schetchbook, because good ideas come unexpectedly. Give your ideas time.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
AM: It is very fullfilling to create objects and spaces that influence people's life. It is really time and energy consuming to promote them.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
AM: Be you - isn't it the golden rule for anything?
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
AM: Patience, persistence, limitless inspiration.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
AM: Mostly a pencil and a piece of paper. Design books and internet can be great sources of inspiration. With software like Autocad and Archicad I produce constructional drawings and 3ds MAX for rendering and simulation. Sometimes I even make draft models of cardboard.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
AM: I design every where, even on small pieces of paper, every idea that crosses my head, good or bad. I let time pass and when it is needed I "recall" the idea and my sketches and work further on them.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
AM: Gathering information and conducting research takes about a week. Then usually the idea comes unexpectedgly, while working on a task or just it is inspired by something else. Brainstorming different designs can take a couple of hours or months. It is the most unpredictible part of work. You have to explore and compare any possible solutions. After selecting the most promising idea you draw and decide materials, size, colours. Then depending on the difficulties of producing it, it can take a couple of days or weeks for the prototype. Afterwards you make any changes needed and produce it again. This shows that -depending on the size, use and construction - it can take from a month to a whole year.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
AM: what inspires you?
FS: What was your most important job experience?
AM: While designing my own home, I realized that design is good only when it's useful. Being both the architect and the clien was a lifetime experience.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
AM: Home and public space furniture, because you can influence people's everyday activities and rest in silence, without them even knowing.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
AM: I 'll keep designing...
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
AM: Lighting products and tableware.
FS: How can people contact you?
AM: Through my e-mail email@example.com, personally or DESARCH's website, blog and socialmedia: address: Αgiou Konstantinou 52, 183 44, moschato, Greece phone: +30 210 94 00 282 site: www.desarch.gr http://desarchgr.tumblr.com/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Desarch-Architects-Web-Designers/169580156450798 https://www.facebook.com/ObjectAndArt?ref=hl
FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
AM: I would like to thank A design Award and members of jury for this wonderful experience.
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