Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Per Ploug (PP) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Per Ploug by clicking here.
Interview with Per Ploug at Thursday 10th 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?
PP: I Was born and grew up in Denmark. After school I went through third level education receiving a B.sc.Eng. degree, with emphasis on house building. However, both through school and third level I leaned towards art and design - In hindsight, I should have gone the route of architecture or industrial design... but I did not have the necessary points to qualify for those courses. During studies I got an opportunity to go abroad as an Erasmus student and came to Ireland for a year, studying building services engineering. There I met my wife to be. Went back to Denmark for two years to finish my studies and came permanently to Ireland in 1992. At that time there were no engineering jobs to be got, so I (a bit by chance) got the opportunity to set up my own business as a kitchen designer, being the agent/retailer of a Danish kitchen brand. ... Looking back, it was probably the best thing that could happen. I would never have survived the routine work of an engineer for long. By having a creative mind, I was able to design beautiful kitchens that were a lot different from the competition. I gained a lot of recognition for that. Having the engineering mind as well though gave me another advantage. I could go to a client's house and see opportunities to further enhance a space by proposing some relatively simple amendments to the structure of the building.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
PP: I have now been a kitchen designer for over 20 years... Designing furniture is a new venture. I needed a table for my kitchen showroom and thought it would be fun to design my own. I really liked what I designed and decided to make one. The reaction from people seeing it (even without prompting for one) was incredible and I quickly sold the first two to kitchen clients... I then designed a bench to compliment... and then I thought it would a great opportunity to set up a separate company to my kitchen business... Pemara Design was born. Subsequently I designed a chair as well, which I am considering entering into next year's A' Design awards. I am (so far) a one man operation, aspiring to grow this business into something bigger, developing export markets, other products, other material combinations, outsourcing, etc.
FS: What is "design" for you?
PP: I am very much influenced by the Danish design philosophies of the great masters of the 1950's. Arne Jacobsen, Hans J Wegner, Poul Kærholm, etc. Design was about form and function going hand-in-hand. Three most important words, Function, Comfort and Ambience. If a furniture piece does not tick these three boxes, it is nothing but a piece. Good design draws the eye, good design sparks reaction, good design tickles the senses.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PP: I am a lover of furniture design... That's what I will stick to... For now. I think I will have to back to college and study design more seriously if I was to attempt anything else.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
PP: I love wood... It is organic, renewable, environmentally sustainable.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PP: Late afternoon/evening... That's when I doodle, and sometimes come home late because I have suddenly found a spark. Once I am on the right track I work very concentrated... Most of my work is created within hours or a couple of days, rather than weeks or months. However, tweaking and re-assessment can take months, but the basic idea is born within hours.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
PP: Initially a lot of pondering... My engineering brain kicks in early, to keep a design rooted in practicality (making sure of the structural soundness), but once the spark is there I feel energised and excited... and creative.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
PP: It is always a proud and exciting moment when you see the finished product... and that the product has turned out to be everything you visualised and hoped for.
FS: What makes a design successful?
PP: FCA... Function, Comfort and Ambience
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PP: Design is hugely influenced by looks, so the visual is the first thing... If a design looks good (from all angles), I will explore its function and comfort... If the latter two fails, it is a bad design.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PP: A designer's first and foremost responsibility is to create happiness and wellbeing, without compromising our environment.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
PP: My kitchen, my sitting room chairs, my Georg Jensen beer bottle opener, my artist wife's mosaic fireplace, my Microsoft Surface tablet
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
PP: I develop my designs, but my artist wife is a good critic... Usually though I create a design, prototype it and then show it to a select group of people whos opinion I respect.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
PP: Just finished a chair, which I am very happy about... A three legged chair with a back rest inspired by the Graphium genus of butterflys - again made from wood.
FS: How can people contact you?
PP: By email - email@example.com
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