Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Ricardo Graham Ferreira (RG) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Ricardo Graham Ferreira by clicking here.
Interview with Ricardo Graham Ferreira at Thursday 21st of April 2016
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?
RG: Well, I have always liked to draw and to build things, since a little kid. Wooden toys and furnitures have always been part of my life. My parents used to decorate home with many wooden furnitures. So when I grew up and started to live by my self, I began to do my own furniture. Designing became something natural to my self. Something I like very much doing.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
RG: oEbanista, my studio, was created by my self on 2007. "Ebanista" means woodworker, in portuguese. The name "oEbanista" came up after a newspaper article about my work, titled "o ebanista". Which means: the woodworker. My company is located in Nova Friburgo, a very nice city, with fresh weather and green mountains, 2 hours away from Rio. It is a small city with great woodworking tradition.
FS: What is "design" for you?
RG: To design for me means doing something I am inspired to do, in the most conscious and well crafted manner. For me, designing and making are not apart.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
RG: I love to build things out of wood. I like the feeling and the touch of wood. Usually I build seats and chairs, but not only that. I love organic forms, shapes that attracts us to touch.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
RG: I love chairs. Specially wooden chairs. But I love other things too, like tools. I like kitchens tools, woodworking tools. Specially when they are hand tools. I love the feeling and the design of things made to be used by hand. They are so attractive.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
RG: A chair. I designed it to my company.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
RG: I am a designer but a craftsman. So I love wood and woodworking hand tools. But I love metal and glass and rocks too.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
RG: How can I say that... It can happens any time. I like very much when the sun is shining, and the day is fresh. I like a lot to be at my workshop. It's a place that inspires me very much. Inspirations usually takes place when I'm working with wood, using the tools I like the most, touching the wood.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
RG: I would say the beauty and the form of the piece. But I think those are a result of something deeper in my objectives. So, I focus on doing something that has a good, a harmonic interaction with us, the users of the design.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
RG: I can have many kinds of emotions. Usually I feel very happy when I'm creating and crafting something I am inspired to do.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
RG: I feel happiness.
FS: What makes a design successful?
RG: May be, to be created by someone who loves it, and to be found by someone who needs it.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
RG: My feeling about the piece.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
RG: To be sustainable is to be conscious. A designer must be as conscious as he or she can be.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
RG: My last exhibition was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was happening until the 13th of March. Me, among others designers from Rio de Janeiro, at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition was called "o design a a madeira", meaning, "wood and design". Next one, may be this year in Rio Design Week, and I hope in Europe, in september. But it will be confirmed.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
RG: Inspirations comes from ideas, places, friends, but mostly from an inner inspiration. When I'm feeling well, centered, when I'm cool, this is when I usually have great inspirations. I really love to create at the workshop. It is there where many creations happens.
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?
RG: I entered the world of design because of my love for woodworking. So working with wood defines a lot my designs. But I usually don't give a style definition to my designs. They are an expression of my self, of my memories, and the things I love. I use a lot my hands to help me design. And I use my body too. We all have knowledge in our bodies. We must use them to make good designs. I have used chairs all my life, so, I can feel when I'm comfortable. That is what I do.
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?
RG: You know, for me, creating something, is expressing things that I lived, that I feel, that I do, that I like. So, if I am inserted in a culture, it is in what I design. I live In Brazil. And there are so much more things to see and to feel, than the ocean I love, the sky I see, the mountains that inspires me. When I lived in Italy, that atmosphere was part of me. What I design is a expression of what I am. I learned woodworking in Italy, developed it in France, and produce it here in Brazil. All of that makes part of my designing.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
RG: When I design, I usually draw the idea first. But some times the idea shows it self when I'm working with a hand tool or by looking to a piece of wood that I find very interesting at the workshop. What I mean is that not every detail of a creation comes from a previous thought. Some times my hands and the tools I am using influences the design. One good example of that, are the "Sela" stools I have created in 2014.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
RG: I'm going to say something that helped me a lot: do it with love.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
RG: To embrace your ideas and to be awake.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
RG: I really love talking about tools. My tools are mostly woodworking tools. Such as: chisels, saws, planers. And of course pencils and rulers too. But you know, when talking about tools, many things comes to mind. My hands are important and very fine tools to my work. My body as well, it is such an important tool for a well made ergonomic design. So, in a way, my hands and body are at the same time extremely precise instruments and also amazing sources of inspiration too.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
RG: Time management is not my specialty.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
RG: I can take from weeks to months. It depends a lot on the idea, if the workshop is suited to producing it.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
RG: I guess: How did you come to designing this particular piece?
FS: Who are some of your clients?
RG: Mostly my clients are particulars.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
RG: I enjoy very much chairs.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
RG: I mainly develop my designs my self.
FS: How can people contact you?
RG: By Phone, email, website, by post and social media, such as Facebook and Instagram. Just look for "oebanista".
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