Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Sebastian Popa (SP) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Sebastian Popa by clicking here.
Interview with Sebastian Popa at Saturday 31st of January 2015
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?
SP: My interest in arts and design was developed since I was a child. As a result of this, at ten years old I enrolled at an arts school, followed by an arts high school in my hometown, where I studied fine arts and design. Next, I enrolled at The National University of Arts, Bucharest, graduating in 2010 with a BA Product Design Degree. Wishing to continue my Arts and Design education, I chose to study at the MA Industrial Design Course from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design London from which I graduated in the summer of 2012. This represented a higher education experience consisting of conceptual, commercial, creative, critical design approaches, workshops, lectures, exhibitions and much more, all held at the heart of the Design Community, in London and other cities throughout Europe.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SP: I am an industrial designer from Romania. In my work I try to experiment on various areas of the design discipline, trying to diversify my design language. Besides the commercial part of the design world, I am also interested in the areas of conceptual and critical design.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SP: I like to do various design works as I think in this way i can expand my knowledge and improve my skills.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SP: Some furniture pieces.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SP: All the time.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SP: I can't say there is a specific one, I try to approach design as a whole.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SP: More excitement
FS: What makes a design successful?
SP: The design itself
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SP: Originality, usefulness, aesthetics
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SP: To make meaningful things that can improve the quality of life or that can make people happy without damaging the environment.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SP: "NOISE: The Art of Protest", 20th April - 30th June 2013, People's History Museum, Manchester
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SP: My ideas come through Divine inspiration.
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?
SP: I try to get to the essence of the object I want to create, or of the problem I have to solve. Then I try to get rid of all the unnecessary things around it, and stick to the point. I try to make my objects quite straightforward. Nevertheless, I think my projects are very different one from the other. This is because now I work for clients that have different requirements. Of course, each project is influenced by my vision, but I have to stick with the briefs I receive and this makes them very different.
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?
SP: I live in Constanta, Romania. Pros: Being home, having my family and friends close to me. Living in my hometown allowed me to feel very comfortable with my work. This means I know where to find materials and manufacturers for my ideas. Cons: There are not that many design exhibitions around here.
FS: How do you work with companies?
SP: In a very professional manner
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
SP: Give some freedom to the designer, he knows what he's doing. Companies can select a good designer by analyzing the designer’s portfolio. If they feel they identify with the designer’s approach, it means it is highly possible that the relationship between the company and the designer will be fruitful.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SP: My main methodology is to carefully analyze the problem I’m dealing with. Also, a good idea is to observe the user’s behavior related to that specific problem. This can give valuable information that can contribute to the development of the specific design. I often do a lot of sketches, then I can do a 3D model, and after that I build some physical models or a prototype. This can help me choose the best idea.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
SP: Everyday I try to read for at least 1 hour, and I try to do at least one hour of sport. The rest of the day is related mostly to my work.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SP: Make most of your time and try to improve your abilities as much as you can. Once passed, time doesn't come back.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SP: Positives: you always do something different, there is no routine. Also it is a highly creative profession that puts your brain to challenge. Negatives: Sometimes people don't appreciate this profession at its real value.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SP: Try to make something meaningful.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SP: I think sketching, model making can be helpful and of course, the different design software that is essential today.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
SP: Well, my design approach is different. Sometimes I use to do a lot of sketching, other times I do models. I also I use 2D and 3D modelling software.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SP: I try to establish my own gradual deadlines, so I will not run out of time when designing something.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SP: It really depends on its difficulty. Sometimes the design process can be really quick and take one day, other times several months. It depends on what I'm designing.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
SP: I lately enjoy doing critical design works as I think this is a really interesting design approach that can generate unexpected results.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
SP: I mostly develop my designs by myself, but I have also been involved in team projects
FS: How can people contact you?
SP: I have all my contact details on my website: www.sebastianpopa.com Also, I have a linkedin profile: www.linkedin.com/in/sebastianpopadesign I also use a variety of social media: twitter: sebastian_popa instagram: sebapopa Or, the best way is through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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