Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Mohammad Mirzamohammadi (MM) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Mohammad Mirzamohammadi by clicking here.
Interview with Mohammad Mirzamohammadi at Saturday 26th of September 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?
MM: I was no stranger to the concept of art and design, for I was born in art loving and artist family. I started drawing when I was a kid and have always loved fantasizing and visualizing my thoughts on paper. During teenage years I was a cartoonist and won a few international prizes. At college years I decided to take it to the next level which is how I characterize “design”: It’s as beautiful as fine arts, but in more useful kind of way.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
MM: After my attempt to cofound a Jewelry brand for some reasons didn`t go through, now I’m working on another technology based fashion startup. The company consists of me and a couple of my friends whose skills are complementary to mine.
FS: What is "design" for you?
MM: For me design is the journey of finding the simplest & most efficient solution which is also aesthetically pleasing.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
MM: I can’t limit myself to one branch of design, however I often prefer the kinds that give me the opportunity to be myself and express my personality more.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
MM: “Juicy Salif” by Philippe Starck, which is a manual lemon squeezer inspired by the form of the squid. But other than that one single object I’m mainly a huge fan of Issey Miyake’s designs who is a Japanese fashion designer.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
MM: A piece of jewelry. It was a ring.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
MM: It depends on what I`m designing; I prefer gold for my jewelry design executions. But I also enjoy designing user interactions and user experiences in tech industry.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
MM: My creativity peaks when I feel most positive and optimistic which usually coincides with evenings and nights. I consider myself a night owl.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
MM: Creativity and minimalism whether it is function or form. I just want to find the right approach that other people might have missed.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
MM: A combination of joy, satisfaction, pride, and excitement. And honestly the best part is the moment that I figure that “YEAH I STILL GOT IT!”
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
MM: A little bit of satisfaction and gratitude, and some regrets when I reach the final result I usually experience second thoughts about the ways I could have made it better but I missed. However, since nothing is perfect and nothing will ever be, I don’t beat myself up over it and try to learn from my mistakes.
FS: What makes a design successful?
MM: The ability to actually fulfilling it’s task and function whatever it is. Because the design is not just meant to be pretty it must works perfectly.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
MM: A good design usually is simple, intuitive, useful, functional, innovative, honest, visually compelling, un-obstructive, and user-oriented and so on. And a bad one possesses the exact opposites.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
MM: I believe it`s obvious that nowadays being sustainable is the first and most important attribute designers are responsible for towards the society and the environment; the designs should be not only harmless for the nature, but preferably advantageous.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
MM: Although with the technology growth rate, the quantity of the designs that are introduced every day has skyrocketed, and has made the design world evolution somewhat unpredictable. But it is still obvious that some trends will be big in near future like internet of things which integrate our smart devices more than ever into our lives. 3d printing products right at home instead of buying them and having them delivered to us. Niche market will take over which have major effects on the design industry. And finally mastering the sustainability and taking it even further into regenerative approach in design.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
MM: My last exhibition was a group one which I’m proud to say that was the one showcasing the winning designs of “2015 A’design” Award competition on August. Next will be a solo exhibition next year in Dubai.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
MM: Mostly mother nature: directly and/or indirectly. But I also like to translate abstract concepts into forms in my designs. By observing and musing deeply and constantly, I try to keep my current project running in the back of my mind even during everyday life activities, because the answer I’m looking for could lie within anything.
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?
MM: Smart and simple. It’s just how I like everything, unpretentious and yet beautiful. My approach is Minimalism.
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?
MM: I currently live in Iran where I was born and raised. I do believe Iranian cultural heritage has affected my designs; I have designed a complete line of jewelries inspired by geometrical motives that has used in Iranian architecture for centuries. Like most underdeveloped countries Iran faces major technical shortage in every industry, however on the bright side Iran has a huge and rich history of culture and art.
FS: How do you work with companies?
MM: I`m usually working on few commissioned custom pieces and/or collections, and in my down time I personally make appointments with well-established companies of my network to present my ideas and make a pitch.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
MM: The most important characteristic that companies should be looking for in a designer is his/her problem solving skills and whether they can think out of the box about the subject matter that they are going to focus on. Another important attribute is being a team player while constantly wanting and being open to learn. The companies must keep an open mind that although the designer may not know everything from the get-go, but it’s the attitude that counts. The designer should not settle for what they already know and be willing to go above and beyond to come up with novel ideas and solutions.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
MM: My process starts with thoroughly understanding the problem. Analyzing it from different aspects and breaking it down to detailed requirements. Afterward It’s time to research around that list to sidestep any previous made mistake by designers before us. Then ideation and creating concepts and prototyping them and evaluate them by getting feedback from targeted focus-groups and refining the concept till it’s ready to manufacture and that’s a wrap. So in a nutshell: research, idea generation, idea development, evaluation, refining and production.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
MM: Juicy salif lemon squeezer by Philippe Starck , an Issey Miyake watch designed by Tokujin Yoshika, ann Australian vintage boomerang, the Lytro camera and finally my Matryoshka doll collection.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
MM: Continuous process of musing and designing interrupted by meals, socializing with people and most importantly staying up-to-date with my surrounding and world’s news via social media which is essential to a designer. We must stay connected to the world If we want to design for the world.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
MM: I'm still learning myself and I hope It never ends but if I want to share what I've already got I can tell: Get educated, be on top of the new innovations of the world, keep an open mind, and stay focused and you`ll figure it out.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
MM: It’s all good and positive except that tending to be a perfectionist sometimes leads to impracticality rather than being pragmatic.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
MM: My golden rule can be summed up in the phrase “less is more” which was originally in a Robert Browning poem and later on was used by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as a precept for minimalist design in the 1960s.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
MM: Problem solving! I think the ability to think things through and analyze them properly is the most important skill that a designer should master.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
MM: It usually all begins with a simple pencil and paper, and based on the type of the design I use Gemvision Matrix 7.0 CAD software to make a 3d model of my final design, then if necessary I use Keyshot v.4 to render and/or make a wax model with Envisiontec or 3D-system 3d printers.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
MM: It’s the hardest part of not only design but life in general in my opinion. I think It’s all about setting the priorities straight and being able to say “no” to people embarging in your schedule and avoid interruptions.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
MM: It is more a question of “how much time given by the client”, because a design is not ever finished to a designer and can always be perfected in a way or another (the perfectionism thing that I mentioned before). I personally prefer to overestimate the time that I need for the project while negotiating with the client to overdeliver at the end.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
MM: I majored in Industrial design, which is why I`m often asked “What is industrial design? And how is it different from product design?” which I replied by how exactly IDSA (INDUSTRIAL DESIGNERS SOCIETY OF AMERICA) defines it: “Industrial Design (ID) is the professional service of creating products and systems that optimize function, value and appearance for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.”
FS: What was your most important job experience?
MM: The opportunity of designing and bringing to life an entire jewelry brand from A to Z; which meant not only I designed the actual products, I also designed the interior of the showroom, the logo, the graphics, and etc.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
MM: Mostly individuals and among private companies that I worked for I can mention Iran Gem Society, Zamos, Mina, and etc.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
MM: I like design to be smart and make a difference. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge impact; big or small I’m happy as long as it has a positive influence.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
MM: Observe, learn, think, design, create and again: Observe, learn, think, design, create and again: Observe, learn, think, design, create and again … it`s a never ending cycle and there is no stop.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
MM: I love being part of a team, and I’m doing so currently. Although coming up with the main concept or idea doesn’t have to be a one man job but I prefer do this part alone. However, for the rest of the production I always share the process with others and there is no doubt that the outcome would be incomparable.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
MM: As a matter of fact I do have an interesting project in process. It is a novelty jewelry ring and I wish I could tell you more but I prefer keeping it secret until it comes out to the market and talks for itself.
FS: How can people contact you?
MM: Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
MM: The interview was pretty thorough; however I take the opportunity to thank the A` design Award and Competition board for the opportunity and hope there will be more design competitions like this to keep the minds of todays` designers stimulated and motivated.
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