Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Ali Metehan Erdem (AE) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Ali Metehan Erdem by clicking here.
Interview with Ali Metehan Erdem at Friday 22nd of April 2016
FS: What is "design" for you?
AE: Although people use several key themes like “solving a problem”, “usability”, “aesthetics” to describe it, I think each design describes itself. Each design has its own dynamics and self-description. Therefore, whatever is said about design appeals to me abstract and boring.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
AE: Absolute excitement! I just want to reveal hastily what is on my mind. My knees knock thinking that I need to produce something fast.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
AE: I can number various cliché themes like “innovative, problem solving, environmental”. I have my own criteria while designing something. But, sometimes I like a design that is absolutely opposite to my criteria. If you have good taste, there are no limits nor boundaries to your design. And it creates a new communication way that cannot be written. Basically, if a design works, it works.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
AE: Actually, I don’t do anything, at all. Real inspiration is not something that you can reach in the short-term. The instinct of designing something good starts with living the life with awareness. Good music, good food and some cultural experiences help you to have “gusto”. And it feels great if your designs will match up with your gusto. This satisfaction is exactly what I call inspiration.
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?
AE: I live in Turkey, but I don’t reside in a particular city. I work mobile. I don’t stay in a city more than 3 or 4 months. That several different ethnicities and cultures live together naturally affect cultural heritage and design. You can just pass pay by a monument deriving from Before Christ or see a monument from the Roman Empire or a painting from the Ottoman Empire when you are walking on the street. If you are not stuck in popular culture, these riches definitely influence the designer.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
AE: The generation I am also a member of is comprised of people who are easily getting bored and quitting the game easily to “restart” it again. There is a motto: “Do what you love”. Do not be fooled by this lie. Because this motto encourages you to desire something else and give up your current situation. My suggestion is “love what you do”. In whatever discipline of design you are involved in, do your job with an awareness and have fun while adding up to it from your own. Only in this way, you don’t get bored and give up.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
AE: In my opinion, the golden rule is “awareness”. In sociology, there is a concept called reaching the reference systems. It is something like dropping anchor. Those who are far to any reference systems assume that an overworked design is a good one because it does not anchor anywhere, just like a rookie actor not knowing where to put his hands when he is in the state for the first time. Any actualized job that is not based on a reference is part of unawareness and not innovation.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
AE: It is not a skill, but “curiosity”. Curiosity determines people’s goals, visions, therefore human relations and their positions in social life. Curiosity enables learning new things and prevents one from repeating oneself. And this triggers creativity, and even though the years pass, what you feel for your job remains the same as the excitement and curiosity on the first day.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
AE: I’m building a start-up company with my friends. Now it is in investment stage. And, it will be built soon. It feels like drawing something serious on a blank canvas.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
AE: In general, I work on my own. But, there are also those who I trust for their tastes for design and those whose works I admire. I kindly ask them to give me creative directions.
FS: How can people contact you?
AE: My email and social media accounts are accessible on my website http://metehanerdem.com
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