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Interview with Mehmet E. Ergül

Home > Designer Interviews > Mehmet E. Ergül

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Mehmet E. Ergül (MEE) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Mehmet E. Ergül by clicking here.

Interview with Mehmet E. Ergül at Wednesday 26th of April 2017

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?
MEE: My background definitely comes from my family. Both my mother and father were always interested in art, and also there were painters and artist in my family. When I was 1 year old, my mother gave the pencil to my hands and motivated me to draw on anything, anytime. Since then, my education background continued as a designer.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
MEE: Grau Design Office founded in 2016 in Izmir/Turkey. 2 of my other partners were both my colleagues and friends since the beginning of the university. After our graduation we focused ourself to this idea and opened this design studio; and in a very short time we started to work for several companies in different industries. Currently we are giving design service to space industry, agricultural equipments, medical devices and so on...

FS: What is "design" for you?
MEE: Rather than equalizing design with art, I mostly satisfy myself with engineering as a designer perspective. For me, design is the top point of combining arts, engineering and semiotics.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
MEE: Mostly, I like to work on technical and mechanical objects and forms. When a product is mechanically strong and both as simple as possible, this is the type of design which satisfies me most. I strongly believe that small details creates a more sophisticated product. Every product or object, should have those smart details; they are our communication points with the designer of the product.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
MEE: Rather than saying a single product, I like to generalize it more as a designer or a brand. I really like and have a huge respect to Braun and Dieter Rams. Even tough I mostly regret the "rules of design" manifesto of Rams, I like his way of designing products. Also horologie is one of my hobbies, so some of the Swiss watch brands influences me a lot while design thinking. Their movements, details, craftsmanship are worthy to get exited.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
MEE: The first design, before my industrial design education... I think it was a pencil design which I made in highschool for a local pen company. It was a result of a competition.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
MEE: I like to work with composite materials a lot, so carbon-fiber is one of my favorite materials. Also these days I search a lot about IoT (Internet of things) so it would be the technology which I like to work on.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
MEE: I definitely feel most creative after my gym sessions at the early morning. Going to my office and working after that mood makes me creative. A good coffee is of course a bonus for that!

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
MEE: Design as a process, feels like creating something from scratch. This is a very strong and responsible feeling.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
MEE: A good design must adress to the eye and the user equally. More than anything, we criticise objects with our sense of sight. After this criteria we try to understand the needs and details of the products. According to me, good design also must serve for a need. Without a need or demand, a production can only be an art object if it is worthy enough for it.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
MEE: When we look at the 80's and 90's product design, the influence of the technology were not that strong in those days. Nowadays product design becomes a more hybrid concept, since it has been fed from software and artificial intelligence a lot. For example furniture design were mostly a pure product design field which the materials and techniques were self-standing but today, we can see the ongoing approach of combining those elements with softwares and electronics.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
MEE: It was the Design Week Istanbul and several other fairs about R&D in Istanbul. Currently we would like to challenge ourselves with international fairs and exhibitions.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
MEE: Rather than selecting a good designer, companies need to understand what design is. Most of the time, we are seing ourselves in a conversation where we are explaining what a designed product is. This is a very time wasting process according to me, because since many many years; we know that a designed product will be more beneficial approach to a company about anything else. This benefit might be about salary or for the brands identity, both ways it has a huge impact. So when the companies try to understand this ideology, selection for a good designer or a design office would be more reasonable.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
MEE: Of course a blanc paper, pencils and markers are the great tools to use for a design process. If I loose motivation, or out of ideas; a good science-fiction novel or several articles keeps me motivated and increase my imagination a lot.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
MEE: Eventough it depends on what you are designing, I like to work with a team most of the time. Most of the time we do not design special and single products for a person, they are mostly mass-produced. And mass production means a lot of different users. For thinking about different scenarios and ideas, a good team is a key.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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