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Interview with Joe Koizen

Home > Designer Interviews > Joe Koizen

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Joe Koizen (JK) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Joe Koizen by clicking here.

Interview with Joe Koizen at Wednesday 19th of October 2016
Joe Koizen
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?
JK: I don't have any formal training in art or design. Rather I'm just a garage hobbiest. I have a background in sustainable construction and look for opportunities to repurpose construction debris into something both functional and beautiful. This is how the I-Lamp developed.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
JK: I don't have a company nor a studio. I work out of my garage and tap into local friends who perform some of the stuff I can't.

FS: What is "design" for you?
JK: That's a tough question for me to answer. I think design can mean alot of things and likely has just as many meanings. For me, "design" means blending something that was originally meant to serve one purpose, remove it from the scrap heap, and repurpose it into somthing that is both beautiful and functional as something totally different from what it was originally designed to do.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
JK: Furniture and lighting fixtures.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
JK: My most favorite design is the lamp I fashioned from a remnant of I-Beam. An I-Beam is a long girder of steel designed and constructed to support heavy weight. Small pieces that are cut off and not needed are generally discarded or recycled. I repurpose them into lamps.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
JK: I have never designed for a company before.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
JK: Scrap material. Heavy, industrial material softened by repurposing them for residential function and beauty.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
JK: Probably when I smoke marijuana.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
JK: Getting the size and scope of the I-Lamp correct is a challenge for me. Also, getting colors to coordinate is also not my strongest skill.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
JK: Satisfaction, happiness, accomplishment, relaxation.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
JK: Satisfaction, happiness, accomplishment, pride.

FS: What makes a design successful?
JK: I think recognition for the beauty and function is especially satisfying. Also, the positive reactions of people who see and understand what they're looking at really feels good. Making some money off it would be very satisfying too.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
JK: Good question. I think balance, scope, uniqueness are all aspects I especially like and look for in design.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
JK: Well, I already mentioned that I'm trying to divert waste from the scrap heap and repurpose it into something totally different, functional and beautiful.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
JK: I'm not sure I know the answer to that.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
JK: I've never exhibited before.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
JK: I like staring at the raw material for a long time and placing it in different positions, lighting and backdrops and see where that takes me.

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?
JK: I like what I like and do my best to make something physically beautiful and functional outside of it's original purpose.

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?
JK: I live in Austin, TX, USA. It is a very creative city with artists working in many mediums. I'm just a regular guy putzing around in his garage in a pretty cool city.

FS: How do you work with companies?
JK: I have never done that before.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
JK: I wish I knew. I would love to be working with a company.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
JK: My 1965 Ford Falcom coffee table, my two dimensional Austin city map with blinking LED light signifying where you live, my I-Lamps, my cam rod paper towel holder and my refurbished Tanker Desk.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
JK: I wake up around 8, usually run around the local lake with my dog, grab coffee and breakfast, make calls/answer emails, work out at the gym, spend time in the garage/shop and hang out with any friends who are available. Dinner with girlfriend, TV, music or outdoor activity.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
JK: I cannot.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
JK: I love the process of creating my desings but I wish I could figure out what exactly I want the designs to result in.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
JK: Symmetry, balance, scope, color and lighting.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
JK: Creativity, execution / follow-through, efficient and economic from cradle to cradle.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
JK: Any scrap material, computer assisted design, metal and wood fabricator tools.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
JK: I don't do a very good job of that. I work in fits and starts.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
JK: Depends. The more lamps I make the better I get at it.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
JK: "Why don't you sell these?"

FS: What was your most important job experience?
JK: Program management skills.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
JK: I don't have any yet.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
JK: I think I answered this above.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
JK: Not sure. Enter a few design competitions, try and find someone really cool or a really cool place to have a lamp or display one.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
JK: I work along but I solicit many of my friends opinions on what I'm doing. They often force me to look at something differently and improve on it. It's definitely been an evolution. It also seems to take a village to build one.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
JK: I'm already working on the next version of the I-Lamp. I have several other projects I'm working on simultaneously.

FS: How can people contact you?
JK: jkoizen@gmail.com 916 316-4864 USA

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
JK: I don't think so. Thanks a lot!


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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