Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Gaudi Hoedaya (GH) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Gaudi Hoedaya by clicking here.
Interview with Gaudi Hoedaya at Thursday 19th of May 2016
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?
GH: Xprmnt.nl is a joint venture (startup) from Dave Coomans and Gaudi Hoedaya. Dave is the inventor kind of guy. An autodidact artist who built his own home, cars and other objects and furnitures. Gaudi was always curious on how things work and was made. As a kid he would read the stories about the inventor, scientist and designer behind it. As computer engineering student Gaudi realized soon enough that he like more the graphic/ interaction design aspect of a software than programming the software itself so he switched to (Industrial) Design. Gaudi is a graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven. They became neighbors 4 years ago and within xprmnt.nl they really complements each other.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
GH: idea to use extension to reach usable heights. We gave each extensions a specific form so it help shape the flower or arrangement. Each base has its own texture from the basic yarn-look to the more complicated knitted-look to distinct from traditional hand shaped vases. Our 3D clay printer is able to print clay directly as bought from supplier, no mixing with water needed.
FS: What is "design" for you?
GH: Design is not just about making things more useful, not just about making things more beautiful but figuring out what is the right thing to make and how to do it right. Design is to bring the balance between the unknown, the revealed, the imaginative with the functional, the sustainable and the appealing. It is where a need finds an elegant solution.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
GH: Work with a creative challenge where I feel that my contribution will be a significant added value
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
GH: Every moment has it own favorite object. At the end it is about how we interact with the designed object, how we are experiencing it and enjoying the craftmanship and beauty behind it. I enjoy reading a book with an excellent typography as much as I can enjoy a beautifully cooked meal on an even beautifully designed plate and cuttlery.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
GH: Material and color schemes for Educatorium of University of Utrecht by Office for Metropolitan Architecture
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
GH: I love to work with all kind of material but in particular I recall that working with clay is one of my favorite since design is actually sculpting a form.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
GH: Definitely at night. Not only I can work without someone disturbing me, I am also most creative on those late hours. When an idea struck, I just can't fall asleep and had to note down or make sketches or do some research. At the same time I realised that when I do wake up as early as 6 or 7, I feel the energy of the new day and can be very productive also.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
GH: The idea or concept has to be in line with the brief, the context, the desired function, the material chosen and the form that defines the physical dimensions. When all of this fall together, the search for the ultimate design that will bring the aha-erlebnis come in an exciting phase.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
GH: Feeling energized, a sense of satisfaction, happiness, sometimes disbelief, insecurity, joy
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
GH: To see something that first was just a concept, an idea that become materialized is always an amazing feeling.
FS: What makes a design successful?
GH: When others see the beauty either visually or the idea behind and experiencing pleasure in using or interacting with it
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
GH: Design shouldn't be new just for the sake of it nor should be repetitive for the sake of success-formula. There is a balance between original, ingenuine and even innovative design and well-used, reinvented cliche which can be refreshing as well when put in a different context.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
GH: More than ever designers and makers has to take their share in responsibility to make the world a more sustainable place to live in. It is a challenge we designers are trained for and are capable to deal with. We can not afford not to care.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
GH: Design must go beyond cosmetics, it has to be structural. It must not be harmful to any living being. It has to give added value to sculptural quality, experience it evokes or function it gives.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
GH: Last October during the Dutch Design Week 2015. We hope we can be there this year.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
GH: We've got to love art... what can I say about art.. yes we can intellectualize art.. but as Gilbert Chesterton wrote: "There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect". Art leads us to places in our heart and imagination, art takes us on an adventure and the artist is the way finder. In Design we have to get somewhere, a destination. In art, we ought to get lost.
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?
GH: I don't think that there is a style that I currently embrace. It also depends on the Zeitgeist. While I admire artists and designers that are faithfull to a certain style, I don't think I can work like that. at least not for the moment.
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?
GH: Currently working and living in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Originally from Indonesia. Both countries has an intertwined history, a Ying/Yang so to speak. I try to get the best from both worlds. Indonesia has a rich traditional crafts while Holland has given me the somewhat pragmatic Dutch approach to design as what we currently recognize as Dutch Design.
FS: How do you work with companies?
GH: They are my partners. It will be the best for both of us. You are in it together, to recognise the potential of that partnership. Because when two or more people get together and open their creative mind and the will to bring out the best.. then what is holding them?
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
GH: I like to see companies to be more daring, to look beyond the big names in design. The pallet of their collections consists too much of the same established designers. It is like going to Praag to find the same brands in the High-streets as you have in your home-town. Dare to be different, adopt an unknown designer, maybe even one who has always been off the grid.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
GH: See, Listen, Think, Research, Sketch, Make, Improve, Repeat
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
GH: Alvar Aalto glass vase, Tom Dixon Copper Shade, Bouroullec Facett Sofa, Michel Ducaroy Togo Sofa for Ligne Roset, Hoedaya-Wurzinger Bear plaid for hektikboutique.com
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
GH: I am lucky to have the freedom to plan my day so nt one day is the same :-)
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
GH: Wander the world but know what heritage means. Open your mind and see, close your eyes and listen. Adapt other cultures but use the distance to observe and learn. Think and theorize but make and do at the same time.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
GH: At first I hate being a designer because we are part of the waste we create. I have also a love and hate relation with luxury since at the same time I understand the beauty of it while I can't cope with the distance it create with people who can't afford it. Design can create distance. I love to see design as be the unifying instrument that deals with problems modern days society are struggling with.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
GH: We have to be careful that rules are not becoming dogma's. At the end, the result has to be
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
GH: You have to be imaginative, a healthy amount of self doubt and to be able to reflect, empathy and being able to see and feel the need behind what you are designing and the people who will be using it.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
GH: Any means necessary. Not doing it enough myself but yoga and meditation should be an extracurricularactivity for designers.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
GH: Close to impossible without having your agenda master ones live. Sometimes I have to stretch time while at times I have to compressed it.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
GH: This is very individual for each design. Designing can seems endless, we have to build in moments to evaluate whether the design has met the desired outcomes we previously envisioned. Often an event can be a hard deadline and minus the production time makes the last possible moment to finish a design.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
GH: "What do you design?"
FS: What was your most important job experience?
GH: Working for Office for Metropolitan Architecture
FS: Who are some of your clients?
GH: Private persons, agencies, businesses and NGO's
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
GH: A sense of trust from the client, when I have been given carte blanche or total freedom.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
GH: Identifying what needs to be designed for our labels hektik.cc, xprmnt.nl and wndbr.com and co-designing these products with my partners and tema members.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
GH: It depends, what is necessary for the project or the moment in the process - I am capable of working independently whether as a team or solo.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
GH: Together with Dave Coomans we have still a lot of things that we want experiment with 3D clay printing under our label xprmnt.nl. Beside that I am co-founder of two other design labels: first there is hektik cool collectibles which is a collection of fun animal drawings applied on tees and sweaters, creative DIY gifts for the new born, childrens and the young at hearts. Together with Ursula Wurzinger we also run wndbr (= wunderbar = wonderfull). Wndbr is a place where to find the not so ordinary things that make ordinary moments in life extraordinary.
FS: How can people contact you?
GH: Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at email@example.com
FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
GH: Thank you, the questionaire has been thorough
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