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Interview with Maja Myall

Home > Designer Interviews > Maja Myall

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

Interview with Maja Myall at Tuesday 16th of May 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?
MM: It was completely accidental. I always enjoyed creating objects out of everyday, mundane items. I use to melt plastic ends of the lollipop and make them into buttons. Results were not always good but it made me experiment with the materials. I wasn't sure which aspect of design I should choose so I did product design as well as material studies which progressed to Interior Architecture. I felt totally comfortable designing commercial spaces.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
MM: Our design studio is filled with books and samples. We enjoy exploring new materials and testing the latest products. We are all technically minded and we make a good team. Studio is an open space on the first floor opposite Brighton Pavilion. We share building with other creative agencies and University of Brighton lecturers. My desk overlooks the garden at the back and sometime I get birds landing on the window before they go for a bird bath and feed in the garden below.

FS: What is "design" for you?
MM: To me design is beauty in functionality. Beauty on its own is pointless. Good design has to be tactile, beautiful to look at and functional above all.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
MM: I like helping people achieve the most with what they have. If we can see potential we will most likely take the project on. Some projects have vast budget whilst some are struggling to purchase second hand furniture, yet both are challenging in different ways. If we get exited about the project we'll go for it.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
MM: The first thing I designed under Blenheim Design was a bar area in Bertorelli's restaurant. It was a massive thing for me as the restaurant was featured in the film Sliding Doors. Bar and restaurant are no longer there but every time I go through that part of London I like to have a look and see how the space is evolving.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
MM: Most creative time is when I'm exited about the project.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
MM: That is a very probing question. I guess it is like a love affair; exiting, exhilarating, frustrating, compromising but satisfying.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
MM: Mixed emotions! I am glad that the project is alive, I have to confess that large part of me feels sad. It is not in my hands any more and it has to stand on its own two feet. I guess that is how parents feel when children move out.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
MM: Look, feel, experience! Experience tough me that research and experimentation are crucial in design. Inspiration can come from anywhere, it can be a magazine, sound of the cup and saucer, leather strap on a beautiful handbag or a boat clasp. Keep on looking.

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 was born in Yugoslavia which ceased to exist twenty years ago. I live in England, one of the most liberal countries in the world and Brighton is very eccentric as well as fun. Design is there to be enjoyed by many, in my field research is important. History, community, spacial context and culture are all equally important, my background is not.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
MM: Always consider the end user and never underestimate the power of lighting. Understand your clients requirements and never stop working hard.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
MM: Restaurant design should reflect menu on offer.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
MM: In hospitality design, timing is of essence. It is like a well executed dish, all ingredients have to come together at the precise time. Being disciplined helps but that comes with experience. I like to use intuition and to follow my instincts which sometimes results in working late to make sure project process is not jeopardized.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
MM: My clients are always people I'd love to have as a friend. It is a long process and we have to get on. Most of my clients come from hospitality world.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
MM: At the moment it is restaurants and I loved designing them for the past 19 years. I enjoy improving end users experience. I love facing the blank page and the freedom that represents.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
MM: More restaurants and retail spaces. I like improving places and I've had the misfortune to visit couple of residential homes which were tepid and uninspiring. I'd like to improve them.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
MM: I prefer to work in a team where we can bounce ideas and inspire each other.


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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