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Interview with Ali Sharifi Omid

Home > Designer Interviews > Ali Sharifi Omid

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Ali Sharifi Omid (ASO) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Ali Sharifi Omid by clicking here.

Interview with Ali Sharifi Omid at Friday 1st of May 2020
Ali Sharifi Omid
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?
ASO: My childhood curiosity and interest to play with toys and observe their different parts lead to my interest to design and create in my teenage years. I went to a vocation school for my secondary education by chance and there apart from studying literature and history courses, I took classes in metal and wood workshops twice a week. This helped me learn how to work with their equipment and make simple metal and wooden things. In addition, planning and learning the basics of perspective helped me realize my own abilities. I could easily imagine objects and their dimensions in my mind. These courses were my only passions in secondary school. After graduation, I came to know industrial design major. I decided to pursue this career in my life and the more I study it, the more I realized this was the major that I was unconsciously lead to and was the thing I had always wanted.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
ASO: HAF and Tirouj are two companies that I established two years ago with the intention of making furniture. Tirouj is for making lighting and HAF is for making furniture.

FS: What is "design" for you?
ASO: For me design is the creative solution of a problem with a creative and lasting from.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
ASO: Designing and building home and office furniture made specifically for decoration.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
ASO: Philip Stark’s famous citrus juicer is my favourite design. I cannot stop praising its simplicity, beauty and efficiency.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
ASO: Vacuum Cleaners exhibition stands

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
ASO: My first priority as a designer is the practicality of my designs. I first factor in the available materials that I have and the limitations that I face and then I design using the things that I have access to. This puts aside expensive and complicated processes and leaves room for the ones which more affordable and practical. In addition, I consider durability, naturalness, and the feelings that are caused by touching the materials.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
ASO: I usually feel creative when I am happy and at night before going to bed I usually have my best ideas.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
ASO: After creating the main concept, looking at the details of the design and the predicting the implementation of it will take most of my time.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
ASO: When the design process goes the way to the creation of forms, I feel elated and mindful and experience silence.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
ASO: The success of a design depends on many factors including the understanding of the problem, designing an attractive form, recognizing the client’s taste and finally estimating the production cost according to the client’s budget.

FS: What makes a design successful?
ASO: I think a good design should have an attractive form, good function and have ergonomic standards. In addition, its construction method and budget should be according to the needs and expectations of the target market. So whatever design that does not include the above is not a good one.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
ASO: A design can increase its society aesthetic appreciation level and should recognize the needs of its own society and by solving them should create peace and pleasure for its society.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
ASO: In my country, designing has not found its proper place yet. There are numerous causes for this which is beyond this short introduction. The need for designer has sometimes been eliminated in some countries due to the availability of tonnes of designs online for free. So many industries use the concepts and designs shared in the public domain without paying the copy right fees. Moreover, there is a design clogging, too: being exposed to too may designs in the world wide web makes creative and innovative designing very difficult.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
ASO: I have never displayed my lighting and furniture designs in any exhibitions.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
ASO: Depending on the subject of design you could be inspired by different things. For me who is engaged with furniture design, architectural forms are a source of inspiration.

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?
ASO: I try to create new and modern forms and designs from old and traditional forms to relate the past with the present. I am interested in this method due to my fascination with my own country’s culture and history. I believe cultural diversity could lead to design diversity and eventually we will reach more beauty.

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?
ASO: I was born and bred in Iran. I also live in this country now. I am so proud of and influenced by the cultural heritage of my country. Industrial design is still a new major in Iran and unfortunately has not been fully recognized by many industries in Iran yet. This has created a problem for many designers in their jobs and personal life.

FS: How do you work with companies?
ASO: I have always had my own company. I have not tried to work for other companies because they do not value design as they should be.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
ASO: I believe that those designers who have good and practical design ideas could be beneficial for companies.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
ASO: I first imagine the concept in my mind and try to create a good form in my mind. I sketch the first concept by hand and after the first analyses, I start to design it in Rhino. Finally I render the final design in V-RAY.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
ASO: Tables, lightings, washroom sinks and doors

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
ASO: I remember a day when I was eagerly waiting for the completion of an exhibition booth that I had designed. I was waiting like a child for the final result.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
ASO: Pay attention to details in design a lot. The famous motto: details are not details; they create the design.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
ASO: It is too difficult and tedious when you are stuck creating something and you mind does not work and you do not have enough time to suggest a design. But when the process of designing comes to fruition, it is highly rewarding and you can enjoy it like a child.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
ASO: A good design that is easy to build with good quality can transform a simple form to an interesting design.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
ASO: Good designing needs good drawing technique, familiarity with designing softwares such as Rhino and 3D max, and a good knowledge of materials and their construction.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
ASO: My favourite design software is Rhino. I usually try to look at other designs before starting my own design in order not to repeat the same ideas.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
ASO: I usually try not to do every thing at the last minute and to finish the project a few days before it is due.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
ASO: Between one week to one month

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
ASO: How can you mix authenticity and innovation.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
ASO: I used to have a company for designing and constructing exhibition booths and stands.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
ASO: My clients are usually architects and artists.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
ASO: The design of details when the main concept has been created.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
ASO: Developing design ideas of sofas and armchair.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
ASO: I would like to work on a team but unfortunately I am working alone due to the lack of a reliable partner.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
ASO: I have nothing special to say about my future projects to say now.

FS: How can people contact you?
ASO: By email and Instagram

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
ASO: I would like to thank A design Award team for providing this opportunity for other designers to display their works to the public.


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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