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Interview with Kristof De Bock

Home > Designer Interviews > Kristof De Bock

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Kristof De Bock (KDB) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Kristof De Bock by clicking here.

Interview with Kristof De Bock at Saturday 2nd of May 2020
Kristof De Bock
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?
KDB: I studied Interior Architecture in ‘De Bijloke’ in Gent. After these 4 years, I started my own stand construction company. There was too much energy in me to sit down most of the day while making plans, and the combination of designing stands and constructing them was perfect at that time. With time our company had the chance to work for museums. We have been building countless temporary exhibitions mostly in Belgium and France. The difference with stand construction is that the design is mend to display the piece of art whereas a stand should be visible from far. Spring 2018 is when I decided to start as an object designer. My first object -a floor lamp named Monday- won immediately gold in the International Design Awards. So we got encouraged to continue.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
KDB: Dasein Products was founded in 2018. I had the urgent feeling that it was my time to start as a product designer. Hence the name Dasein Products which is a term from psychology that indicates a object/time relationship. Furthermore, each object we create is named with a time indication in it that reflects to the object.

FS: What is "design" for you?
KDB: Design means to develop useful objects. That is the difference with art.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
KDB: Interior objects that are primo useful and secondo decorative like, chairs, lamps,… . Object that are above all mend to look good like vase are not my cup of tea.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
KDB: Toshiyuki Kita’s Wink chair. I admire the way he added extra value to a lounge chair.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
KDB: Our Monday, followed by the Meanwhile.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
KDB: Wood in all its forms. Whether it comes straight from a three or has been transformed in MDF, plywood or something else, it is always a warm, natural product.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
KDB: I have no idea. But I have to say that often ideas and solutions appear when I’m not thinking about the design. Cycling has helped a lot already.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
KDB: Generally the first focus is on the form. How will the object stand or how will it serve the user better,… ; followed by the esthetics and looks. But I also think about sustainability during the whole process.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
KDB: Highs and lows. I can by childishly happy when something works well but also very frustrated and down when things don’t go as wanted.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
KDB: Happy -or I wouldn’t call it realized- but in the same time I always hope that others will like it also, so a bit nervous as well. No one likes to be laughed at, right?

FS: What makes a design successful?
KDB: For me that is when an object has that little extra thing. I still remember the first time I saw a coffee table on wheels.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
KDB: Originality in form and/or material use.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
KDB: Well, in my case, I design for individuals, not for society. But of course during the process I keep sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
KDB: 3D printing will probably have a bigger impact in the future. A new method will evolve to a new way of thinking.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
KDB: I usually have a couple of projects in my head that are not completely finished. And then, out of nowhere, I see the solution to finish the idea. In general this happens while doing something completely different.

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?
KDB: It is not a style, but I take one extra step back and question the traditional object. I try to look at the object with the eyes of an engineer (which I’m not) before I try to figure out the aesthetics. Furthermore I try to work as much as possible with warm, naturel products. The design magazine Yanko Design described our products as:’ ‘new-age’ aesthetic, but with familiar materials’.

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?
KDB: Born and raised in Belgium. Centre of Western Europe. But I don’t feel that makes a difference. What I do could well be done by someone in India or the United States. Gravity is universal, as well as natural materials.

FS: How do you work with companies?
KDB: I have a past as woodworker. So there is some knowledge and I have most machinery. For other skills like metalworker or sewer, I contact others. As I have worked for exhibitions and Museums, I know quite some people with a keen eye for perfection. It is recommended to collaborate with individuals or small companies.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
KDB: Of course it starts with a basic idea that gets a visual form on paper. Then we start immediately with a prototype. During the first prototype, things become already clearer. Are the measures ok? Shouldn’t the button be elsewhere? Matt finish looks ok, but what about gloss? So we always make plural prototypes, exploring different options. The last prototype then comes to my house where me and my family see it every day for a couple of months. Till now, this always ended up in making at last a couple more modified copies.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
KDB: I only have 3. As mentioned before, I am a fan of Toshiyuki Kita’s Wink chair. Secondly, I’m really attached to my wood stove. I have one of Nestor Martin -the company doesn’t exist anymore- that has the perfect measures and that is orientable. And finally, our dining table. I made it myself and I’m not sure if it should be called design, but it is a big table where our household has had it’s best moments. A central place in house where we meet, eat and chare laughter.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
KDB: Positive is the fact that the designer can create new stuff and get paid for it! And it is more then just coming up with new objects. He has to check different possibilities, materials, colors, etc.. Usually there is also work for the publicity (like participating on awards). So all in all a varied work. Negative is that it is not that easy to always find new ideas. Just as it is not possible for musicians to write a hit again and again.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
KDB: Question everything.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
KDB: I guess that most designers have a variety of skills and that the combination of them does the job. Material knowledge is certainly one of them.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
KDB: The use of the computer is very limited. I hardly ever make a software drawing in advance, only technical drawings when the design is final. But I have a big workshop full with machinery and lots of different materials for the construction and the finishing touch.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
KDB: I always have some ideas in my head; sometimes for years. When all dots come together to finalize one of them and I start on the prototypes, it usually goes fast. In about 1 month we get it done. Then -as mentioned before- we keep the object at home and it get concluded after a couple of months.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
KDB: Stand construction. It involves designing but in a way that it is fast to build with the best result. And it also involves serious out of the box thinking to solve problems, usually with limited time and materials.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
KDB: Product design. Spending a lot of time on 1 object just to get it perfect.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
KDB: I would like to focus 100% on creating. So it would be ideal to find a business partner who would take care of further production, marketing and sales. That would be perfect. But it is imaginable that, as the sales start to raise, we will automatically land in a mechanism of production, sales and doing everything ourselves. So probably I will be managing people in the week and designing in the weekend.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
KDB: Mostly by myself.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
KDB: Yes. I have developed a standing lamp named Surplace that is completely made of wood products. But I would also like to see an alternative in metal. We have made some 3D renders that can be found on our website, and I have to say that I like it a lot. So if some metalworker feels called, don’t hesitate!

FS: How can people contact you?
KDB: I prefer to be contacted by mail: welcome@daseinproducts.com.


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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