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Interview with Paolo Demel

Home > Designer Interviews > Paolo Demel

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

Interview with Paolo Demel at Friday 1st of May 2020
Paolo Demel
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?
PD: I come from a family of artists, my grandfather has entered the "top 100 world artist" and is a very influential person in the art world, my father is also an artist in the field of jewelry and creates unique pieces in the world . I have always had a very strong artistic and creative component, already in high school I studied industrial design for 5 years, and then I continued university at SID - Italian Design School for another 3 years. I always knew what I wanted to do in life, at 7 I wrote a letter for a school assignment in which he asked me "What will you do when you grow up?" and I replied: "it is difficult to say because there is still a lot of time, but I will certainly design furniture and objects".

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
PD: My dream is to open my own studio and design products for companies. But currently I have been working for almost 5 years at Studiolo1844 and Ypsilon Collection, they are two interior design companies in Padua (Italy). We mainly design for the foreign market, Studiolo1844 is a General contractor (we design and build luxury villas and hotels, from construction while furnishing). While Ypsilon Collection is a bathroom furnishing company. I have always worked in companies in the world of furniture and products.

FS: What is "design" for you?
PD: Design is all for me. It has always been everything. To explain my statement I go back to talking about my grandfather, when I was little he gave me a trunk where inside it was full of small objects, pieces of plastic, string, caps etc., I played with those, that is, I built my toys assembling the pieces, then, growing over time, I have always maintained a certain curiosity for everything around me, I took the objects and looked at how they were made. That's why I chose my study and work path.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PD: I like to design anything, also because the beauty of Design is just that, there are no limits and especially when you design a new product a new world opens up that you didn't know before. If I really have to give a preference I prefer furniture in general , which is the field in which I specialized (sofas, armchairs, kitchens, chairs, etc.)

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
PD: There are many designs that I like, but if I have to choose one in particular, my favorite design is Le Corbusier's LC4 chaise longue. It is a great icon in the world of Design, and I have always admired it a lot, it was the first product that I included in a rendering during a university tutorial, chosen precisely because it was a product that has always impressed me A lot.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
PD: The first thing I designed for a company was a "refrigerated counter" for the supermarket, the unit is a large producer in this sector: Criocabin S.p.a. the products to be designed were very complex because they required different technical notions, and it was necessary to design taking into account the company's means of production. it was a great challenge for me because it was my first job after university, but it went very well because after a few months they put into production some products designed by me and my team.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
PD: aesthetically I prefer metal, wood and leather, because they are "warm" materials and that offer many possibilities in finishing and personalization. While speaking of "practical" material and which in any case gives excellent results, I prefer plastic, both for the ease of series production (injection molding) and for rapid prototyping with the new 3D molding technologies, fast and at low cost.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PD: My creativity emerges when I listen to music while I work, this happens because music is a propagator of intense and different frequencies and stimulate the brain (however, you need to know how to interpret these sound waves in art). Let's say I love all genres of music, but for my creativity, Hans zimmer helps me a lot.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
PD: Usually I focus on form and function, form and function in design must go in parallel, because it is important that we both have a thorough study. Form does not only deal with aesthetics, but also ergonomics. Function must not only be "functional" but also intuitive.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
PD: A strong passion and hope. Carefree, because when I design, time passes in a flash

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
PD: it is one of the greatest satisfactions that I can have in my life, then seeing your creations and being able to say "I created it", "my mind created it", and the world accepted and understood it . Why is this being a designer, being at the service of the world and people.

FS: What makes a design successful?
PD: There are several factors that can make a project successful. It can be a very innovative design, where thanks to this you can take huge steps in medicine and therefore save lives, I bring the example of the Dechatlon diving mask, which was already a good design in itself, but which in the last few months has saved many lives with a small modification by a designer who was able to turn it into a coronavirus respirator.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PD: the first aspect that strikes me both positively and negatively is the "aesthetic" aspect in anything, even in design. Because I must like something at first sight it has to "electrocute me", and therefore I can move on to more technical or practical aspects, but just if something doesn't strike me at first sight, I tend not to get close. I admit, however, that before saying whether a Design is good or bad we need to look at how innovative this thing is or if it improves the practical actions that previously took place with a more complex design.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PD: A designer must always respect both society and the environment in all respects, when a designer designs he must also think about how to dispose of his products once they have finished their life cycle, even better if they can be recycled. We now live in a world where the environment is collapsing, we must respect it, and if we do it all together there is still hope of making the next generations live in a better and healthier world

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
PD: when we talk about a "new" design we always talk about evolution, a designer when designing must always have a futuristic vision of his project, precisely because from design to production it can spend a lot of time, so you have to project yourself into the future while you are doing the first sketch.In the next few years we will be able to see with our own eyes what I just talked about, the car market will have a radical change, as already more car manufacturers have already talked about the total change of their cars from "petrol" to "electric" within a couple of years. For this reason, the designer must always look ahead and predict what will happen, "a designer must think and plan the future in the present".

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
PD: My first and last exhibition I did was when I was in high school about 10 years ago, I was 19 years old, I had to design and create a jewel that synthesized the discoveries of Galielo Galieli made with the telescope. I hope my next exhibition will come soon, perhaps with a nice product thought and designed by me, maybe (I hope) thanks to "A 'Design Award and Competition".

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
PD: There are no precise sources of inspiration for my design, often they are real "flashes of genius", sometimes from nothing or sometimes from something that has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm doing. However, I happened to take inspiration from nature (therefore also from mathematics), or once I had to design a "tower" fan and I was inspired by skyscrapers.

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?
PD: I don't have a precise style, it often depends on what type of product I have to design, sometimes I prefer sinuous and organic shapes, while at other times I prefer minimal and clean shapes.The important thing is that there are proportions and balance, I don't like them unbalanced and unbalanced things.My approach to design is very simple (if you think with my head), I create a shape in my head, and then I reproduce it either on a sheet of paper or on the computer. what I was really thinking, I move on to the more technical and practical part, that is to look for the suitable material, the technology to be able to produce it. Finally, I also think about the part of marketing, so where you can position that product in the market, what are the needs required for that product, where you can sell, who can buy it, who could serve it etc.

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?
PD: I live in Italy and after everything I have seen and studied, I can safely say that Italy is the most "culturally rich" country in the world, nothing to take away from other countries in the world, but in Italy there is no corner where there is history. We have a very important heritage that has influenced the art and history of the world. So it is very important for me to have this cultural weight on my shoulders. I have always studied a lot of art since I was in school and later in university. and I must say that it has helped me a lot, they are the foundations that every person who approaches something artistic must have.

FS: How do you work with companies?
PD: I have always worked as an internal employee, this has always been very useful to me because within a company you can truly understand the soul of the company and therefore you can understand 100% what they would like, because the work of a designer is also to interpret what some customers are looking for. Even if I repeat that my dream is to start on my own and work for multiple companies as an independent Designer, and I would like my style to be recognizable and unique.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
PD: This is a point for which I have always tried to fight. Unfortunately nowadays if you don't already have a "known name" hardly any company will come looking for you, even if you are very good. This happens because the sites of the companies to be "credible and serious" need to have certain illustrious names on their site. I'm not saying that it always goes, but many companies behave in this way, this method unfortunately does not help new talents to emerge. I am very much in favor of the possibility that competitions like this one of "A 'Design Award and Competition" give, where to decide if a project is "winning" is a jury of more than 200 judges, then if a project deserves to win it will have all the benefits to be advertised by professionals in the sector. And it is at this point that if a company wants to renew itself and looking for real talents, he can look for the right project for his needs among winning products for each category. This is the correct method.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
PD: When I have an idea I start to make sketches in pencil on a white sheet of paper, or I start to model in 3D with the computer. Once I get to the product I want I finish it in detail. Finally if I need it I make a scale model to bring to life what I initially thought.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
PD: A couple of Sonus Faber speakers, a product for Alessi salt and pepper, my Ikea bed, my Clestron Astromaster 130eq telescope, the TV in my Samsung living room

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
PD: A classic day of my life starts with a hearty breakfast if I have time to make it, then I go to a job where I start to give vent to my creativity until the evening, before dinner if I can do physical activity in the gym or going to play tennis. Then once back home I dedicate myself to my family or a few hours of leisure

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
PD: Set a goal in your head, then leave and go and get it, if there is one thing I have learned so far, it is precisely that nothing is impossible, and you can make dreams come true. Of course there will be very high obstacles and sometimes you will come throw yourself to the ground by force majeure, but always get up, because your goal is there waiting for you.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
PD: The positive points of being a designer are infinite, a designer tends to be curious, attentive, being a designer can know the world in a different way "from behind the scenes", he can understand the processes that are normally not seen. A designer has the dynamic and open mind, precisely because his preparation makes him face problems at 360 °. The cons of a designer is that not everyone speaks the same language as you, for example the engineers (no come on ... I'm kidding)

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
PD: my golden rule in design is "never stop ... there will be many obstacles in your way ... but none of them will be high enough to stop your dreams"

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
PD: A designer must have different skills and fairly complete. A designer must know art, must know production methods, must know materials, must have great intuitive or problem solving skills. In addition, a designer must have practical, drawing, computer graphics or manual skills in creating small prototypes.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
PD: Technically I use many programs with the computer, for 3D modeling Rhinoceros 3D or Solidworks, for rendering Keyshot or V-Ray. For 2D technical drawing I always use Rhinoceros 2D or Autocad (or DraftSight) while for the graphic part I use a lot of Photoshop for post production of renders or for photomontages, I also use it a lot for the creation of textures. Then I use the illustrator for the vector part and finally Indesign for the graphic layout of the presentations and the final books. In my life I have had a lot of base also in the practice of freehand drawing and technical drawing. I also have a lot of manual skills in creating models and prototypes, I have used many materials for my study models: polystyrene, wood, clay, balsa, plastic, resin glass, plexiglass etc. Coming from a family of artists at home we have a library with hundreds of books on ancient and modern art, obviously also many books on Design and history from which I take some inspiration.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
PD: Planning takes a long time and it is important to always be focused, sometimes when you lose concentration you risk doing some damage, so sometimes it is better to put aside a job when you are tired and take it back as soon as you are more relaxed and concentrated. You have to set goals and try to predict how long it will take to perform the various steps, so as not to be late with deliveries.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
PD: This question is a bit generic, it depends on the subject, it can take a month or years. The factors are obviously different, such as how many components and how many materials an object consists of. For example, if I have to design a plastic cup, it will certainly be simpler than designing a bicycle, since the glass is made up of a material and a production method (injection molding) while a bicycle has multiple components, multiple materials and different methods. of production that will therefore have to match. In fact, for this reason, for more complex projects, a team also made up of designers and engineers is needed.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
PD: The question I am often asked is: is it a design object? and I tend to answer "not only !!! Everything is design" from the broom to the car, "good or bad is design". I think designers have always been there in history, like Leonardo Da Vinci, he designed exactly how we design today, indeed, certainly better. Design is all that requires research and finds a concrete solution to a question or problem, design encompasses history, science, mathematics and art ... it is not a fad of the last 70 years as many think.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
PD: I had several important work experiences, the first was after a few months that I finished university, where the company I worked for proposed me to invent and design the central furniture of their stand from scratch for an important fair in Düsseldorf which they eventually built and was exhibited. I was lucky enough to work for a historic company in my area that restored the Scala in Milan. Then in the last 4 years of work (since 2016) I have made, together with a team in the place where I work, large projects, that is, the interiors of villas and luxury hotels all over the world, and it's nice to see your works actually made , even if unfortunately you remain anonymous, your name does not compare and you stay behind the scenes.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
PD: Over time I have worked with several companies: Criocabin Spa, Museum art Srl, True Design & TMA Italia, Studiolo1844, Ypsilon Collection, SID Italian School Design (Padua) Team 3 Lamborghini, Ramelle Sisters, Mondo Toys, Stefanplast, Vetroerre, M.Gaspardo . In the company in which our customers currently work, they tend to be private and therefore I cannot indicate names due to privacy.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
PD: I especially like to design everything that has to do with the home, therefore interiors. From the kitchen to the sofa, from the chair to the bed, I would also love to design everything that is technological, such as smartphones, computers, televisions etc.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
PD: My future plan is to found my design studio to then design my products for different companies. Obviously I'm open to new interesting job offers as long as I'm young. But my biggest wish is to see my ideas come true.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
PD: The products that I propose like the sofa in this competition are totally my works, while in the society in which I work, I currently work in a team, where everyone has their own duties.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
PD: Currently I admit that it is a bit difficult for me to put my ideas into practice because I usually need a good enough computer with the programs I usually use, while in the last few months I have had to remain still as many stuck in the house because of the Coronavirus. But my mind never stops, and I always have something on my mind to put into practice as soon as I can.

FS: How can people contact you?
PD: mail: demelp@hotmail.it - ​​phone: +39 3401481032 You can also find me in the various social networks where I am very active, such as: LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagramm you can find me simply by looking for my name.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
PD: I wanted to thank the team that works with "A Design Award Competition", real professionals in the sector. They have always followed and supported me with professionalism and patience. In particular Laura, who has always been available and serious in her work, always showing me the right way. This project is vital for me and they all made it a reality.


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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