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Interview with Andrés Mariño Maza

Home > Designer Interviews > Andrés Mariño Maza

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

Interview with Andrés Mariño Maza at Thursday 7th of May 2020

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?
AMM: I was a very curious child, often daydreaming while playing in the woods behind my house in Washington, DC. I would make things with my dad´s carpentry tools, bows and arrows, tree houses and half pipes. I was always drawing inventions or test-crashing them in my back yard. In High school I took a sculpture course which opened my eyes and appetite to art and design, I was inspired by the three dimensional canvas which clay models opened up, spending countless hours sculpting and baking my models. That interest resulted in me moving to Spain to study a double degree in architecture and fine arts.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
AMM: Marinomaza was started with the intention of creating sustainable objects with value; pieces that contribute to a healthy planet by using short-carbon cycle materials and fighting throw-away culture. When I started Marinomaza I wanted to create pieces that people would cherish for generations, objects that because of the story they carried, and the craftsmanship with which they were made would always be well maintained.

FS: What is "design" for you?
AMM: Design for me is a critical workflow where inspiration is scrutinized, filtered and reassembled to create a beautiful and useful object.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
AMM: I enjoy designing pieces for specific clients, where I can dive into their life and personality to find how that materializes into an idea.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
AMM: My favorite design would have to be the Flect rocking chair, it was my first rocking chair and the reason I started in furniture design.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
AMM: It was a fountain for a small town in the north of Spain, I was in my first year of college and I was thrilled at the opportunity but unfortunately in the end the design was never built.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
AMM: My favorite material is wood, not only because of its availability as a sustainable and renewable material but mostly because of all the sensations I associate to it; the smell and feel of a sawn board or the trees and the forest itself.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
AMM: When I´m not thinking about trying to be creative. I like to think of it as a flow state, when you´re so centered on your task that time flies and it all seem effortless. Ironically you normally need lot´s of effort to enter this flow state.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
AMM: I like to begin with very primitive and simple things such as: do I like the shape and feel of what I´m drawing? Would this structure hold up under a load? How about different loads? By trial and error, with a little intuition I arrive at something I´m more comfortable with, until I see it the next day.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
AMM: It´s very difficult to pinpoint the emotions one feels when design but I can say there is a spectrum of them, I normally need to go through some sort of strenuous frustration in order to arrive at a clearer answer.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
AMM: I never really get to a place where I think they´re finished, although materialized I remember all the iterations and variables involved on paper.

FS: What makes a design successful?
AMM: To me a design is successful if it accomplishes the objectives it was designed for, those objectives of course are dependent on the design.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
AMM: The first thing I consider is the visual aspect of the piece; is it pleasing to the eye. Then I start considering all the aspects associated with that object, the industry, the material, the method.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
AMM: Environment is the canvas for every designer so in some way or another that must permeate into the design. The society is who the design will be affecting, so that also has to be respected and measured.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
AMM: I see everything exploding in terms of quantity and quality due to the endless tools we invent to keep inventing.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
AMM: My last exhibition was just before the Covid lockdown, it was during all of February 2020. At this moment, due to the crisis everything got cancelled, so I don’t know.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
AMM: I´m always fiddling with geometries in my mind. The process goes from concept to geometry and back in a sort of feedback loop which I filter with what I would describe as a gut feeling. My inspiration as you would call it comes when I´m working on designing.

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?
AMM: If anything my “style” is a mix of many influences, mainly from architects like Frank Lloyd wright and the Europeans Utzon and Aalto. Furniture designers such as Thonet or Hans Wegner. I´m very influenced by the lines and curves of nature, always a step ahead in design.

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?
AMM: I currently live in Madrid, Spain. But I grew up in Washington DC and with the internet nowadays I´ve kept close ties with that culture. Your heritage is all the knowledge you’ve been passed down from past generations, and what do we know but what we´ve been taught?

FS: How do you work with companies?
AMM: I work as a hired designer for another manufacturer or I design and produce myself.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
AMM: Companies should hire a designer that can adopt the same design objectives they have, considering the consequences of the production, distribution and marketing into their design process.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
AMM: I begin with something very conceptual and sensory, a form, an objective, a texture. Then I go through a tedious process of imagining the different possibilities and outcomes. This process of selection continues through the sketching to the prototyping.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
AMM: I have 2 Rocking chairs and 2 chairs that were the first I produced. Then it would have to be my Martin Guitar.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
AMM: I wake up very early, not by choice but because I have a 1 and a 4 year old. I´m a fan of the ritual of making coffee, which I do every morning before I get my kids ready. Then I would normally go straight to the workshop to see what´s come up, then after a quick lunch at 12 I normally draw or work on the computer for the afternoon. This is my life before the COVID lockdown of course.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
AMM: No one ever invented anything by themselves, everything in everyone’s head is a collection of what they’ve been passed down from others.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
AMM: Designing is certainly very frustrating at times, but it´s that frustration that creates good design.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
AMM: Don’t make throw away products

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
AMM: Today there are so many available tools that it is more important than ever to focus on the content.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
AMM: I use all sorts of software, hardware, 3D carving machinery and traditional carpentry tools.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
AMM: Time is probably the most crucial resource for me, trying to manage my family life with designing is tricky. I try to keep a tight schedule with my working hours and work with the time I have.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
AMM: That depends on the project, sometimes everything comes together and can come together very quickly like what happened with the Nina & Beni chair.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
AMM: People ask me all sort of things at fairs, many people ask about the pieces or my background.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
AMM: All my jobs have taught me many lessons in their own way but if I had to choose one it would be working for myself was both the most challenging and rewarding job.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
AMM: My clients are normally design enthusiasts or collectors, also many woodworking lovers.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
AMM: I enjoy architecture work especially.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
AMM: Hard to say with what´s happened but I´d like to keep designing be it for myself or for others.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
AMM: I mostly work alone, I tend to have a do it yourself attitude.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
AMM: I´m working on different chair designs, specific to sector series.

FS: How can people contact you?
AMM: You can write me at andresmmaza@gmail.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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