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Interview with Gerhard Maier

Home > Designer Interviews > Gerhard Maier

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

Interview with Gerhard Maier at Monday 4th 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?
GM: During my studies in structural engineering at the University of Innsbruck (Austria), I started to develop suspensions for driver´s seats in SUVs for the leading manufacturer of suspended truck seats. As I found this more interesting, I switched to mechanical engineering and specialized in air suspensions.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
GM: In the 90s, a private ambulance company asked me for an absorbing bed for his patients to save them from road bumps and I invented the first air-suspended stretcher table in the market, calling it HOVERBOARD.

FS: What is "design" for you?
GM: Regarding technical devices, design is the optimal synthesis of function, intuitive handling and aesthetics.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
GM: Improving Hoverboards and customizing them to the local requirements of our clients all over the world.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
GM: I adore slender and graceful bridge structures with an impression of lightweight.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
GM: A mechanical suspension with hydraulic absorber for the driver´s seat of an off-road-vehicle.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
GM: Stainless steel with a semigloss, powder-blasted surface has the highest appearance of premium quality.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
GM: When the looming sun on the horizon breathes life into the new day...

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
GM: Function is first, but why should´nt it be beautiful too ?

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
GM: The whole spectrum from eagerness and frustration to real happiness.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
GM: Pleasure, but also fear of technical deficiencies.

FS: What makes a design successful?
GM: Besides a useful function and the beauty, in the first instance a good marketing.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
GM: Where is the benefit, how is the quality appearance and what does my gut say ?

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
GM: Meeting all applicable laws and standards, and yet creating beauty.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
GM: In technical devices I see expectations of getting more intuitive, networked and ergonomic.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
GM: This kind of products are primarily exposed at the international fair RETTMOBIL in Fulda Germany.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
GM: From impressive buildings or bridges, but sometimes from simple things in natural surroundings.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
GM: We analyse the market needs, create a required solution and test it in the field. Then we improve the technical items and shape the design. Again field tests and following real crashtests according applicable standards. Finally expositions, marketing and industrialisation.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
GM: Focus on things that impressed you when you were a child. Look at them and ask yourself: How can I improve that and make it more beautiful ? Improve steadily but never copy !

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
GM: Creativity and endurance, accepting frame conditions.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
GM: Everything, starting from paper and pen and mathematical formulas, continuing with laser cutter and welding devices, finalising with manual assembly and tests.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
GM: In fact it seems that time manages me...

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
GM: Sometimes a few months, but often years.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
GM: The Red Cross Organisation, St. John´s, Order of Malta and local ambulance companies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland as well as the Falck company, the iranian health ministry and paramedical services NSW/Australia.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
GM: Currently I am working on the industrualization of the new Hoverboard Bravobase, customized for the stretcher Kartsana Powerbrava.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
GM: Depending on the challenge, I call in specialists for certain tasks.

FS: How can people contact you?
GM: Via mail (info@hover.at) or contactform on our website www.hover.at


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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