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Interview with Pablo Vidiella

Home > Designer Interviews > Pablo Vidiella

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

Interview with Pablo Vidiella at Wednesday 10th of November 2021
Pablo Vidiella
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?
PV: Interested in arts, I decided to study Architecture, obtaining the degree in 2013. After that I moved to London, where I started working in a well-known architectural practice, having the opportunity to work in different fields and scales of architecture and design, getting in touch with technical and digital fabrication. Back in Madrid, I decided to train and focus exploring and investigating creation boundaries as a personal challenge until today. I have always felt attracted to creative process and design, both on an architectural scale and on a smaller scale. Small pieces such as furniture, gives me a very superior creative freedom in terms of design.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
PV: HenkaLab is an award winning studio created in 2017, where shape experimentation takes place. Inspired by nature, my work emulates evolutionary processes, subjecting pure geometries to certain tensions, obtaining new living forms that fit a specific use. HenkaLab becomes a way of expressing my own personal state, my creative evolution. Thus begins, a time of personal challenges, investigation of new forms, learning new techniques and materials.

FS: What is "design" for you?
PV: Design is the art of giving creative response to a general or particular need, with nature as the main source of inspiration.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PV: I really like designing furniture pieces, conceived as practical sculptural pieces.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
PV: My favorite design is Sankao Coffee Table. I think it's my most magnetic piece, really close to nature and full of movement. Its attractive shape, together with the warmth of the material, makes the user to come closer, touch it, sit next to it.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
PV: The first thing I designed for a company was a huge office building in London, UK.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
PV: Solid wood is by far my favorite material as I consider it 100% natural, sustainable and completely unique. The technology I like to use is CNC computer numerical control machines.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PV: Every time I'm close to nature. Whenever I spend a few days close to nature, I really love spending time looking at small details we can find out there, inspiring objects such as shells, leaves, small animals...

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
PV: For me it is important that the resulting form is the product of a clear, simple and easily understandable previous work. I don’t like complicated or unnecessary elements in my designs. I always try to keep things simple and that’s one of the most difficult challenges in design.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
PV: Freedom. Whenever I design I know I can create without boundaries.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
PV: Complete satisfaction. I consider every creation as part of myself.

FS: What makes a design successful?
PV: A design is successful it it's able to connect with the user.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PV: A good design makes the observer interact with the object in a natural way. It must be useful (solve a problem or a need), and must be harmonious and visually attractive. Other than this, I consider a design to be unsuccessful.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PV: Designer should give answers to problems and needs in social life, being always respectful with the environment and the materials we use to avoid harming nature. We cannot solve problems if, by doing so, we are creating new environmental issues. This is extremely important to understand.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
PV: In my opinion, nowadays design is at a time of explosive international openness. All the disciplines of design seem to be blending in, interacting with each other and the results are amazing. I think this is the future, design is more and more present in everything, being more important than ever.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
PV: My last exhibition was in Maison et Objet last year. Because of the pandemic situation, it was a digital fair. I'm not sure yet which is going to be my next step in exhibitions.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
PV: Nature is my main source of inspiration, as well as architecture. As an architect, I like to be updated in the world of architecture since I consider it the greatest of all arts.

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?
PV: I don't really like the word "style", I don't believe I follow a style, and if I do I'm not sure if I can give a word to describe what I do. I understand design as a process of using and transforming pure geometries in order to achieve functional objects that fit an specific use.

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?
PV: I live in Madrid, Spain. Spain is a very cultural and artistic country, full of colour and cultural heritage. I consider all of this as part of myself; I've grown surrounded by my culture so obviously this has an effect in my designs.

FS: How do you work with companies?
PV: I usually work with small retail companies that offer my designs to their customers.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
PV: There is a lot of work under every creation. In some cases, I think companies should be a little more understanding when doing business with designers as sometimes the conditions they offer are somewhat abusive.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
PV: 22.When facing a new creation, I always have nature and living forms as a reference and inspiration. Every curve and surface present in living beings have a biological explanation related to a certain function over time, and these evolutionary changes and transformations are what I find especially inspiring. The creative process consists of trying to emulate these natural process, experimenting and subjecting pure geometries to certain tensions, obtaining new living forms that fit a specific use. This experimental phase is developed through direct transformation exercises using materials like plasticine or paper, and tools such as drawing and 3D software.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
PV: A large dining table, living room rug, a nice shelf, comfortable dining chair and sofa.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
PV: I usually spend my mornings drawing and exploring new designs at my studio in Madrid, and enjoy my children and family in the evenings.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
PV: I would tell them not to over-design, that is, to focus on designing things that are really useful to society. And of course I would ask them to be respectful with the environment and nature during the process of design.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
PV: Design should help the progress of a society. It’s one more tool, and well used is wonderful. Being a designer gives you this power and this responsibility. This can be understood from a positive or negative point of view. Design can give lots of satisfactions, as well as many frustrations.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
PV: Keep things simple.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
PV: Patience, sensitivity with the environment, and be empathetic with society to know how to read people’s needs. A designer must have taste and talent towards art and artistic composition.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
PV: During my experimental phase I use materials like plasticine or paper, and tools such as drawing and 3D software, usually Rhino.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
PV: Combining work and family is always complicated. I try to manage my time as well as I can, I guess like everyone else. It's not easy, and you never have enough time.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
PV: It depends, sometimes I get really fast to the final piece and other times I don’t feel comfortable with what I'm achieving and I have to start over many times. It's difficult to predict how long is going to take at the beginning of each design.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
PV: "Are you really able to live from your work?" My answer is always, no. Unfortunately, it's very complicated to live from design.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
PV: Working in an architectural practice in London. It gave me a lot of design knowledge.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
PV: Private clients and some small Retail stores.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
PV: Really enjoying designing furniture pieces at the moment, I consider them small architectural/sculptural pieces, which bring me close to my training as an architect.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
PV: Keep on designing, keep on learning.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
PV: At this moment I develop my designs by myself. The manufacturing process is developed by external wood artisans.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
PV: Currently i'm working in a bench. It's a reinterpretation of a conventional bench, with some interesting transformations.

FS: How can people contact you?
PV: People may contact me via my website, https://www.henkalab.com/ , at any time.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
PV: Just wanted to say thank you to A' Design Awards for the opportunity, we should all work in the same direction to to enhance the world of design.


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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