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Interview with Harry Miesbauer

Home > Designer Interviews > Harry Miesbauer

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

Interview with Harry Miesbauer at Tuesday 20th of April 2021
Harry Miesbauer
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?
HM: Coming from a technical background I studied yacht design at the well known Solent University in Southampton / UK. always loved drawing, creating things. it was a natural choice. having also a degree mechanical engineering, I was, at beginning of my career, more technical, performance orientated when designing yachts. Now, being almost 25 years in the yacht design business, I do like the styling and aesthetical side more. I think, a pretty natural path.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
HM: We are a yacht design studio in the “classical” sense. We can provide the full package of yacht design, from the naval architecture, naval & structural engineering up to the exterior styling and interior design

FS: What is "design" for you?
HM: creating objects, in my case yachts, which people are proud of, which they dare to possess, and obviously which work in our harsh environment, the open sea … elegance is the new performance….

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
HM: sailing yachts, we also do motor yachts in the studio... but my heart and passion is definitely much more towards the sailing side

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
HM: The scuderia 65, a 65 ft racer/cruiser (sailing yacht), we had a very challenging design brief. The first preliminary concept came out very nice, was very pleasing from the beginning. and the final design was just slightly modified from the first concept for technical reasons the client is still very happy with his boat.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
HM: I was involved in the design of a 105ft sailing yacht

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
HM: carbon, for weight and strength reasons

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
HM: I don't have a specific time for that. can be any time of the day

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
HM: obviously the concept work, ideation. my collaborators take care about the details and technical issues but our designs have to work also out on the sea, not just in the safe harbour, in whatever condition you gonna find on the oceans. strong winds up to 50kts, big waves etc. this means we focus also a lot on reliability, functionality, ergonomics and of course structural and technical issues. if we do sailing yachts which compete in regattas, performance is obviously a mayor driving factor

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
HM: always happy, can’t imagine a better job for me. always happy in the morning, that I can go to the studio.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
HM: happy, very proud and satisfied, as it always takes more than one year until we finally see the finished yacht on the water. the launch of a yacht is really a big day for me ... guess not just for me . the icing on the cake is, when we win races with one of our sailing yachts.

FS: What makes a design successful?
HM: when our client is happy and proud about his new yacht , and obviously when the boat wins races

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
HM: if the proportions are right ... I can always trust my eye

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
HM: I think, we as a designer have the privilege to create things, objects, for a lot of people, and things which they use in their every day’s live. so we better make our designs beautiful and try to bring a smile on their faces, bring some joy to them. even if it is just for a second. design which is beautiful normally doesn’t cost more.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
HM: I think, we will see still a big development in materials and of course the use of 3D printing will gives us new ways to model new shapes. we will be less production process driven. we will have more freedom of shapes. we do see a lot of “retro” design in these days. also in art and music. I’m not a huge fan of this. yes, you need to now history and what was done before, but it was done in a different time for a different reason. you need to understand why it was done in this way. copying history is like reading yesterday’s newspaper.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
HM: just being curious.... just walking through the world with my eyes open. inspirations can come from everything. nature, architecture, car design, etc… there is no rule for that , inspiration comes, it is there at the certain moment when you are in a certain flow.

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?
HM: … elegance is the new performance… we have to create beautiful things, which are pleasing the eye. there too many ugly things out there … we don’t need more ugly stuff… main characteristics: elegant, clean lines, correct proportions…. approach: if you have to explain your design, why it is good than you are already wrong… it pleases your eye or not. you don’t need an explanation. our design don’t follow fashions. it should look fresh also in ten years time

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?
HM: in Italy, close to Milano, if you are not getting inspired as a designer living in Italy, actually near Milano, then you might have chosen the wrong profession

FS: How do you work with companies?
HM: we do get a lot of technical input from them, I see them more as a partner, and vice versa, than as a client

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
HM: I think it is a matter of chemistry. if this is right at the beginning then you are happy through the whole design process.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
HM: very old school, hand sketching, hand sketching, hand sketching…. then I jump on modelling in 3D.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
HM: - tolomeo lamp - a living divano sofa - an old I-pod - a viabizzuno lamp

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
HM: studio - cappuccino at the bar - studio – coffee at the bar - studio – dinner ...

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
HM: learn the basics first… you have to be able to walk before you can run… design has to work, needs to be realisable… a concept which you can’t produce / realise is a nice picture but not a good design. ... god is in the detail...

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
HM: there are no cons when you do your job with passion.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
HM: for us as yacht designers it’s a bit specific... get the weight right first . then get the proportions right. done …

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
HM: good eye for proportions, a good feeling for geometry, having some technical background in order to know the limits on a production point of view.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
HM: very classic… various pencils with different hardness, overhead pens, sketching paper… various 3D modelling softwares, special hydrodynamic software for the hull shapes… good library in the studio

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
HM: I’m not good in managing time …. but I always have a task for the day which I want to finish…

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
HM: one year for two persons, the yachts we are designing are normally quite big.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
HM: where I do get my inspiration from?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
HM: the yachts for the Swedish America's cup team, Victory Challenge, 2003 the TP52 C-quadrat race yacht, 2006 the Scuderia 65, 65ft sailing yacht, 2019

FS: Who are some of your clients?
HM: 50% private clients / 50% boatyards

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
HM: the concept ideation work, but I do enjoy most of the different parts we have to do on a yacht. lately I like the interior design side a lot

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
HM: we work in a team, where everybody can do more less everything in the studio. obviously some people are more specialised in one area, and somebody else is more specialised in another. but everybody is able to do every task. all my current team members got a yacht design degree but are coming from either a architecture or naval engineering background.

FS: How can people contact you?
HM: www.hmyd.it


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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