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Interview with Betina Greca Menescal

Home > Designer Interviews > Betina Greca Menescal

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

Interview with Betina Greca Menescal at Tuesday 26th of April 2022
Betina Greca Menescal
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?
BGM: Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved drawing, painting and as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an artist. My father is a filmmaker and for many years he owned and ran, together with my mum, a film production company specialised in TV commercials. I was literally raised on film sets among creative people and I always found the creative environment more inspiring and I never pictured myself doing a regular 9 to 5 job. I am currently studying architecture at Westminster University in London and when I am not studying, I design watches, this my full-time passion. Möels & Co will be my full-time job after I finish my studies. At the moment my parents are managing the business because I don’t have the time and the experience to run a business alone.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
BGM: Möels and Co is a designer watch brand rethinking the way we design, build and sell wrist wear. We look to the future beyond watch making, we are not necessarily locked down in tradition, we are a brand seeking out our own path. We are industry outsiders, we take risks, experiment and innovate. We are on a mission to bring stunning timepieces to more people in an innovative, sustainable and transparent way. We are devoted to pursue beauty and fight against ugliness because we believe everybody deserves good design and that good design does not have to be expensive. Möels & Co is founded on three values: creativity, desirability and accessibility, this is what guides us throughout our entire design process. Our designs are cool, casual and graced with beauty, elegance and sophistication.

FS: What is "design" for you?
BGM: Design is everywhere we look and is everything we touch. Design for me is creation, problem solving, self expression.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
BGM: Besides architecture, I'm also into fashion and every day I set aside some time to do something I love too, watch design. In fact, I design all kinds of things, I'm passionate about designing products that are simple, clean and beautiful. I am heavily influenced by Dieter Rams, Mid Century Modern and the Bauhaus.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
BGM: My main inspirations and the base for my designs are Raymond Loewy, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe, Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Aaalto, Eero Saarinen, Oscar Niemeyer and Dieter Rams. Dieter Rams is one of the most influential industrial designers of the last 50 years, has had a truly remarkable impact on the design industry and the overall concept of product design as we know it today. He attempted to express what he believed to be the 10 most important principles for good design which I follow to create my own designs. He is also the author of one of my favourite pieces, the L 2 speaker, 1958, by Dieter Rams for Braun

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
BGM: When the pandemic put the world in lockdown, I spent most of my time on learning watchmaking, two years have passed and today, I am excited to introduce and share with you my first creation - Möels & Co 528, launched by my own company. I have never worked for anyone else.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
BGM: I don't have a preferred platform or technological process I choose when designing because I believe in experimenting with all of them, we might find the strangest mediums to be the solution to our problems. But 3D printing is a process I want to explore in my next designs, and working with sustainable materials such as BananaTex and Sabra Silk.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
BGM: I feel the most creative when I am observing the world around me, watching people go by their lives, finding the great in the most ordinary of things. I feel creative when I am in a comfortable environment, when I feel respected and when I am challenged.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
BGM: I design what is essential by removing anything unnecessary and focusing on what's fundamental.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
BGM: When I finalised my first project and I held my design prototype, I thought I would be anxious and nervous but I only felt a great deal of satisfaction and accomplishment.

FS: What makes a design successful?
BGM: I believe if a design isn't unified, then it's disjointed. No matter how beautiful a design can be, if there's not some type of unity bringing all the elements together then the design will ultimately fail in its goal. In any design I create, whether it's a watch or a scooter, it needs to have a strong unity.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
BGM: When judging a design good or bad, the first aspects I consider are function, motive and aesthetics.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
BGM: My first exhibition will be held by the A design Award.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
BGM: I have always been fascinated and influenced by vintage style and culture from the 50s, 60's and 70's and the base for creating mid-cent inspired designs. Given my personal interest in watches, thanks to my father who is a longtime watch enthusiast and also a collector, it is not surprising that I should have decided to create my own wrist wear brand. I design everything from scratch and set up partnerships with reputable manufacturers.

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?
BGM: I am a dual-citizen, I am half Brazilian, half Italian and I’ve been fortunate enough to have started traveling around the world since I was only 8yo. At 16 I was selected to be part of the Erasmus+, the European Union student exchange programme which promotes cultural, social, and academic exchanges between European students. I have been to 16 countries in 3 continents, I have lived in 4 countries and speak 3 languages. Currently I live between Italy and England, where I was exposed to different cultures and languages that offered me an intellectual and artistic environment to stimulate my creativity and help me to develop a sensitive worldview.

FS: How do you work with companies?
BGM: This is my first venture in the market, and I have never worked for another company. I enjoy the idea of keeping it in the family business but I am open to any opportunity.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
BGM: My fathers vintage watch collection.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
BGM: I have a very simple but busy life, I am currently studying architecture at the University of Westminster in London where I spent most of my time stuck in the workshop rushing to get my never ending list of assignments. I enjoy good movies and series when I am drawing and sketching because they help me stay concentrated and inspired. In my free time I love travelling, visiting museums and fairs around the city.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
BGM: I'm only 22, I am in the very beginning of a long journey so I might not be the right person to give advice at this very early stage, but one thing I can say. Be patient and do everything to the best of your abilities; don’t underestimate hard work; partner with experienced and reputable manufacturers, work with people you can trust.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
BGM: The only negative I find to being a designer is that when you become a public figure and share your creations you need to deal with public opinion. No matter how much praise or constructive criticism you get from people who appreciate you and want to help you, there will always be someone trying to put you down with hateful words.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
BGM: My golden rule is to research as much as I can in books, websites, magazines or observing how people interact with other designs. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but research will turn it into something real.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
BGM: One of the most important skills I developed as a designer was learning to understand which ideas and concepts are not working and give up on them, no matter how much work I have put into it already. Sometimes our ideas fail and we simply need to restart with fresh eyes, but we can never think of it as wasted time and learn from our mistakes.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
BGM: For me, it all starts with a paper and a pencil, they are the greatest tools a designer can have along with proper research. When I design, research is my best friend, I believe observation is my greatest craftsmanship, it allowed me to take inspiration from what has already been and with the internet I was able to learn from the best. From sketching, to digital drawings, to cardboard mockups; from learning not only the dimensions and dial design but figuring out how it all comes together, how it all fits on the inside. Obviously nowadays pencil drawings aren't enough so I used Vectorworks (CAD software) and Photoshop to develop in depth my designs.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
BGM: Designing takes time. I was taught that a design is never truly finished and a good designer is always trying to look for ways to improve. I consider a designed finished when a good amount of satisfaction is achieved towards my work, and in my personal experience that takes around 2-4 months depending on the complexity of it.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
BGM: I don’t have any job experience to date.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
BGM: I never had a client before.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
BGM: I am very glad I started designing very young and I am proud of what I achieved so far. My plans right now are finishing my architecture degree, working hard to see my first brand Möels & Co reach its fullest potential and continue to develop new designs whenever I can.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
BGM: To date I have developed all my designs alone, I never worked for a company or had any clients, I work well by myself but I never ignored opinions from the outside and I found myself asking for my father’s view many times to guide me. Having a second or third look on your work is essential to find the errors we are sometimes too tired to see. In my University studio I worked in a team many times and it's an amazing way to learn, I work well with people as well because I treat them with respect and I believe every opinion counts. I look forward to working with other designers and teams in the future.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
BGM: I have a few other projects I have been developing on the side that I will be talking about in the near future.

FS: How can people contact you?
BGM: I can be contacted through my business email: betina@madmanfatman.com, personal email: betinamenescal@gmail.com or through my LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/betina-menescal-b296421b7/


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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