What’s your design philosophy?
My design philosophy is to remain curious. I try to see something new or scope for invention in the familiar. I have a huge fascination with materials and making, and enjoy combining processes and unusual material combinations or applications. My aim is to make the person using the object happy, as much as for the person making any of my pieces to enjoy the making, so that all throughout its lifespan the design can have a positive impact.
You’re currently working with processed paper can you please tell us why paper? and so far what have you been able to create with it?
While studying at the RCA there was an abundance of materials, and I became interested in employing traditional making techniques on materials already once processed by humans. I worked with a variety of materials, from thermoplastic road marking, concrete and textile to paper. The way I processed the paper was the most successful and pleasurable, so I continued with this. So far I have made tables, lights, stools, storage units, coatstands…
What or Who influences your works?
My surroundings and the things I see influence my work. Also I like to observe how people use things, and this often triggers thought. I am not particular in admiration of any designer, although I was thought by Jurgen Bey, and hugely admire his thought world.
What can’t you work without in your studio?
I can not work without paper and pen- I need to write notes, sketch and visualise things constantly. I also use paper to fold and make little models with.
How to evolve into a brilliant designer?
I do not think I m the right person to ask this, but I believe it is by being curious, and believing in what you do. It sounds lame, but there really is no reward other then the good feeling of accomplishing something and feeling it has been done well.
Advice you have for newly graduates still learning to become a professional product designer?
When you graduate, you have to choose what you do next. To be very conscious and thoughtful about what you choose to do when you leave is important, because the first steps after university often determine how you will be perceived as a professional, and hence forth what opportunities will be offered to you.
How do you go about choosing material for each design?
The choice of any material is always dependant on its application, and whether it is rightful for the function it is intended for. After this is fulfilled, and it is also interesting to push the boundaries with this, you can focus on the aesthetics. Also the process of how something is made is very important in the choice of materials, often I find there is a huge difference in the detail of the material if it is processed by hand or by machine.
Visit Pia Wüstenberg to see her works