I Want to be Where the Product is Made. Where the Action is
I chose Design School Kolding because of my urge to create. As long as I can remember, creating has been a part of my life. I’ve been drawing, building with Legos, sculpting and using tools my whole life. Industrial Design was a natural choice because it combines my urge to create with my passion for exploring new crafts and techniques.
The school was a sanctuary that let me explore my talent and express my creativity. But most importantly I spent time with other people who shared my passion for creating. The truth is l learned more from being among my fellow students than I ever learned from any teacher.
Attending the school, I quickly realized that the only thing that matters is your portfolio. No one has ever asked to see my exam papers or my grades. The school taught me that my career begins when you start school – not the day you graduate. Many of the projects that got me started in the industry were initiated while I was still studying.
Design is a team effort
The designer is often portrayed as this ‘character’ sitting alone in his studio wearing a turtleneck and round glasses just sketching ideas that – like magic – all of a sudden become products you can buy in a store. The fact is it often takes years to develop good products, and during that process a large number of people with different skill sets are needed to bring a product from sketch to consumer. My name might end up on the box, but design is a team effort.
The kind of designer I want to be does not sit alone in his studio sending out sketches in emails. I want to be where the product is made. Where the action is. I want to be involved in as many parts of the process as possible – from the first sketches and prototypes to how the packaging is presented in the store. Because of my high involvement I need to be able to communicate with all kinds of people. I have to be able to seduce the CEO with beautiful sketches and prototypes. At the same time, I have to be able to discuss technical drawings with an engineer in a foreign country. Visiting new companies and factories is part of what keeps me going. But the most important thing in my work is the people I meet along the way. It doesn’t matter if I have to make a salt and pepper grinder or an electrical scooter. It’s all about the people you collaborate with.
Stop sketching, start building!
I get depressed when I haven’t created anything for a while. Drawing and using my hands is the only therapy that keeps me sane.
I always say: ‘If you can’t make decisions you can’t design’. The hardest discipline of industrial design is to move on from the sketch block into the physical world. It’s tempting to keep drawing and drawing hoping that a better idea will come along. A good designer needs to be able to make decisions based on intuition and stand by them. People often comment on your work because it is expected of them and not because they have something to contri– bute with. Over the years I’ve leaned on consultants and experts, but I trust my intuition. The best way to convince people of your design is to stop sketching and talking and build a prototype people can touch.
The Mutatio lamp
The Mutatio lamp was a project I started while I was still studying and it is a good example of my design philosophy. I always strive to give my design a simple and easily recognizable expression. If possible, I try to incorporate details and features to explore when you start using the product. The Mutatio lamp is inspired by transformation. The lamp has a very anonymous appearance when it’s closed, but as soon as you open it, a more exciting and characteristic expression is unveiled.