Extracts from interviews in a number of design magazines from Europe and Asia over the last year.
I would like to find a way to bring cultural nourishment into people's lives without using up precious resources and energy. We have far too much 'stuff' in our homes, which is little more than junk food designed to leave us only craving more. How can we create real and lasting nourishment without the clutter of useless objects that waste precious resources and damage the environment?! Design that does not address this issue is, I believe, both irresponsible and irrelevant.
I am not interested in trends or fashion. That will turn you into a follower. I try to find my own heart and to have the confidence to speak from it, with integrity and in my own voice. I do not like the current trend for design that seeks originality in the clever, witty or ironic – such gimmicks are one-liner jokes that may be laughed at once but are quickly forgotten. I may not always be in vogue, but I believe that in the long run integrity, originality and consistency will win through, because every artist is unique.
I do not want to produce the equivalent of a superficial pop song that may be the rage today but is forgotten tomorrow – it is my dream to create something like Bach's music that is not just remembered but can still be inspiring hundreds of years later.
I do not design to fulfill a practical function. I design to communicate, to tell a story, to relate what I find in the mountains and wilderness and what it is to be human. As an artist I develop forms and a vocabulary from what I see and feel around me. This is my personal language that I use to tell my story. As a designer I can then use these forms and vocabulary to build with. If I didn't do that first development part of the process, my work would be derivative, and I would only be able to reshuffle existing forms that others have developed – what is the point in that?! Finally I use my craft knowledge to find a way to make the design. Art, craft and design: all are equally important parts of the whole creative process. All the way though this process we try to be as caring and sensitive to the environment as possible, and to pass on that sense of care within the object.
I do believe that we need great works of art as they extend what it means to be human. Art is so important: it is constantly questioning, pushing our boundaries of perception and experience -- probing for that edge, its friction keeping alive the spark of life. Without that movement we are static and lifeless. Artists are the genetic mutants that are essential for the continuing philosophical evolution of humans. Most will die out and be forgotten, but if we didn't encourage them all, we would not have those few brilliant and vital advances.