I’m pleased to present you the Swiss designer Marc Haldemann, who accepted to answer our interview. We like his DIY “Koota” table which will be present at the 2012 edition of the Design Days so I invite you to read and discover his interesting works…

This interview is part of a series of interviews resulting from our collaboration with
the 2012 edition of Design Days.

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Hello Marc, How are you ?
I’m fine, thanks a lot for your interest in my work. I just have a few days off and therefore time to answer your questions.

Tell us more about you. Who are you ?
I am a product designer living in Switzerland. Predominantly I’m working in the field of furniture design.

Where is your studio based and what do you like about this place?
My design studio is situated in Suhr, a small town some 50 km from Zurich. The location is not far from where I live. I really appreciate this place for it’s quiet neighborhood. I share the rooms with a few friends who are all working on different creative projects. In previous years a vegetarian restaurant was located in this old house. I like the idea of people having been eating and chatting formerly in the same room where I currently work. We also have a nice patio where we use to relax and occasionally barbecue together. The old kitchen is now used as our workshop. But unfortunately the house will be torn down next year. So we have to look for another such great location.

Tell us about your experience and approach to design, at which point did you realize that the design was the direction to choose?
Actually every human being is automatically touched by design very early in his life. But the contact is unconscious at this early stage. I quite young began to be interested in objects and their aesthetics. When I was a child I produced a lot of sketches and gradually started to create my own decoration things for my room. At this time I just looked at it as a hobby because I didn’t realize I could do something like this as a profession. My technically oriented apprenticeship was actually the point I began to get involved in design more seriously. In my professional education I had always missed the creative freedom.

Where your inspirations come from?
My inspirations for new ideas come from anywhere. First of all and most important is to actually see the inspiration. As a designer you have to observe and try to get the connection to design.
Traveling, reading books, art, going out for a walk or even listening to music: All those things can be inspiriting. It is crucial to be interested in as many different and new things as possible.

Can you tell us about your DIY “Koota” table? That will be present at the 2012 edition of Design Days.
The “Koota” table is a result of different subjects I am into at the time being. My aim was to create a product that can be easily produced at low costs but nevertheless should be something special and individual. All parts of “Koota” are cut out of a 18mm oak plate. All cut parts that are used to keep the table together are made of same shape allowing to set up the machine for production just once.  Assembling the table doesn’t need any additional fixing parts.

The “do it yourself” is it a different approach to design today?
The „do it yourself“ is definitely a legitimate trend in design. Anyway, creating Koota the “do it yourself” way wasn’t actually my focus. As explained above I intended to create a piece of furniture in the contrast of cheap manufacturing and individuality. You can find lots of cheap serially produced furniture lacking any character. On the other hand there is also much expensive furniture out there with expressive design. There is not much in between, though.

Have you been influenced by any designer, artist, photographer, … in particular?
Actually I am influenced by a lot of different people including those I do not even now by name. I really like the work of Nordic designers, photographers, artists or even musicians. Their work is generally characterized by a reduction to the essential.

Can you choose one of your project and describe the process that you led from conception to production / to the making ?
I can give you a short explanation of the process of my floor lamp “Puu”:
At the beginning creating a floor lamp wasn’t planned at all. I just wanted to create my own furniture. The contrast of nature and technique inspired me. I was fascinated by the technical structure of cranes but also by the naturally grown structure of trees. So I tried to combine these different aspects in one object. That’s why I decided to create a floor lamp. Quite a long process of sketching and finding shapes began. After several errors I created the first model in real size. Another period of changes and working out details of the design followed before I was ready to create the first prototype. Finally it wasn’t that easy to find an appropriate carpenter who was able to work precisely enough concerning the needs for the perfect finish of my lamp.

Do you follow any particular process in your work?
There are quite a few steps like sketching, model making, creating renderings etc. I always use during a design process. But usually every process is different from the other and depends on the product I plan to design.

What is exciting in design today?
A lot of interesting trends are going on in today’s design. I find most of them really exciting because they often reflect people’s needs. A huge trend is definitely the sustainability of design and the whole design process. I hope it won’t just a short trend.

Some projects to come?
At the moment I am working on a shelf that consists of the same design elements as the “Koota” table.

Do you have any advice to give to our readers, students or/and future designers?
I believe every designer has to find his own access to creativity. Just keep an open mind and be willing to make it your passion.

I give you the last word ….
Again, thanks a lot for your interest in my work!

Thank you!

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>  www.marchaldemann.ch

>  design days 2012

/ Interview : Dennis Moya – september 2012 / Pictures and designs are © Marc Haldemann

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