Oscar Diaz is a designer who currently lives and creates his contemporary products in London. His work is not defined by a style, but rather by a way of understanding, exploring and questioning objects, while considering their context and the cultural associations embedded on them. Recently we met with Oscar who told us about the way he works and designs things. Enjoy reading our interview with Oscar Diaz at AstrumPeople:)
AP: Oscar, share your story about your first works. What did they look like?
OD: My first works were toys that I made for myself when I was a kid. It is probably then when I discovered that you can build things using just your hands and a few basic tools.
AP: Do you have any formal education in design or were you self-taught?
OD: I started studying design quite late. Before that I was involved in fine art and in my last year of study I went to France to study there for 6 months. When I was there, I discovered design for myself and I liked it so much that I ended up staying there and graduating in field of design instead of art. Then I finished a Master in Product Design at the Royal College of Art in London.
AP: What genre are your works?
OD: I design all type of objects, but also installations and spaces. I consider design as a way of thinking which combines intuition with problem solving. It is also necessary to have the knowledge to transform ideas into something tangible. I think the boundaries of design are now expanding and people from other spheres collaborates with it.
AP: How would you describe your works?
OD: My works are always designed for a specific context. Some of them are made for design galleries, and others – for mass-production. It is the context of a project, which defines them primarily. I do also work in more experimental projects when I am invited to create something for an exhibition. Those experiments allow me to explore new materials or ideas and then the result usually finds a way back to commercial projects.
AP: What is the most grandiose project you used to work on?
OD: Recently I have been working on a task to design a lamp, which was technically quite challenging, mainly because I wanted to simplify the number of parts and how it looks. That required to develop a new system to keep the tension of the lamp’s arm and we had to make quite a lot of prototypes, so the project progressed slowly by trials and errors.
OD: To design something I use just a paper and pen, then projects get developed using different techniques. It all depends on the idea. I don’t want to have any preconceived material or process in mind when I start. I always try to let the idea grow freely, then select the materials and processes, which best suit the idea if possible. We let the computer to do what is good, like calculations on surfaces and visualizations, but we make also paper models and use other materials to create 1 to 1 scale model to test the ideas.
AP: Would you consider yourself as an expert in design?
OD: “Expert” is a big word. I opened my own studio just four years ago and I am still learning a lot with each project. That is actually what I like of doing design so I hope I will never be an expert and keep learning things at the same time making new projects.
AP: What is the formula for success in your activity?
OD: As for me, a designer is someone who gives value to materials by transforming them. Making a successful project boils down to two things:
- finding an idea that is innovative and appropriate (observation, research, analysis, brain storming);
- executing that idea with the highest possible level of definition (prototyping, testing, refining, manufacturing).
Ultimately you have to work hard and solve problems along the way.
AP: Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
OD: My creativity is supported by everything that attracts my attention. Ideas are waiting in the gap between what things are, and what I would like to be them. They are born out of a mix of ambition and disappointment. Once I have established a direction with my clients throughout discussions, my assistants develop that ideas and grow them to a final shape.
AP: Would you like to wish something to your readers and AstrumPeople?
OD: I wish them to have a nice day and make the most of it.
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