Interview with designer Dabi Robert (DR), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Poise Adjustable Table Lamp.

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Interview with Dabi Robert at Thursday 7th of May 2020: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
DR : My concepts involve a certain amount of interaction in order to modify the way light is perceived. This should encourage curiosity and interaction with the lamp, instead of just putting it somewhere to rest. I strive for a deeper relationship with the product.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
DR : There are many possibilities to adjust the lamp, so one of the tings I focused on was that the overall appearance of the lamp is coherent in every position.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
DR : I would like to produce and sell this lamp. I am currently checking if that could be done under an own brand.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
DR : It took about 3 months, alongside other projects.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
DR : I pursued my own inspiration because I am very enthusiastic about designing lighting products for about 3 years now. I'm constantly researching and have far more ideas than I have time to prototype them. This lamp is only one of many, I also built other prototypes.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
DR : It's not yet being produced, I'm just looking for possibilities. I could imagine both ways, either producing it under an own brand or licensing it to a company. For both options I need help from a partner.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
DR : In the preceding time before designing Poise, I did a lot of researching and testing about methods for converting arrays of single LEDs into thin spotless shapes and patterns using lenticular or micro prism filters. At the same time, I experimented with different thin LED light profiles, so it originated in this pursue of working with slim lines of spotless light.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
DR : Yes there are many design(er)s that inspire me. For example the designs of Arnout Meijer kept me occupied a lot, I love the design language of Pietro Russo, Mathieu Lehanneur, Carlo Bernardini, Morgane Tschiember, and many more.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
DR : I think the production costs of a smaller quantity of this lamp might be comparatively high, so it wouldn't be something for a very broad audience. I don't want it to be super expensive either. I can imagine it to be used as a decorative element in design oriented environments like homes or shops to complement with an unobscured, straightforward styling.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
DR : The glowing ring and the straight line holding it create a dynamic or static appeal depending on the position to each other. It encourages curiosity and playfulness, instead of just putting the lamp somewhere to rest. The ring can be moved by hand and be placed in any position around a certain radius to the base. The ring can be rotated around the joint axis, the arm holding the ring can be tilted, as well as turned around its' axis.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
DR : The word "poise" has meanings like: maintaining in a balanced position, floating, equilibrium, to remain in a posture. I thought it was the perfect name because the lamp can change its' posture just like a body, and switch between a sweeping, almost float-like composure to a very stable one.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
DR : I designed some parts in CAD to have a better planning for manually manufacturing the parts in the workshop afterwards.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
DR : The ability to move the glowing circle around quite freely.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
DR : No, I worked on it alone.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
DR : Digitalisation transforms every market it touches very fast. This also goes for lamps with smart home technology, I think it is evolving even faster than the lifespan of a LED based lamp is. Therefore I would build it into the lamp, but attach it externally, for example by using a zigbee controller between power socket and the lamp. The lamp itself is "dumb" and only contains the LEDs. So if you change your smart home system in 5-10 years, you can simply change the controller instead of having to change the whole lamp.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
DR : No, I didn't really make any specific research apart from getting inspired. What I paid attention to is that the light source is always comfortable and doesn't glare. A directly visible source can easily result in glaring, at the same time a diffuse light can look inconsiderable. That's why I tried to find ways of "showing but not showing" the direct source of light.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
DR : For example the hinges, most of all the bottom one because it has to hold the weight when the pole and ring are moved far to the side. I didn't really know how to construct them because I had no experience with things like that. I also had to figure out how long and heavy the base has to be in order to work as a counterweight.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
DR : I didn't want to sit on the concept and wait until it will eventually become mass produced. I experienced earlier, that it can be an advantage to publish ideas even if they are in an early stage. There is always a risk of ideas being stolen, but at the same time it can also be a chance.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
DR : Since consider myself still being pretty new in this field of light, I learn a lot from all lighting projects I do, such as this one. From this one I learned how to bend aluminium profiles, or how to built a T shaped metal construction for the base for example.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
DR : In case anybody reads this and wants to get in touch with me, I'd be delighted. I have a couple of other designs which may be interesting but could need some help.