Interview with designer Edita Barabas (EB), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Sunflower Solar Povered Lunchbox.

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Interview with Edita Barabas at Saturday 21st of May 2011: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
EB : I got the inspiration from renewable sources of energy and the whole theme of sustainability and eco friendly products.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
EB : I wanted to approach the theme of sustainability to individuals who dont realize how much benefits they and we all can have from it. The idea was to act local, think global. The Sunflower represents a new way of using alternative sources of sustainable energy - a utopian way of thinking for usage in our everyday life.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
EB : I will try to solve some problems considering tehnical parts and finding an investor.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
EB : 3 months.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
EB : I pursuited an inspiration. The Sunflower was my graduate work on Faculty of Arhitecture, Design school in Zagreb.

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?
EB : The design is not being produced or used by another company. I am not thinking of producing my work by myself, but thinking of either selling or leasing the production rights.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
EB : This design was my graduate work on Faculty of Arhitecture, Design school in Zagreb, Croatia.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
EB : No. I was generaly doing the research of renewable sources of energy and got an inpiration from that. Later I discovered that other people were doing the same thing in the theme of eco friendly products.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
EB : Faculty of Arhitecture, Design school in Zagreb, Croatia.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
EB : There are not a lot of design solutions for this particular idea. Comparing to the ones i saw, mine is improved in its funcionality and form. But in the other hand, every design has its own basic idea and thats why every design solution is different despite gadget an shape similarities.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
EB : The Sunflower is an ecological appliance that collects the sun's energy through a series of solar panels that spread like the petals of a flower. Therefore Sunflower.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
EB : 3ds max and Photoshop.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
EB : The Sunflower can change our attitude towards classical usage of electricity, allowing us to welcome solar energy into our everyday lives. It represents an alternative way of looking at standard home appliances which we use for cooling down or heating up our food.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
EB : I had a mentor, and a helper considering 3ds max graphics.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
EB : The Sunflower is a solar lunch box that combines heating and cooling technologies all in one portable appliance. It allows you to heat up or to cool down your meal while you are outdoors, giving you the convenience of the household without the attached home appliances.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
EB : I had some research considering tehnical parts and solar cells.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
EB : The main challenge was the idea of a gadget that gets electricity from solar cells.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
EB : It was published on Yanko design and certain people in Croatia were interested in what is done in Design school so I thought it would be a good idea to apply for competition and see what a group of profesionals in design think about it.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
EB : I learned a lot about eco friendly products and the theme of sustainability.