Interview with designer Clive and Tina Bullivant (CB), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design One Good Tern Mortar and Pestle With Strainer.

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Interview with Clive and Tina Bullivant at Tuesday 17th of April 2012: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
CB : I have a passion for products designed using natural forms and living near the coast take much of my inspiration from the sea and it's environment. This table cruet was inspired by one of the most distinctive of sea birds the Arctic Tern.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
CB : I wanted to design something that would serve it's function well but be visually interesting so that it can be left out on kitchen worksurfaces as an eyecatching focal point.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
CB : I am already working on a family of kitchen ware products that could be marketed as a complete range.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
CB : This project took a month to complete to concept stage with CAD development, alongside other commitments.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
CB : The design is quite indulgent and was the result of pursuing a personal interest.

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?
CB : The design remains as an initial concept at the moment, but I would hope that a manufacturer would recognize the potential and I would be happy to sell the design on.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
CB : I have a particular personal interest in kitchenware with its need for good functionality and necessary interaction with the user. My recent work has been looking at bringing interesting visual impact to everyday objects and this is where this design fits in.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
CB : My interest in design is pretty eclectic but this work is entirely my own inspiration.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
CB : This is designed to appeal to a wide range of users but in particular those who spend a lot of time in the kitchen who see it as an important part of their home, they may entertain in it and certainly want things to reflect their character on show.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
CB : Firstly the mortar is ovoid rather than spherical which follows the natural grinding action of the user. Secondly the design allows the lid to the mortar to act as a strainer for liquids aiding the production of pastes.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
CB : It is a play on words bringing a little humour to the product. It is also intended to reflect the reversing of the lid to perform as a strainer.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
CB : I started with freehand sketching as I do with all my designs, before developing the concept through CAD modelling. I then tested the ergonomics with simple foam mock-ups.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
CB : The dual function of the product.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
CB : I developed this design entirely on my own, relying on my own skills and knowledge of materials and manufacture.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
CB : The design relies on well established technologies for it's production, predominantly slip casting ceramics.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
CB : The project arose after researching the factors influencing the purchase of products with customers at point of sale. The data collected showed a growing willingness to purchase products that had a good visual impact which users felt happy to leave out on work surfaces.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
CB : The main challenges in this project were firstly to design something with sufficient visual interest that could be made in materials with the robust performance needed for the practical application. Secondly the ergonomic challenge was to establish optimum sizes and to confirm that moving to an oval body would not compromise the grinding action. Lastly the material challenge to select a material suitable for casting a complex form that would withstand the impact and stresses of prolonged use.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
CB : The design was always intended to have a global appeal and this design competition seemed an ideal way to get the work seen.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
CB : I had to develop my knowledge of ceramic materials to make the design achievable.