Interview with designer Clive and Tina Bullivant (CB), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Pit Stop Table Pepper Mill/Shaker.

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Interview with Clive and Tina Bullivant at Sunday 15th of April 2012: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
CB : This design was intended to be fun, I have never grown out of a love of cars and a fascination for science fiction and indulged both of these interests when producing this work. I was looking to achieve a combination of something tactile like the gear change of a classic sports car with an aesthetic that is alien and straight out of 'War of the Worlds'. It had to be noticeably unconventional and eye catching.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
CB : Everyone is used to using condiment grinders but there is very little variation in design for these beyond use of a limited variety of materials and sizes. This design is intended to increase the interaction with the user with the added function of the shaker bulb whilst solving the problem of the condiment residue which is always left on surfaces when a grinder is put down after use. This can be damaging to the surface particularly if the residue is salt.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
CB : I would hope this would become part of a wide range of products.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
CB : I worked on this design for 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?
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 trained as a silversmith and any product that is handled and effectively 'tableware' is the area I am most comfortable with.

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 : Young adults, particularly men who may be in their first home.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
CB : This design is different from other condiment grinders in two ways. Firstly it is inverted n a 'tumbler' form bringing movement as an additional sense that it appeals to. Secondly the condiment is ground into a shaker bulb that allows the user to apply fresh seasoning exactly where they want it.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
CB : 'Pit Stop' refers to the classic car inspiration at the core of the aesthetic. It suggests the glamour of motor racing while retaining a connection to food through the metaphor for taking a snack.

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 : I would have to say that the shaker bulb is the most unique feature of the design.

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.

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 : I had access to a focus group of 18-30 year olds and deliberately focused on young men living as groups of friends or on their own and having to take an interest in their domestic environment for the first time. Their interests were largely fashion and lifestyle driven and what they perceived as 'cool'.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
CB : I wanted something that would be visually unique, and good to handle whilst avoiding the mess often associated with conventional grinders.

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 gained a useful understanding of a very particular target user group, their tastes and lifestyles and how this affects what they buy.