Interview with designer Despina Souhlas (DS), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Aeonia Osmosis-Inspired Multi Sided Sofa With Tables.

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Interview with Despina Souhlas at Wednesday 25th of April 2012: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
DS : Osmosis inspired the direction for this design.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
DS : The main focus with this design was to develop sleek and elegant seating that is flexible in its design and facilitates socialization.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
DS : The initial design came together within just a few hours, with just a few days of development the design was completed.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
DS : Water droplets on the car window merging together inspired this concept. The idea of merging furniture pieces together provided a solution for a design challenge that we had repeatedly encountered; providing abundant seating in a room without overcrowding the space. This concept offered infinite options for merging pieces together in forms that were new, sleek and dynamic.

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?
DS : Currently, we produce and sell our work ourselves with production assistance from a local furniture builder. As we continue to copyright and patent designs, the option of selling or leasing rights becomes more of a consideration.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
DS : We wished to offer our clients flexible seating that was sleek and elegant but comfortable as well, we searched the market and found little to meet our requirements. From this recurring challenge emerged the aeonia sofa.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
DS : Saarinen, Breuer, Le Corbusier and Gaudi are a few of the designers that have inspired and influenced our work.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
DS : The target customer is one who needs abundant seating that is dynamic, flexible and comfortable for a variety of venues. The basic concept of osmosis provides infinite design options to fulfill the requirements of most, if not all, of our customers.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
DS : Proportions found in nature that we turn to to for inspiration in our designs are limitless, the name aeonia meaning eternal or for an immeasurable amount of time reflected this inspiration. We also chose this name since our goal was also to create a timeless design.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
DS : Geometric and ergonomic proportions were used to determine the overall scale for elegance and optimal dimensions for comfort.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
DS : The most unique aspect of the aeonia sofa is the shape, created by multiple features fused together to satisfy multiple needs for a space.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
DS : Aeonia was a collaborative effort with architect, Nebojsa Stanic.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
DS : Sketches, computer renderings and small scale models were built to develop the design, otherwise the construction of the aeonia was kept simple with emphasis on sturdy custom built quality and attention to detail.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
DS : Geometric and ergonomic proportions were used to shape the design.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
DS : Proportioning the sofa for comfort proved to be the most time consuming aspect of the design.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
DS : The enthusiastic responses we had received from our clients and peers on the design prompted us to submit aeonia to competition.