Interview with designer Thijs Goossink (TG), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Nucleus Modular Wine Rack.

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Interview with Thijs Goossink at Thursday 14th of February 2013: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
TG : Interactivity by modularity. I needed a minimal design, expandable wine rack for my own wine collection, but I couldn't find a wine rack of my taste on the present market. So I designed one myself. Especially with the available colored elements you can make many combinations that actually look great without bottles too.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
TG : I wanted to achieve a compact linkage mechanism between compact flat aluminum elements. The elements needed to be flat, not only as a nice feature, but also to be able to ship them easily all over the world. The elements' compactness makes this product highly flexible with regard to the assembly options and the variety of spaces it fits in. It also needed to be capable of holding champagne bottles, which are usually slightly bigger in diameter.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
TG : To make it a well known and appreciated high-end product and to be able to invest in the realization of more creative ideas that our company has.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
TG : 2 hours from idea to design drawing. 2 years to make the product perfect. I must add that 50% of the year I work at sea as marine engineer offshore. This created some delay in a sense.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
TG : I needed a wine rack for my wine bottle collection in the living room. I couldn't find a modular, minimal and contemporary design anywhere else so I designed it myself.

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?
TG : The extrusion and anodizing of the aluminum parts (or elements) is outsourced. Cutting them to size by CNC milling, QC checks and packaging is done by us. We like to keep control over as much of the process as possible to assure the highest quality standard. If sales would increase beyond our capacity, we will probably acquire more machinery to handle it. We love our product and - being an engineer by profession - I like to work with machines. These machines can then also be used to develop other new prototypes and products, or even to perform small production jobs for other companies.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
TG : The personal need for a high quality modular wine rack with sleek lines, a playful mechanism and nice materials.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
TG : No. Through market research I discovered what not to design. I think most other wine racks have too many unnecessary fringes, shapes and limitations.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
TG : Our main target customer is someone who likes interior design, modern art, minimalism and contemporary furniture. But also likes good wines. Those two often form a good couple. Depending on the customers' creativity, the wine rack can very well just be a decorative and interactive piece of art too. On the other hand it can also be a subtle, less conspicuous wine rack that leaves the focus on its content: wine bottles.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
TG : This design is the most minimal modular wine rack in the market and consists of the most compact elements with an interesting linkage system. Next to that, an arty setup with a mix of colored elements can be achieved and enjoyed even while empty of wine bottles. However, the structural shape of cells still resembles a traditional wine rack. Thanks to its subtle lines it's all about the wine bottle, the cells' core, the Nucleus.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
TG : See answer to the previous question.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
TG : Autocad, a CNC router and a brushing machine with a small conveyor belt.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
TG : Having an interactive piece of art by modularity of compact elements. You can choose to let it be the main piece of art in your living room, or a subtle wine rack purely for storage of bottles.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
TG : For the production process I collaborated with extrusion and anodising specialists. All other processes were a matter of using common sense and my own technical insights and interests.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
TG : Quite big. For design and prototyping with small tolerances only CAD/CAM could do the job. And to finally achieve perfect shapes, cuts and finishes for the final product, we rely on machines that deliver a fine-tunable constant result with sufficient output.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
TG : No.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
TG : Initially there were a lot of positive reactions to this design. That's why we decided to bring it to market and we started this company to facilitate all processes. If this design would be credited with an award, it would get more publicity and enables Esthys Design Products to create more new designs in the future and eventually more people will be able to enjoy our designs. Basically it comes down to securing the means to express our creativity.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
TG : I learned to be more patient and to give good and clear instructions.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
TG : No.