Interview with designer Urban Fiction (UF), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Urbanoids Floor Lamp.

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Interview with Urban Fiction at Sunday 10th of March 2013: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
UF : Our intension was to combine technology and handcrafted techniques as well as natural and industrial materials. A thorough experimentation with the wood lamination technique led as to familiar natural patterns such as the formation created by the wind on the sand, which was the inspiration for the further development of the project and finally the visual representation of the current city status and humanity's nature consciousness.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
UF : The challenge was to create a light source of high aesthetics as well as functional, that could be reproduced in a limited number and have an impact to the viewers enhancing their environmental awareness. Nevertheless important, was to expand the possibilities of the wood lamination technique. Thus the process was like two parallel evolved paths where at some point came across.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
UF : Our team's main goal for this design is to promote and expose it as a product as well as to present an alternative way of creating an object that evolves human's interaction assisted by the technological advances.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
UF : Each stage was bringing new design experiences and thoughts to incorporate which eventually concluded to the concept. Our common thought was "let the technique to lead the design". In total, designing and making took eighteen months.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
UF : It started more of an open conversation with the light, the materials and the meanings. Most important was to gain as much as possible through the creative process of designing and making and then to adjust it into to the market.

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?
UF : This work has been produced by the members of the group and the design has not been used from another company. We are open to discuss any suggestions or offers related to this design that could the exploit its possibilities to the market.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
UF : It was a creative process that ended up to a work and vice versa.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
UF : The group's influence can be spotted more at a theoretical level on references of P.Dormer or M.McCullough since through this research we approached the current design issue of handcrafted and machine made.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
UF : The most suitable target group for this piece could be organizations, companies or individuals that dispose a place suitable to accept and expose the piece in order to reveal and communicate with the viewer as well as to be functional and interact with the space.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
UF : Urbanoids captures the current condition of contemporary urban environment. There is a balance between the scale and the volume of the object in relation with space. The whole piece reveals harmony and redefines the boundaries between a functional product and an artifact of high aesthetics.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
UF : "Urbanoids", refers to the alienation of urban population from nature and to the vital need for reconnection.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
UF : The final design is a combination of different design tools. The starting point of the process was the live experiments we made in order to exploit the technique while the visual research led us to the shape of the piece. The development was based on model making as well as freehand sketches and for the realization of the final idea we made use of the computer designing programs.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
UF : This floor lamp is a combination of organic and linear forms, natural and industrial materials, cold and warm light sources, which gives to the piece an aesthetic balance as well as a unique identity.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
UF : We collaborated with suppliers in order to procure the different materials needed for the construction of the piece and we consulted by professionals to their field of expertise for the technical and specialized details for the technical characteristics of the light.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
UF : Technology was a great asset for the visualization of our idea as well as the materialization of this project.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
UF : The motivation for this piece was the exploration of the technique and the properties of the materials so the main part of the research was based on the observation through the experiments. Visual research played a crucial role to the development and the formation of the idea while current trends on design took into consideration during the whole process.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
UF : The great interest of the piece is focused on the complexity of the construction. Another tempting factor was that we had to combine the big scale of the object with the function as a light and additionally to embody our idea as a complete artifact .

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
UF : This competition was a unique opportunity for us to promote our work to the public. It was a chance to get some feedback from people related to industry and evaluate the impact that the piece has to the viewer, aiming possibly to a high ranking since we considered our work as a well thought design and a fine crafted object based on contemporary concerns that could be the starting point for a further discussion and a debate over this issue. Overall this competition was a great experience since it was a considerable collection of a big variety of works from designers of different regions and disciplines and it was likelihood to communicate with them through our work.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
UF : This project was a long designing process that we experienced that led us to new discoveries and practiced our technical and design skills. We were very keen on how we communicated as a team and through our interaction we expanded the potentials of the project. We spent many hours of researching, rethinking and revising the various visual elements, patterns and materials, throughout these we developed various ideas and applications of the technique for the further development of the project.