Interview with designer George Drakakis (GD), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Eternity Urban Bench.

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Interview with George Drakakis at Tuesday 15th of April 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
GD : The main principle behind this design is the “just Drop & Forget” concept. Short-speaking, it’s an attempt to redefine the “Urban Bench” object, literally from the ground. The basic characteristics of the concept is: Hassle-free installation process and Modularity. The concept consists of modules; the final composition requires the repetition of a basic unit and in this particular case, two robust, heavy-weight units are just dropped in their final position, without affecting in any pre-existing infra-structures that is common in an urban environment, eliminating installation costs. Of course there is always the advantage of re-positioning.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
GD : The main focus was to achieve continuity and balance between two identical units, from an artistic point of view. One unit cannot exist without the other, and furthermore the combination of two units is not stable without a carefully balanced weight distribution. It’s all about action and counter-action. This design took “just drop & forget” concept one step forward.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
GD : I would like to see it realized and people getting the most out of it.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
GD : The design completed rather quick, it took about a 3-4 weeks, mainly because it was the last piece of a trilogy, a major concept I developed a couple of years ago, while I was trying to rediscover the “urban bench” object, so the basic guidelines ware already there.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
GD : I would agree with both. First it was a pursuit of an inspiration but in a second stage of development it was finished specifically for the Spanish company ESCOFET after acquiring a compromise to collaborate with.

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?
GD : I am already in contact with Escofet to work forward with the agreement to close a contract of exclusivity.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
GD : Outdoor benches will always have a great impact in my design practice. Mainly because I think it’s the place where a lot of activities can take place in the same time. Just think about it; some people are relaxing, others are taking a break, or getting ready to go. A bench is a dynamic place, not only an ephemeral destination, but also a starting point for the next ongoing activity. A continuous movement in different directions, not just circling around, it's more like being on a single-sided surface, as described by A.F. Mӧebius and artistically expressed by M.C. Escher.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
GD : The design is heavily influenced by the works of M.C. Escher and A.F. Mӧebius and their studies/research on single-sided surfaces.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
GD : It’s outdoor (and not only) street furniture, so I guess that target customers are municipal councils, or individuals who would like a special item in their garden. Of course it’s a great addition to court-malls, exhibitions, museums, and public spaces in general.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
GD : I think it’s because of the right amount of sculpture and rational design, ergonomic and artistic approach, thinking seriously and acting funny. All mixed up to deliver comfort, surprise, happy thoughts and smiley faces.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
GD : If you take a closer look at the top view of the design, you’ll recognize immediately the mathematical symbol for “infinity”. In terms of time it’s translated to “Eternity”. Eighternity is a play of words and vision.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
GD : Cinema4d for the modelling part, it's the perfect tool for this kind of modelling and Thea Render for the highly accurate material set-up and rendered images and animations, be it early stage visualizations or the final submit.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
GD : 3d modelling applications made everything easier especially during the phase of refining the details of the design, or reconfigure over and over again the whole shape.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
GD : I heard about the A' Design Awards and was interested right from the start. The sense of professionalism is literally everywhere. It’s a great place to share my ideas.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
GD : Thank you for giving me the chance to communicate my ideas. Please visit for updates and news.