Interview with designer George Drakakis (GD), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Nessie 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 right from the ground. The basic characteristics of the concept is: Hassle-free installation process and Modularity. The concept consists of a basic -organic shaped- unit; the final composition requires the repetition of the basic unit by two or three times. In any case, robust, heavy-weight units are just dropped in their final position, without affecting in any pre-existing infra-structures of 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 get something meaningful out of the repetition of a basic unit and at the same time, to achieve a balance of volumes of the final composition, from an artistic point of view. One unit cannot exist without the other(s). Part of the properties of one unit is passed to another, (i.e the backrest of unit A is actually the backrest of unit B). It’s all about Continuity in fragments. Emphasis on continuity, cause fragments are meaningless without referring to a “bigger picture”.

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: 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. Moebius 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. Moebius and their studies on single-sided surfaces.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
GD : It’s an 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. It didn’t occurred to me at that time, but this is what I would call as “Form Follows Satis-Function”.

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 basic view of the design, you may recognize the figure of Nessie, gently rising her head over the surface of Loch Ness lake. If not take it from me: it’s a monster of rock, alright!

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

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
GD : 3d modeling 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. 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.