Interview with designer Bahram Salour (BS), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Ciel Home Bar.

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Interview with Bahram Salour at Monday 6th of January 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
BS : My wife asked me to design a home bar that eliminated the visual clutter created by the liquor bottles, beverage glasses ice buckets, etc., and which also relieved us of having to dust them frequently. This was the main idea behind the Ciel Bar; to create a sleek modern design that was highly functional and would improve quality of life. The inspiration for the design was the bachelor pads of the 60's and my love of automotive design. I have always loved the spy movies of the 1960's where at the push of a button a simple room is magically transformed into a den of seduction!. So, I set out to create a bar that appears simple at first glance but which hides secrets that are only revealed with closer inspection. However, the concept had to be housed in a cabinet that was unique and elegant enough to be placed in a living room, not just a game room. The design of the Ciel Bar cabinet was inspired by my admiration for American automotive design of the 1960's and early 1970's. I sought to capture the essence of the long and low bodywork of those classic cars and the stylish "bright work" that made them so special.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
BS : My primary focus was to create a home bar that is elegant yet highly functional. Since most home bars look like they either belong in a student dorm room or the local pub, I wanted to create something stylish enough to have pride of place in the home. My aim was to design a bar that was modern, unique and timeless without compromising functionality. I hope I have created an object that is as much a conversation piece as it is a piece of furniture.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
BS : I hope to find a suitable corporate partner to manufacture and market the design.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
BS : I started work on the concept in March 2011 and completed the design in August 2012.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
BS : I guess the design was commissioned by my wife! She asked me to design a home bar that eliminated the visual clutter created by our home bar, and which also relieved us of having to dust the liquor bottles, drinking glasses, etc. frequently. This was the primary reason behind the Ciel Bar.

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?
BS : I plan to find a suitable manufacturing and marketing partner and lease the production rights to them.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
BS : I saw that there was a need in the market place for a modern and complete home bar. Most home bars on the market are very poorly designed. They look like they were designed for college dormitory rooms or for the local pub. There was clearly room for a highly functional yet stylish bar that could occupy a place of pride in the home. This design is unique in that it includes a built-in dual zone wine cooler, which eliminates the need for a separate stand-alone wine cooler that takes up additional room in the home and causes clutter.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
BS : Yes. I have always admired American luxury car designs of the 1960's and early 1970's, and I tried to capture the sleekness and stylishness of those classics in the design of the Ciel Bar.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
BS : The target customers for the Ciel Bar are affluent, discerning individuals who want a complete home bar, but who don't want their home or office to look like the local pub. These individuals demand good design in their environment, and look for exclusive designs that are modern, stylish, and highly functional. They seek designs that reflect their exclusive lifestyle and taste.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
BS : Quite simply, there is no other design that resembles the Ciel Bar. Virtually every aspect of its design sets it apart. The form of its sleek body is entirely new and unique. There is no other cabinet either purpose-built or general purpose that resembles the Ciel Bar. Furthermore, no other home bar includes a liquor cabinet, built-in dual-zone wine cooler, beverage glass storage and accessories storage in a sleek modern design. And certainly, none feature an elevating platform that raises the liquor bottles to user height at the touch of a button.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
BS : Ciel is a French word for 'sky'. The name 'Ciel Bar' refers to the fact that the elevating platform raises the bottles up high.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
BS : AutoCAD.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
BS : Because we live in the age of high volume, efficient manufacturing, virtually all cabinets on the market are rectangular boxes. The Ciel Bar breaks the mold. The sleek body is both beautiful and functional without being a boring box. The design of the body and the elevating platform that raises the liquor bottles up to the user at the touch of a button are entirely unique.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
BS : No one.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
BS : I conducted extensive market research trying to find a home bar that was complete and modern in design. The bars on the market either lacked functionality, or were unattractive. Most looked like they were designed for small spaces and therefore, lacked all the features required for a complete home bar.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
BS : Well, I realized that the Ciel Bar is unique both in form and function. Plus, I hoped to start a conversation about the shape of modern cabinet design. Although I am a fan of the rectangular shape, and I realize that manufacturing boxes is easy, I think its time designers and manufacturers explored other shapes for cabinetry.