Interview with designer Eliane Zakhem (EZ), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Meline Stool.

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Interview with Eliane Zakhem at Sunday 20th of April 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
EZ : To design a stool that is multi-functional, one with storage for students' tools. In my drawing class at university, there was no space on the drawing table for our pencils or bottle of water or notebooks, so i felt the need to design a stool that would meet students' needs.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
EZ : My main focus in designing Meline was to add storage space to the stool without adding bulk.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
EZ : I plan to get my design manufactured and sold internationally.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
EZ : About two weeks.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
EZ : I designed Meline for a project in my Design Culture class in University. We were asked to design anything that we want as long as it was functional, aesthetically pleasing and adaptable. I decided to design a stool that i felt would be ideal for our design studio and drawing classrooms.

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?
EZ : My design isn't being produced at the moment but will be soon. I am considering leasing or selling production rights.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
EZ : I had never seen a stool with storage, and as a design student, I wished our stools in the classrooms had the added functions that Meline has. Students had to place their belongings on another stool or on the floor. My design offers a solution to this problem, an extension to the work-space.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
EZ : I was influenced by the Destijl style especially the architecture of Rietveld's Schroeder House

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
EZ : Schools, Universitites, Design studios

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
EZ : The added storage solution is a feature that you almost never see on a stool.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
EZ : I came up with the name by combining Me & Line. I felt i wanted to personalize it, because the idea came from my personal experience in drawing class, so I put "me" in it and I added “line” since drawing is about lines. Meline is a name of a person as well and it means industrious. I consider Meline reliable like a "friend"; a stool at work.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
EZ : A sketchpad and autoCAD for technical drawings.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
EZ : The shelf.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
EZ : I worked by myself on the design and then with a carpenter to make it.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
EZ : Mainly in research and for autoCAD drawings.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
EZ : I researched stool designs on-line, furniture shops, and I looked at Rietveld’s work.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
EZ : I am still a design student, so i experienced many challenges during the process such as what materials to use, ergonomic issues and how to realize the design

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
EZ : A friend told me about the competition, and I felt that my design had potential.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
EZ : I learned more about carpentry, wood, joinery and proportions