Interview with Simi Gauba at Sunday 15th of March 2015: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
SG : My collection - 'Pebble Bagasse' is inspired by the organic shape of the humble pebble and has been made for Duni AB, the leaders in innovative eating and drinking tabletop concepts. The material used in this collection, Bagasse, was very important to me in my design and inspiration process. Bagasse which is the by-product of sugarcane is not only biodegradable but is also one of the most readily available non-tree fibers. The red thread in this project was to make a disposable range of consumer products using a material that is natural, organic and renewable
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
SG : I wanted to achieve a good, functional, sustainable product that can sit on the shelf space in a supermarket/stores as an attractive single use-disposable product for Duni. I think I managed to achieve all of that.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
SG : This design has been made for Duni AB and it is already in supermarkets/stores since Feb 2015. The idea is to inspire the consumer to choose this single-use displosable product which is not only eco friendly but looks good too!
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
SG : 6-8 months
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
SG : Back in January 2014, Therese Nilsson, the Category Manager Consumer Europé - Eating & Drinking and Candles at Duni AB came to me to to discuss how she felt the need to create a concept for tabletop eating and drinking that is sustainable and eco friendly. We spoke and discussed this project at length. The next step was - material research, which lead us to the wonderful eco-friendly bagasse and the rest is history.
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?
SG : Yes, this design is being produced by Duni AB - Consumer, and is being sold in Europe starting 2015
DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
SG : I really believe in sustainable design. The demand for single use disposable products is growing thanks to our busy lifestyles. The idea was to give to that conscious consumer a product, which is not only made from an eco-friendly material but is not boring. This collection of plate and bowl looks classy for a nice sit down dinner or just an easy picnic and goes easy on the environment!
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
SG : Target customers are people/consumers like you and me who shop at stores/supermarkets but at the same time are conscious and aware of how their choices can influence the environment.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
SG : What sets this design apart is the fact that it is fluid and organic in its look and feel. This collection stands out on the shelf simply because it is not just as 'any ordinary plate and bowl' but a plate and bowl - conceptualized, designed and made from sustainable material.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
SG : Pebble is the name for the collection as it was inspired by the organic shape of the pebble
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
SG : I first made some loose sketches on paper with pencil and only when I was confident of the shape and feel that I wanted to achieve, did I switch to working on Adobe Illustrator where this collection got its final shape and form.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
SG : Fluidity, its organic shape, coupled with the fact that its made of biodegradable material called bagasse.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
SG : Like I mentioned above, this project was made on the request of Therese Nilsson- the Category Manager for Eating and Drinking at Duni AB. Sylvia RongXu at Duni, was instrumental in overlooking correct sampling and production. She was in constant touch with the manufacturer in China to see that the design is made as per specifications. Also the Design manager at Consumer department in Duni, Anna Karin Fäldt, has been a big support for this project.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
SG : I thought an international design competition will give this design the platform it needs to be recognized in this category of single-use and disposable product!
If I win, it would be a good example for all future designers to see that a commercial product made with sustainability in mind can go a long way!