Interview with designer Tanner Svoboda (TS), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Exchange Dining Table.

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Interview with Tanner Svoboda at Monday 16th of March 2015: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
TS : The main idea and inspiration behind this dining table was creating conversation.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
TS : I wanted to create a beautiful piece that had the dual purpose of benefiting the user/users in a way that is traditionally not associated with furniture.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
TS : I hope that this award allows me to get my name out into the design world so that I can find a job after graduation in June.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
TS : It took about three weeks to come up with the concept behind this design.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
TS : The class I was taking at the time was the man reason behind this concept. We were tasked with finding a human behavior that could be changed (in a positive way) through furniture. I chose to promote communal meals because that is something that has be dwindling in the past few decades in the United States.

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?
TS : I intend to produce the work myself.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
TS : My professor, George Perez, helped influence this design. He pushed me to create a piece that didn't have just one meaning.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
TS : The residential and hospitality markets would be my primary target customers for this design. I think both could benefit greatly from it.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
TS : I try to integrate functions that are not normally seen in residential furniture into my designs. The cut out is primarily seen in desks from the commercial furniture industry, and I think using that same design detail in a piece meant for residential use is what sets this design apart.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
TS : Exchange came from the idea of exchanging with one another. Whether it is the exchanging of ideas or the exchanging of food.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
TS : The cut outs in the top of the table are the most functional elements of this dining table, but i think the most unique aspect of the dining table is how the legs are designed to look like they are growing out of the top.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
TS : Part of this table was fabricated by using a 5-axis CNC machine. As seen in the picture I submitted, the CNC milled out the form of the table top from a form that I created.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
TS : For this project I researched how people interact when they eat as well as when they converse with each other, and how to promote these types of interactions.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
TS : Time was the largest challenge for this project. Our terms are only 10 weeks long, and it is difficult to go through the whole design process in this short amount of time.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
TS : One of the first pieces of advice I was given when I came to SCAD was to get my name out into the design world. I think the best way to do that is through competitions such as the A'Design Award & Competition.