Interview with designer Marco Manders (MM), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Tulpi-Seat Chair.

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Interview with Marco Manders at Friday 15th of May 2015: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
MM : Everyone knows tulips. They are the jewels amongst our flowers, a great joy to many of us. A typical Dutch icon. Tulips are a great inspiration to many artists and designers, including me. And I want to sit on a clean and dry seat in the public space. Because of this interesting feature, the design prevents the Tulpi from being exposed to outside elements like rain, bird droppings or leaves.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
MM : The main focus in designing Tulpi-seat was to realize a more attractive streetscape, bring more fun and colour into public spaces. I wanted to achieve, create eye-catching landmarks and bring Art and Design into public spaces. Accessible to a large audience

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
MM : Besides generating more sales for Tulpi-seat. I am now in the process of creating an upholstered indoor version Tulpi-seat-Chill for consumers and office furniture projects. And designing Tulpi-seat-Shine for Art projects such as Amsterdam Light Festival and Holland Pavilions

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
MM : The Tulpi has gone through a seven year development, concentrating on its design, ergonomic features and engineering process. It started in 2004 and the first Tulpi was produced on 30th march 2011

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
MM : I entered this idea for the Tulpi-seat during a Dutch government pitch, an event where professionals were invited to enter their new design ideas for public space design. My entry was well received, but not the winner. By that time I had fallen in love with design for public spaces after which I decided to further develop and design the Tulpi-seat.

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?
MM : We produce all our designs by ourselves.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
MM : After participating in the Dutch government pitch, I fel in love with design for public spaces after which I decided to further develop the Tulpi-seat.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
MM : Jochem Galama - Ergonomist Stephan Logger - Engineer

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
MM : Target customers are Gouverment and Project Developers

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
MM : This eye-catching design, Tulpi-seat, add s colour to any environment. It is a perfect combination of design, ergonomics and sustainability with a huge fun factor! The Tulpi-seat automatically folds when its occupant gets up, guaranteeing a clean and dry seat for the next user! With full 360 degree rotation, the Tulpi-seat lets you pick your own view!

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
MM : The designs looks like a Tulip, and back then it was a trend to introduce names with an i (i-Tunes, i-Phone) but instead of naming my design i-Tulip, I decided to name it “Tulpi”

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
MM : Illustrator - Photoshop - Pencil and paper - Solid-works - Rhino- Navigram

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
MM : The major selling point of the flowery furniture is once you get up, it closes just like a tulip at night. That prevents the sitting surface from getting rained on or bombed with bird droppings.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
MM : Jochem Galama - Ergonomist Stephan Logger - Engineer

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
MM : The Folding of the seat, it closes automatically. The Tulpi-seat automatically folds when its occupant gets up, guaranteeing a clean and dry seat for the next user

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
MM : I researched the folding systems used in Cinema chairs

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
MM : While designing Tulpi-seat, of course the shape of a tulp had to stay. But also the engineering and the ergonomic features of the seat were a real challenge to accomplish.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
MM : By coincidence we found out about A' Design Awards, and after thorough thinking decided to participate and see what would come of it.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
MM : My understanding of engineering grew enormously while designing Tulpi-seat. As did my knowledge of materials like steel and plastics and skills like ergonomics, engineering and manufacturing processes like the injection and rotation al molding process.