Interview with designer Cole Gerst (CG), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Andromeda Sculptural Lighting.

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Interview with Cole Gerst at Wednesday 20th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
CG : The inspiration comes from mid-century modern string art lamps. I wanted to take those shapes and update them with a more modern color palette and to use modern fabrication techniques.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
CG : The main focus was to blend a functional object with a work of art. I wanted toe piece to be beautiful both used as a light or simply looked at in a sculptural context.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
CG : I want to make more combinations and further the shapes and sizes into larger site-specific type pieces.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
CG : About a year.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
CG : I was inspired by studying tension and compression and models by Buckminster Fuller.

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?
CG : Right now they are all done in-house but we are open to licensing the designs or some sort of collaboration in production.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
CG : It comes from the love of combining materials in new and unexpected ways.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
CG : The many mid-century modern string and wire lamps that were designed in the 50's and 60's, George Nelson & Buckminster Fuller.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
CG : Anyone who loves lighting or wants to make a bold statement in a room.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
CG : There are other similar concepts out there as we have come across them over the years, but I think our unique color palettes and fabrication process make them a more striking and unique piece.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
CG : Andromeda is the closest solar system next to the Milky Way. It only made since to have some sort of star theme since they are lighting.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
CG : Mostly sketching and using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
CG : The customization aspect is unique. Someone can mix and match colors to match most any decor.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
CG : Yes, Joe Mansfield of Engrave Goods here in Portland was very helpful in honing the final design of the lamps.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
CG : We use laser cutting for the frames.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
CG : The only research was just based on size and other lighting related questions, wiring etc.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
CG : We had to create many prototypes until we got not only the designs dialed in, but also the production of them becomes a challenge.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
CG : It was mostly done to validate our belief in the beauty of our product.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
CG : Patience, Learning pricing and sourcing many different parts. I believe my skills in color were improved.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
CG : No thanks