Interview with designer Guideline Guideline Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd (GG), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Tulip Dining Chair.

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Interview with Guideline Guideline Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd at Wednesday 20th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
GG : The main principle for the design was to create a dining chair, suitable for contract use as in a restaurant or hotel that is functional, durable but has an elegant and timeless appeal. The lines of the tulip flower were inspiration for the shape and details of the design.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
GG : The goal was to maintain its clean lines and lightness but still providing a durable and strong chair that is comfortable. The Tulip's weight under 7kg and that it can be stacked up to 4 makes it the perfect chair for multipurpose venues.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
GG : We would like to market the chair globally and looking for distributors and retailers. However, the chair can be bought from us directly and shipped worldwide shipping can be arranged. In addition we do have a bar stool version of the Tulip available.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
GG : From initial sketches to final sample it took about 8 weeks.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
GG : We had a request from a client for that type of chair and when we presented the design the client asked us to change quite a few details. However, we've loved the the design from the start and it became our signature piece within our range.

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?
GG : Primarily we would like to produce the chair ourselves in order to control the quality but are open to regional license agreements.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
GG : I'm in the furniture industry for 25 years and that's where I've gained my experience. Any great designer out there had to design a chair. It's one of the most challenging furniture items to design in order to combine comfort, strength and elegance in a small item that is moved around and put stress on constantly.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
GG : Well, Guideline is a team which consisted of my partner Roan Snyman and myself at the time. We are constantly inspired by what's out there as other designs from past or presence in the broadest sense.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
GG : The target customer is the individual who appreciates good design from the private person who is looking for a dining chair to a restaurant or hotel.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
GG : I have to quote Ray Eames who said once "the details are not the details, the details are the design"

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
GG : I love Tulips and there is always a bunch somewhere in my house. I am aware that the name has been used before but we did not try to reassemble the shape of a Tulip rather than taking inspiration from its lines of leaves and blossom.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
GG : Pencil and paper is the first stage, after that it's the computer using a 3d program.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
GG : The organic details in the shaping of the back which are not only an aesthetic details but also contribute to the comfort of the chair.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
GG : Roan Snyman, my partner. His expertise I more on the computer and technical side while I'm covering the creative and woodworking part of the process.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
GG : Utilising technology as CNC machinery is very important in this design as it enabled us to realise the organic details without having them hand carved which would have made the design too expensive.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
GG : My research is 25 years of experience and adding on daily.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
GG : The biggest challenge was to have the shape of the back parts fitting into the common wood thickness available for walnut, 50mm. To achieve strength in the front leg joint suitable for high traffic areas and having rockstars partying on it as at Sohohouse Chicago was another.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
GG : We had great feedback from our international clients so we felt if any design had the potential it would be the Tulip. We hope it will now get the attention globally we would like it to have.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
GG : I've learnt a lot about how to optimise strength in woodwork joints. We are now in the process of developing a new method based on the knowledge we've gained.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
GG : Guideline is a design house with their own manufacturing facilities as CNC woodwork, upholstery and steel department. One stop shop consult, design and manufacture.