Interview with designer Markus Pargfrieder (MP), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Delacon Dandelion Playful Interface.

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Interview with Markus Pargfrieder at Monday 23rd of April 2018: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
MP : Our clients products are solely based on nature. Since they still have to open themselves to the digital transformation, we designed this installation for their exhibition stand to do exactly this. Being digital without feeling like it and by staying very connected to the analog world. The dandelion as the clients sujet for years was the perfect starting point.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
MP : We had the core idea of a model of a dandelion that has a digital twin. By naturally interacting with the analog one, the digital one was reacting. To keep it as magical as possible, our main focus was keeping technology as hidden as possible on the one hand, and creating a realistic as possible digital dandelion.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
MP : We´d like to gradually evolve the installation for the upcoming exhibitions of our client to emphasize the fact that the digital transformation is an ongoing process as well.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
MP : We played around with several ideas within the team, but rather quickly we all fell in love with this particular concept.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
MP : The way the story was made up, the design just kind of came by itself.

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?
MP : Since we are a project oriented company and since we always focus on the specific stories and messages our clients want to tell, this particular design we be married to this particular client of ours.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
MP : We thrive to evolve story telling by utilizing any sort of technology. We always start by listening to the story of our client and by good knowledge of different kinds of technology, designs like this "happen" in our conceptual phases of the projects.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
MP : There are many examples of good and creative ways to use technology for different purposes. We try to look at as many as possible of them to always stay inspired.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
MP : It´s designed for all the visitors of exhibitions, that our clients appears at.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
MP : I´m really proud that we did not "over-do" things. We kept it simple and pure, somethings that is quite often very hard to do. You need a trustful relationship with you clients.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
MP : The design itself has not a real name. We called it digital dandelion, because that is, what it is.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
MP : The digital dandelion was build in Maya, the analog one as well and then printed in 3D. The whole installation came to life by a programming toolkit called "vvvv" and in addition a Arduino microcontroller in combination with several wind sensors is used.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
MP : The interaction with a 6 metre LED wall by just blowing at a model of a dandelion is for sure the most unique aspect of our design. Therefore it´s more a design of this human-machine interaction, than a design of something that you can just look at.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
MP : We had help in the construction of the model of the dandelion, that is packed with wind sensors and cables. INDAT is a construction spezialist in Austria, that usually works for other industries and businesses. But since they also like to explore their boundaries, they were the perfect partner for this project.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
MP : Technology plays a huge role in this design. Without technology this project, and therefore this award, is not happening.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
MP : No.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
MP : The main challenge was to hide the technology the best we could do and to keep the interaction as pure and as natural as possible.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
MP : We were really happy with our result of the project and based on the overwhelming feedback at the exhibition stand of our client, we hoped that juries would like it too.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
MP : We just got our main principles backed up once more. Focus on the story, utilize technology in a smart way, but do not let it take over. Sometimes less is more.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
MP : No, thanks for the interview. I just want to thank Andreas Wurm from Heidlmair Kommunikation to give us the opportunity to develop this project.