DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
ODK : AESTUS is meant to blend material and machine. Inspired by the dynamic relationship between nature and machine, AESTUS is a series of stratified wooden vases designed and manufactured to explore a new synthesis of traditional materials and modern technology.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
ODK : The series' distinctive material and iconic shape is meant to blend modern and traditional design qualities. I wanted to raise awareness not only for the beauty of traditional materials but also for the appreciation of fabrication and craft. Especially in our digital age that we are in, I wanted to make a statement for both the manual and the digital.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
ODK : I want to explore more possibilities in the relationship between material and machine. I'm planning more designs with a similar approach, and I hope to inspire other artists and designers to do the same.
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
ODK : It took me about a year from conception to final prototype. AESTUS was finished in mid 2018.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
ODK : I wanted to design a timeless concept and focus solely on the material while ensuring a simple yet durable functionality. This is why I chose to design a series of vases.
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?
ODK : I am producing the design in collaboration with a carpentry. I produce the machine instructions myself but let professionals handle the materials and finishes.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
ODK : I draw inspiration from many other designers who engage with material and form in similar ways.
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
ODK : I hope my design can be used in public spaces such as exhibitions, restaurants or hotel lobbies, but I also have private clients who want to appreciate the design in their homes.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
ODK : The main differentiation is the appreciation for the fabrication process as well as the relationship with the material.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
ODK : AESTUS is latin and can be translated into passion, heat, fire or wave. It emphasizes the dynamic shape but also the dynamic and intense relationship between material and machine.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
ODK : I am using McNeel Rhinoceros and the programming plugin Grasshopper. The design is manufactured using a 7-axis industry robot setup.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
ODK : The series' distinctive material and iconic shape is meant to blend modern and traditional design qualities. It reflects a fascination for the relationship between the scientific, almost purely mathematical approach of digital fabrication, and the aesthetics of the material directly affected by this process. The tension between the digital and physical, the method and the result, is most prevalent in this form of contemporary wood design: the richness, depth and visual detail of a wooden surface stands in contrast to the clean and precise robotic manufacturing process.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
ODK : I collaborated with the carpentry Ackermann GmbH in Germany. They provided the expertise of material handling and finishing, while I provided my knowledge of machine code generation and how to make the most out of the robot's movements.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
ODK : This design is enabled by technology. During the development the robot's movement became one of the main design tools as it directly influences the shape of each groove. Parametric software and digital simulation tools were specifically developed to explore the design possibilities and seamlessly integrate the robotic fabrication, while prototypes were manufactured to precisely understand the constraints of the robot and to achieve a continuously high quality.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
ODK : With a height of 110 cm the biggest of the four vases is also the most challenging to manufacture. Fixed only on the bottom of the turn table, the vase experiences high forces during milling. The required stability was achieved by integrating a stainless steel cylinder in the manufacturing process. It acts as a guide for both the lamination process of the beech plywood layers, and the precise attachment to the turn table.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
ODK : This competition was recommended by a friend.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
ODK : Although I have worked with robots and wood for many years I learned a lot about fabrication processes when developing this design. The complexity to get from raw material to finished design takes a lot of commitment and patience, and I'm very happy to have had support from the carpentry I collaborated with.
DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
ODK : I hope this design will raise awareness for the relationship between human, machine and material. And I hope that through this relationship, people will again appreciate the process of making, craftsmanship and see the changes in our digital age not as a threat but as a possibility.