Name: Jozeph Forakis
Company: Jozeph Forakis Design
Position within company: Founder / Creative Director
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc.)
Jozeph Forakis is responsible for some of the most iconic and successful product designs of the last two decades. The landmark Havana lamp helped establish Foscarini as a preeminent producer of contemporary lighting and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. The award-winning Logitech Cordless Mouseman Pro, created while consulting at the DARC design think-tank in Milan, transformed computer mouse design with its ergonomic “vertical mouse” concept and first-ever thumb button. The innovative Irony Scuba 200 diver’s watch elevated design standards for Swatch. As European Design Director for Motorola (1999-2002), he led the design team for the revolutionary V.70 cellphone. Other celebrated designs include the Spectre lounge chair for Dune NY.
Based in Milan and New York, his studio jozeph forakis … design works across diverse industries with international clients, including CL Yachts, Haier, Kikkerland, Leonardo Helicopters, Normann Copenhagen, LG Electronics, Magis, Samsung, Swarovski, Tecno, Yamaha Motors … amongst others.
Jozeph’s work is recognized for its innovative use of materials and processes, as well as for his research into the “behavioral” influence of interactive technologies in everyday objects. The son of career artists, his cultural approach to design reflects his background in art and theater, with formative experience in set and lighting design in New York Off-Off-Broadway. Early involvement in high-tech and biomedical sectors helped establish his research-driven approach.
He lectures internationally and is an adjunct professor of design at Domus Academy, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, and Raffles Milano. His designs have won many awards and have been featured in numerous publications, including “Design Now” (Taschen), “SPOON” (Phaidon), and “International Design Yearbooks” (Laurence King).
In 2004 he was the subject of the first One-Man exhibition ever organized by ADI (Italian Design Association) presented both in Rome and in New York.
How would you describe your personal design style?
I take a new, holistic approach for every project. I seek evolution and seamless, balanced integration. I want whatever the chosen materials and manufacturing techniques are to be express in their own authentic, indigenous way.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I get inspiration from all aspects of nature: plants, animals, and systems – down to the microscopic scale. Currently, I’m studying the extraordinarily beautiful and weird ultra-deep sea ‘aliens’ being discovered only now. Better than any science fiction, Mother Nature has an incredible imagination.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
We must learn from ecosystems in nature to develop a cyclical philosophy towards innovation and enterprise.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
- Nature Rules!
- Circular Economy.
- Beyond “connectivity”, using technology to nurture real human connections.
- Simplicity – in everything – is the new black.
- Post-covid is our great opportunity for a New World Renaissance.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Try to find new meaning within the given context: cultural, sociological, geographical.
How important are The International Yacht & Aviation Awards?
One of the few, true benchmarks of excellence in the industry.
What projects are you currently working on?
A full range of luxury performance yachts; Next-Gen PPE fashion & accessories; furniture and lighting using new sustainable methods.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To help drive the conversation about what we as a global society can learn and apply from the experience of the Covid_19 Pandemic. Every great challenge presents even greater opportunities.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
My homes in Milan and New York.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Sailing the Greek islands.
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Hotel: Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo; Restaurant: Trattoria Masuelli, Milano; Bar: Old Town Bar, NYC
Your favourite book, film & song?
Book: The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway); Film: Casablanca; Song: Thunder Road (Springsteen)
Your favourite food and drink?
Food: spaghetti carbonara; drink: scotch
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
With my sketchbook in a street-side cafe I’ve never been to before, in a city I’ve never been to before.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Anything else interesting?
There has never been a better time to be a designer.
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