Five minutes with Fine Art Lamps designer Mark McDowell

Fine Art Lamps designer Mark McDowell takes five minutes to talk to us about his work and the importance of The Design Awards.

Fine Art Lamps have had their Allegretto Pendant, shortlisted into The International Product Design Awards 2013. The piece was submitted by Rebecca Scott.



Name of Company:
Fine Art Lamps

Position within company:


What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?
Clean yet functional with a sense of style. Design trends slowly morph, there are no abrupt starts and stops. Different influences come and go and you have to go with the flow. I think greener, smarter design is coming more into play and the disposal world is changing.
What are the key influencing elements at present?
Designs that have a strong graphic silhouette. Based on classic forms derivative shapes and patterns with the influence of current aesthetics. Weight, mass, finish, colour texture…. It is always a balancing act to compliment current trends.
What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?
Working on re-purposing. Using usual components in unusual ways. I love innovating through re-purposing. I am always looking for holes in the market place using classic materials in new industrial ways.
A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?
There is no separation. My life reflects my career and my career reflects my life. They are fused as one.
Name five key essentials for 2013 and beyond.
  • Function
  • Style
  • Knowing your audience
  • Innovation
  • The “it” factor
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Never make assumptions.
How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designers talents and achievements?
Extremely. It is great to be recognised outside of the crazy sphere that is Design.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Design product that is innovative and sells simultaneously with me feeling great about my designs being out there that are a representation of me.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

The car you drive? 
An old jeep

Your favourite place to travel to in the world? 
Every place I go is an adventure and is an inspiration. I see beauty in all things. If I had to pick a spot it would be a Japanese Zen Garden.

Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar? 
I love The Setai in Miami Beach. I feel at home there. My favorite place to eat is a Ramen House anywhere in Japan.

The place that gives you the most energy?
A busy vibrant city – old world to the new – Prague or Florence to Shanghai.

And the place that enables you to totally relax? 
Anywhere in Nature.

Your favourite food and drink? 
A great home cooked meal and sun brewed ice tea.

Anything else interesting?
I just completed building and designing my Art Studio and am in the process of building a guest house out of a 24′ diameter grain silo. I am an extremist. My balance comes from extremes in everything I do.

For more information about The International Award from design et al Magazine, please visit –