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Pawel Sokól of Exit Design spent 5 minutes discussing his design influences after his shortlisting in the International Design and Architecture Awards.
What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?
In my opinion, there is not just one particular direction in which design is moving. Throughout history, it has been the case that a fascination with a trend and inspiration based on it is repeated over and over again. Designers must constantly invent new values in the previously adapted directions. The only element of the design evidently pushing forward today is technological development, such as LED technology. Designers are currently putting an emphasis on natural materials and colors, as well as elements of folk cultures from all around of the world. (Marcel Wenders or Patrycia Urquiola). Looking at designers from various disciplines, the main leading direction is nature, but based on my experience of the last two years in Milan there will probably be a different trend very soon.
What are the key influencing elements at present?
Natural materials and colors with modern LED technology and multimedia.
What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?
Right now, among many smaller private interior design projects, we are working on a 650 sq meters loft in the city centre, an apartment with a pool and a Chalet at the lake near Warsaw – all projects should be completed by 2013.
A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?
I run the studio with my wife, both of us graduated the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and Art History and design is our passion. Therefore, designing is a part of our common daily life and work is our fascination. We still manage to find many new inspirations in the developing field of designing and art. It is present in our lives every day and fills every moment of the rest. We are the lucky ones, our passion is also the driving force of material life.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
The consistency in action. It is a constant thirst and seeking inspiration for the development, as well as humbleness related to the environment and the authorities. It is obvious that you cannot define the schema of artistic design. It does not make any sense to work in designing, unless you are involved fully with all your heart. Excellence in designing does not exist, but you should keep trying to achieve it.
How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designers talents and achievements?
The reason why our studio is a member of the British Association of Architects is not a desire to compete with Western studios, but is above all due to the lack of any associations in Poland. Locally, the interior designer is not treated professionally; most customers think of us as decorators, without any technical knowledge. Awareness of professional service and broad scope of our work is limited in Poland and only a small number of clients know how much work must be put in a good project. Both the awards and the Design Society encourage respect for the profession. I hope that this will soon be the case in Poland as well.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
The most work is to implement these three major projects that will have possessed very high level both in design and budget. I hope to display photos of the final results of our work in various competitions and publications. We also plan to issue a list of our current finished projects, to promote and encourage as many new customers as possible for foreign markets.
The car you drive?
Your favourite place to travel to in the world?
Thailand, and Egypt
Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?
many from Design Hotels
The place that gives you the most energy?
Milan Fairs in April
And the place that enables you to totally relax?
Your favourite food and drink?
Thai and Indian cuisine and Mosel Riesling