Sunday, March 16, 2008

Paula Dib Lecture

Paula Dib Editorial

Paula Dib is a Designer and Consultant Founder/Partner of the company Trans.forma.

Since 2003 acts mainly in urban and rural communities of handcraft production throughout Brazil. The development of products related with design, society and ecology has been the tonic of her work.

Paula believes that when a “new way of looking” arrives to a sleeping region, and awakes the people to the potential that they have, literally, in their own hands, a process of transformation is stirred up, first through observation, and then through acts and attitudes.

Her working methodology respectfully develops and adapts traditional craftworks into marketable products that generate income and improve quality of life for communities, while stimulating the people’s self-esteem and the value they give to their own culture.

For these activities Paula won the British Council’s International Young Design Entrepreneur of the Year award 2006. She has accomplished talks and seminars about the theme opening new opportunities to think the possibilities of performances within the design field.

Color, forms, volumes - To observe is to experience a world without rules.

Through the crossing of 3 elements: local available material, abilities found within the group and local culture; she promotes a collective exercise of self discovering and experimentation that reveal not only marketable products but gems that were asleep in the city and in the people.

All this process is built up collectively, guaranteeing results with meanings and references for the community, flourishing the belonging feeling of know how and all the elements related to it.

The company Trans.Forma. received this name for the force of the word “transformation” (the act or effect of transforming something, or oneself); along with the word “Form”, which is a prime-objective of Design. Transform, through the form.

Since 2002 acts in different segments of design: product, graphic, and exhibition, having as main characteristic and odds of work the look, that adds and directs, transforming the design into a tool for the approach between Man and his habitat.

We consider observation and design a rich confluence, looking for a delicate balance between: tradition, modernity, culture, conduct, art, politics, nature and social issues.

Paula Dib

Paula Dib Interview

26 September 2007

This weeks SOURCE lecture was held by Paula Dib, a social designer from Brazil.
The people in the VLAG team who accompanied her were Rachel Baker, Davide
Dulcetti, Damian Tonon and Samanta de Jong.
Prior to giving the lecture, Paula Dib sat down with us for a bit to have a chat. We
prepared some questions to ask her in an interview, which you can read the transcript
of below.


SdJ: Is there any particular person or people who have inspired you in your work?

PD: Yes, I have many different sources of inspiration. Actually, I was here at the
Design Academy Eindhoven, and I had contact with Hella Jongerius and I was
amazed with the way she was treating design, with an open view, everything that
happens within this word “design”. And for me, coming from Brazil, it made much
more sense because it actually fit in my reality, the Brazilian context. So, since I came
here 5 years ago, I came back to Brazil with another point of view about design. This
was very important for me, it changed a lot my point of view about design,
broadening the range of possibilities. Here I noticed this breakthrough, design can be
so many different things, the way you look a things is the most important, that is what
I learned here.

DT: You are professionally an industrial designer, did you find inspiration for your
work during your studies or afterwards?

PD: Actually before, my interest in this kind of field within design, more social in
this context, has to do with my education. I went to school with a human approach,
based in arts, we learned math through arts, we had a very humanitarian atmosphere
in Sao Paolo. It a is kind of school originally from Austria. It is not only about school,
the whole thing I guess.

SdJ: I was wondering about working so close with communities, which have been
your most positive experiences?

PD: It is something that you learn a lot from, it is very interesting way of working.
There is one moment, I just go there, naked you might say, we start to build-up a
whole relationship with the people and the environment, we start researching the
materials, research with different group of people, it is like a process, little by little
you get to know them, their history, and the talents, their background their interest
and as the work is a combination of all these elements, when we finally get to cross
them that is a very beautiful moment. Because before that everyone was inspired to be
there but they do not really know what we do there, but when they finally see one
product coming out from the group that is “the moment”; then everyone understand it,
it is like a refreshment in the process, we get new batteries, and everybody is ready to
start again…and it is so nice.

DT: Is it difficult to build trust with the people?

PD: I don’t ask them to change, my approach is not based on changes it is based in
opportunities. I think what I try to do it is just to try wake them for the possibilities
they have there. For example, sometimes I work with communities which never
worked with crafts before, actually they were doing nothing. So you try to find people
with some skills to teach the others, then the whole group starts learning. I am not
imposing something, I just show them and by interest they get there. This trust comes
with the process. I believe that at the end they will come-up with the product and we
have this goal. It is funny to see, we came here to play, slowly this changes, and I
think mmm…just wait and see…they change the perspective, they say
afterwards…well, I have a job now…they are in a different timing, they are small
communities, timing, sometimes small communities in rural areas. The income
generation is a consequence of their research within themselves and within the I clear? Sometimes I am metaphoric…

SdJ: Yes, you are very clear! In your website you talk about social and
environmental design, can you elaborate on these concepts?

PD: We have been discussing a lot about this “social environment”…I think the
social approach is the way we introduce ourselves to the communities, and what we
expect them to bring to us and this collaborative way of working , it is not something
that I go there as a designer and tell them, to change this and that. What we want to
have is this sense of belonging, we expect them to be involved. I do not expect at the
end of the process to go and sign with my name, because it is not mine, it belong to
everybody, this is the social approach, the environment is because we try all the
element we have there, sometimes we use other materials or native materials…we
always try to build a sustainable system…materials coming from industrial waste,
seed they have in their yards, the design in their context is to look for these kind of

SdJ: In your opinion, doe you think that designers should always have a sense of
responsibility towards the environment and the community?

PD: I do not know, what I do it is something that came to me according to my
context…I think designers should be aware about the materials, we have to think
before, during and after, the life cycle o the product, you have to be aware of the
communities as the users, so you need to produce things useful for the people, my
direction happens according my conditions.

DT: do you relate your projects to Fair Trade, are you also involve with the trading
of their products?

PD: No actually not, there is a limit where you can go. There is another person
hired by NGO, she produces the bridge between the communities and the buyers.
There are many NGO, I just help them with contacts, magazine, but I am not involved
with the trade.

DT: Have you thought of expanding your vision to communities abroad.

PD: I work with urban and rural communities within Brazil but why not? I do not
discard the idea of doing the same in neighboring countries like Argentina, Paraguay,
i.e…I know Manu Rappoport, he has some work done in Patagonia. We tried with
Bas, we have this challenge, we brought student from Brazil and NL and went to
London, 3 mentors, and we tried to use these methodologies we use in Brazil,
transferred to a completely new context, a high school in London, teenagers, trying to
build a collaborative environment. W went there trying to build something related to
school environment, and then we were thinking maybe the school needs more chairs,
this and that and we realized that what they wanted and needed was communication.
There is something specific about the school, it is a multicultural place. In one room
we had up to 30 diff countries, so we developed 3 project and it was all about
communication, interaction. It was a very nice experience. Sometimes you work in
design not looking for specific products but for something else. Design can help you
find this…open to new alternatives.

DT: Could you tell us a bit about your company Trans-forma?

PD: I decided to open a company because I realize I had to professionalize my
work…I thought a lot about the name. It has this name because has a strong
connotation, transformation, and it is also connected to form, and object of design.
In the future, my company will hopefully grow, or maybe it won’t! Its flexible, and
as the needs change, so will Trans-forma.
Thank you very much!

Ole Scheeren lecture

Ole Scheeren Editorial

Ole Scheeren is a German architect and business partner of Rem Koolhaas.

Ole Scheeren is Partner of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and Director of the Beijing and Rotterdam offices.

As partner-in-charge of OMA’s most ambitious project to date, he is leading the design and construction of the China Central Television Station CCTV and the Television Cultural Center TVCC in Beijing. Ole

Scheeren is responsible for OMA’s work throughout Asia, including the Beijing Books Building, a residential tower in Singapore, and offices for a media company in Shanghai. S

ince 1999 he has directed OMA’s work for Prada and completed the Prada Epicenters in New York and Los Angeles.

He has lead numerous other projects, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art LACMA, the Leeum Cultural Center in Seoul, and a competition for the masterplan of Penang Island.

In 2006, he designed 2 exhibitions for the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Beijing featuring the CCTV project.

Ole Scheeren joined Rem Koolhaas and OMA in 1995 and became Partner in 2002. Previously he worked for architecture firms in Germany; collaborated with 2x4, a graphic design firm in New York; and was engaged in a range of projects through his own studio in the United Kingdom.

He has been involved in various art projects and exhibitions, such as Cities on the Move in London and Bangkok, Media City Seoul and the Rotterdam Film Festival. He writes and lectures on a regular basis.

Educated at the universities of Lausanne and Karlsruhe, Ole Scheeren graduated from the Architectural Association in London and received the RIBA Silver Medal.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ronald van Tienhoven Lecture

Ronald Van Tienhoven Editorial

On 16th January 2008, Mike Thompson interviewed Ronald van Tienhoven as part of the
SOURCE Lecture programme. Ronald is currently Domain Manager for Domain Play at
Technical University Eindhoven. The interview was roughly separated into 3 parts: the
cemetery project at Spijk; his opinions on the interaction between designers and engineers;
and, his thoughts on the future of design.
The interview with Ronald started with Cemetery project in Spijk we had discovered on the
TU/E ezine, “idzine.” This was an interesting project, as this project led the designers to deal
with the taboo subject of death. It is a difficult project to undertake due to the complex issues
surrounding different religions, beliefs and cultures. We were particularly interested in the
interaction between designers and the habitants. We also wondered how Ronald approached
the project in a manner which would be sympathetic to all religions and beliefs and indeed,
how the project had been received. It was inspiring to hear about the interaction with the
other designers and how they approached incremental prototyping, a process which Ronald
strongly advocates.
In a previous lecture at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Ronald briefly touched upon the
interaction between designers, engineers and scientists, and in particular, how they all
combine. The interview was a good opportunity to understand his thoughts on the future
of design, especially in relation to how design has evolved during his career. As young
designers, we sometimes feel confused about how we can define ourselves within the design
industry, and wonder what the future may hold. Since Ronald has had a long, and successful
career, his experience and opinions on design were of great insight to us.
We would like to thank Ronald Van Tienhoven for his is generosity in sharing his experiences,
and his passion towards design. Our brief time with him has given us much inspiration to and
encouragement for the future.

Written by Chen Chin-Shan

Ronald Van Tienhoven Interview

16th January 2008

A conversation between Mike Thompson & Ronald Van Tienhoven.

Mike Thompson:
“We’ll start with the cemetery in Spijk, it was interesting having read on the TU/E ezine,
‘idzine’” that you strongly believe in the process of incremental prototyping as an integral
part of design research. Bearing this in mind, I would be interested to know, how would
you then approach a project such as the cemetery in Spijk, which, dealing with death is a
taboo subject, and I can imagine that trying to deal with the idea of a prototype with this
is quite a difficult issue?”
Ronald Van Tienhoven:
“It’s well nigh impossible. Well firstly, you have to deal with local traditions, it’s a very
small village and not that many people are buried there. It’s quite a difference if you have
to design a cemetery in a big city where there are many different beliefs many religions,
and many cultural backgrounds. And that’s what you see in Amsterdam, which is a very
multi-cultural city. If you go to the biggest cemetery there are many, many different beliefs
on only a couple of square kilometres, but there its really a very cohesive, very small
community which everybody more or less is Christian, protestant, and for that reason it’s
a very kind of austere kind of notion or belief people have about how they are supposed to
be buried. Well there was one difference because there should also have been niches for
cremation for urns and part of the population there is very much against it because the end
of the day’s people should come out of their graves and are led to the kingdom of god. If
you’re burned, if you’re cremated, it’s a bit difficult isn’t it? So they were very much against
that, but at the same time, there was also a community of people that are not that Christian
or who actually support cremation and they were for it, and so the city, the municipality
actually decided to have both options in the cemetery.
Well, about incremental prototyping, you have hardware and you have software and
software basically is the kind of social interface that is needed as well, and it needs to
be researched with the people that live there. And so incremental prototyping is having
discussions, and listening to people’s stories and its necessary to be an empathetic
designer. On the one hand you really need to follow your own gut feeling when it comes
to design, on the other hand you’re designing for a group of people and finding the right
amalgam of interests from both sides is something that is absolutely necessary. So in this
respect incremental prototyping is the design process based on the social interface you
develop prior to making the definitive design.”
“Well I suppose equally as important then as incremental prototyping would of course
be the feedback once the project is fully realised. So, I take it you must have obviously
had some feedback from the project, how is it now received particularly with the religious
groups which maybe have had some slight issues?”
“Well they will always stick to their own ideas. They’re very, I don’t want to say they’re
radical, but they are very firm in that they say that cremation is something that should not
happen. But when it comes to the cemetery itself, its also landscape design. And because
it is a very small village, people are only, well there are only about 2 to 3 people that are
actually buried there, so it grows very, very slowly, unless an airplane crashes with lets say
half of the population inside, buts that’s not going to happen. So its something that grows
very, very slowly and for that reason we decided to design a garden. And we departed from
botanical ideas or botanical concepts, firstly and fore mostly. So, its, when something like
that when a cemetery like that grows so slowly we said we’re going to design a garden and
the people will be able to determine themselves where they are going to be buried. So its
not something like a parking lot where the places 1,2, 3, 4 and so forth are filled with cars,
or filled with bodies, people actually, there will be a slow filling up of the cemetery. So our
primary goal was to really design a beautiful garden based on botanical concepts, but not
based on lets say the kinds of greens and shrubberies you usually see in North Western
European cemeteries. So that was our big adventure basically, was to find new kinds of
symbols that are not part of the lets say, not part really of the general idea people have
about what should be in the cemetery but based on a kind of adventure we embarked on.
Finding new types of trees that could become new symbols for interment or new symbols
for cemeteries.”
“That’s interesting, because that makes me obviously think about, in that respect, what
process do you go for choosing what those symbols should be, obviously bearing in mind
that then those, they have the capability to evolve in a way where those symbols take on a
meaning which is very much based around that locality?”
“ Yes. Yes. It has a lot to do with the soil. What does the soil take? We actually chose Marsh
Cypress’ which is not really, not exactly a Dutch tree but which has properties that are very
special in the sense that they have the same kind of thickness, and the same kind of density
as the Italian Poplars that are so often used on cemeteries. They have a very, very heavy
root system, and they’re very expressive in that respect. So being rooted in the ground,
being part of the soil and having the same kind, or even more intense density compared
to other kinds of trees that are more easily chosen on Dutch cemeteries we thought would
be quite interesting. So we also had the botanical discussions about what the meaning, or
what the symbol, or what the potential symbol could become, if you would choose such a
plant on such a place.
It wasn’t only me of course; I did it with two other people, with Mike Tyler, who has quite,
a very good knowledge of botany and Laurien Wijers as well. She, by the way, is Tibetan
Buddhist, and so her background is quite different from ours, and so there was this mix of
backgrounds, which made it quite interesting to design a cemetery together. Actually, we
were supposed to do one part each one of us, but we thought it was ridiculous because its
not a very big cemetery so we said where are we going to work together?”
“That must be interesting particularly, I can imagine, with that background.”
“Yeah. And its also 3 different generations. Mike is much younger than I, and Laurien is
already in her 60’s so it was quite interesting from a generation point of view.”
“Yeah that sounds it definitely. Ok. I guess that…”
“But there’s something else I would like to say about incremental prototyping.”
“Yeah sure...”
“I mean, the design process very often is based on the end result as an illustration of an
idea, rather than having all kinds of these different prototypes with a social or hardware
that really gives feedback and that really bring you to the next strange. And even if it’s a
Wizard of Oz. Do you know what a Wizard of Oz prototype is?”
“It doesn’t exist yet. The product doesn’t exist yet. You do as if it exists. And people if they
are susceptible to your ideas they will accept it for that moment. And they will react as if
it is existing. There are many ways and many methods actually you can use it in. You can
actually simulate a situation in which the product is already existing or which the idea is
already materialised, and people, if you do it very well, people might react to it in a way
that will provide you with the kind of feedback to go to the next stage of the process. So
its really part of a very rich and very layered way of dealing with concept development
and that’s the reason why I think incremental prototyping, which of course is even more
important if you’re a design engineer, is something that really should on a whole be applied
in whatever way possible.”
“Yeah sure. Well, that’s interesting, you’ve kind of almost brought me onto one of my next
questions because I remember in a previous lecture that you did here before Christmas
at the Design Academy, you were talking very briefly at the start, about the interaction
between designers and engineers in particular and how they all inter-relate, and I was just
interested to know, from your own experience do you think the 2 should, or will merge,
and what you think the advantages and disadvantages of that might actually be?”
“Well first of all, talking about individual people, I think you need to have a certain attitude
or certain temperament in order to accept or put into practice a design-engineering
attitude. And so you really need to be interested in a kind of, lets say, in the slowness or
in the thoroughness of scientific research because it’s a different tempo than developing
assumptions and working these assumptions out as soon as possible. It really belongs to
people’s temperaments, to certain peoples temperaments that, the cycle between starting
or developing an idea and putting it into practice, which for some people it really should be
very short, it really belongs to them, there are people you know, who have a kind of high
burning rate. On the other hand there are people who really like a kind slowness, and the
kind of slow pace of scientific research and of academic engineering, and I think it really
much, very much depends on your goals, your ambitions, and the context in which design.
So, I know people who actually, will not accept the kind of slow pace of scientific research
for one specific project, but who actually will use it and implement it as soon as it is
needed. And I think that, what I consider to be the future of design is the kind of fluent way
with which designers will use, or will be embedded in an academic environment in order
to reach their goals, but at the same time will have the kind of flexibility to avoid it. So
choosing it or not choosing it. Immerse yourself in it or not, should become something that
is part of the whole toolbox of a designer. And, I’m saying this especially because there’s
still too many divisions. The University I’m working in right now, right here in Eindhoven,
is actually trying to bring together engineering science and design as much as possible so
this triangular actually will get to the point that it will have impact on the way products will
be developed and design attitudes will find a different place in society at large. But, I think
it’s a big adventure, it’s really interesting.”
“You’ve kind of already answered a question which I was thinking of asking, about how
you thought things would develop in the future. I guess in some ways that also makes
me interested in, how when you were a student yourself, how you actually thought things
would develop, and how you feel design and this thinking has changed throughout the
span of your career so far?”
“I was very confused as a student. I was a very confused person. Firstly, you know, I’m
self-taught predominantly; I was never on an art school or never in a design school. When
I was about 19 or 20 I really had no, I could not imagine that I would be choosing from
Photography, Film, Fine Art, Drawing, Painting- well I hated painting so I didn’t need to
choose that- or sculpture. And, well, as it is right now, and also in those days of course
you had to choose department and I just had no idea what to choose because I was using
many things at the same time. So I decided to go to a postgraduate course, where usually
people are accepted who have done, who have a background in an art school, but, you
know, they accepted me without having these antecedents, without me having a diploma
or anything like that, and it turned to be confusing for me because I was not really trained
in accepting criticism, you’re being, you know, you’re being trained at an art school to work
with criticism and to harvest from criticism, and to reap basically, what you need to take
the next step, and I was just too young. So, if you ask me, did I envision anything when I
was a student myself, I was far too confused for that, in order to think anything at all at that
time. It really took me a couple of years, and several years on a different continent in South
Central and North America to get some clarity to what I wanted to do.
But, I must say, before I became a student, before I went to this postgraduate school, I
worked in an organisation for new music, avant-garde music, and we also organised film
weeks and so on, and so forth, it was a very good school for me actually to be in, because
you know, John Cage came there. And Martin Feldman and Karl Heinz Stockhausen, and
all these people. And that was really, really, an important environment for me, because,
of course it was about music, it was not about fine art, but at the same time, it was very
much about attitude, an attitude of how to make things or how to develop things. And,
at that time I also read books, I’m going to mention one during the lecture, about Robert
Venturi, about Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. And the biggest thing for was
me, at that time, that I was taught in a post-graduate school where there was a kind of
either or attitude, it was very modernist. These were great artists, you know people such as
Karl Fischer, Heer van Elk, who are very, very fantastic people, but there was very much a
modernist 20th Century attitude. You have to choose, you have to choose very, very exactly,
and you have to keep to this choice as much as you can. Because somehow, if you stick to
this notion, or this idea, or this attitude, or this style, or this strategy, people will recognise
you. The more consequent you are, the easier it is for people to recognise you. To recognise
what you do. And in those days, well with the exception of Heer van Elk, who went
everywhere, who was all over the place, very good work by the way. I really had trouble
with that, and many students had. We thought, well, there should be a “both and” attitude,
there should be the possibility, depending on your temperament again, to play with the
possibilities, to play with the context, and to use or apply whatever strategy you think is
important or meaningful.
Its interesting that in the architectural discourse, and architects are however are usually
better writers than visual artists, in the architectural discourse I really came across with
some theories, ideas, and assumptions, I thought were really important for me to learn. So
these were basically the basis for me to accept this “both and” attitude and to see that its
contexts, styles, strategies, can be used in many different ways, depending on the situation,
depending on your state of mind, depending on the importance situation you find yourself
in. So for me it was a very slow, kind of slow development. It didn’t really occur in my
student days but rather after that that I was able to get some bearing basically.”
“Thank you. That’s quite comforting to hear actually!”
“Yeah. I can imagine!”
“Great. Thank you.”

Arne Quinze Editorial


Arne Quinze got his education from the street, as he himself likes to put it. Never having gone to school to receive formal education, he incorporates the things he likes into his work.

Arne Quinze started out as an artist, making abstract paintings. His love for cars and speed is clearly to be seen in his work, visualized in many stripes. He also loves music, admitting to not being able to work without it. Being a father of four children, he tells how they all go to sleep with music still playing.

His big breakthrough came with the square gray pouf, which made a big sensation and still sells very well today. Arne says that he came accidentally into design, but since it does so well he set up a big studio comprising 60 + people. He likes to describe the way the studio works with the following image: he travels all over the world and gets all these ideas and then he comes back to the crew and they figure out how to get it done. In this way everyone is involved in the creation process.

The importance of teamwork is also clearly to be seen in his large wooden sculptures. Made of millions of pieces of wood, these huge structures are put together by a large team of people.

His latest enterprise is opening his own gallery, in which a collection of all of his work can be seen, from paintings, to sculptures, to furniture. It’s the Arne Quize world.

Arne Quinze seems to be at ease in all of these different fields, always trusting and allowing his intuition guide him.

Joana Meroz


On the 23rd January 2008, the Design Academy Eindhoven invited Arne Quinze to lecture as part of the Masters Source lecture program.

Arne Quinze is a very unique designer in that since about 1999 has been incredibly prolific in the disciplines of furniture, interiors, sculpture and graphics, yet without any formal training or design schooling. It’s a fact that comes up a lot when reading about Arne Quinze in the media and it seems a very important part of his identity and the way he represents himself. He uses it as a way to distinguish himself from other designers and as a catalyst for ‘speed’ in design.

1999 was the year Arne Quinze broke onto the international design scene with his popular Pouf chair. Prior to that he had led a life on the streets as a graffiti artist, whichh led to designing interiors for his friends. This playful, almost rebellious, nature pervades his work. It’s daring, stylish and a little over the top – but something to make you admire and occasionally gasp - as happens with his spectacular wooden constructions he made for Burning Man and Brussels. He discussed this approach during the lecture, and repeated it during the question time with student afterwards. The message was “why hold yourself back? You can break through any barrier”. Such an attitude explains the volume of his output and was an inspirational message that reportedly left one member of the audience in tears.

However, the speed at which he works can make some of the projects seem frivolous or ill-concieved. Without reason perhaps? This does not seem to bother Arne Quinze much because he jumps from one project to the next so quickly. But I wondered a few times during the lecture if he was not so much as designer, but more of a stylist. And of course, style is important, but where was the focus on the bigger picture of sustainability, or social context? Its not that every designer HAS to address these bigger issues; I believe in freedom and the choice a designer can make to focus on what interests them. But as a design student we are taught to question everything as a way to make socially relevant design. Arne Quinze, never studied, as he often tells us. The next question must be; is our design education holding us back?

Guy Keulemans

Arne Quinze Poster

Arne Quinze Lecture

An Interview with Belgian designer Arne Quinze.

Recorded a the Design Academy Eindhoven, 23/01/2008

GK: Guy Keulemans
AQ: Arne Quinze

GK: Well, welcome to the Academy, I'm speaking with Arne Quinze, thank you for coming. I guess the first thing that intrigues me about your work is that there is a very strong artistic side to it, as well as a very strong design side. Sometimes the artistic seems stronger, such as in the sculpture you did at the Burning Man festival, but you have also applied that in more a commercial design context with "Cityscape". Do you find that the way you approach a project based on this?

AQ: I think that first of all, design for me began as an experiment when I began 8 or 9 years ago, because before I did a lot of artistic solutions, sculpture and these things, but the experiment worked so well that now there is a whole company around, and production etc etc. And so I love to my art, because in the first place I can experiment; I don't have any rules. It's really to get my emotions a shape. And on the other side I also like design, because there I have rules. I don't like the rules - its always a sort of fight against them. But the first thing and most important thing is that only do things that I like to do.

GK: And with that design process, does it come from sketching and drawing? Or 3D models? How do you start the idea?

AQ: I never studied. I can't work with a computer. For me, computers go too slowly, from my point of view. I have my sketchbook always with me, and I travel so much, and so for me my sketchbooks, I can write in them my ideas and concepts and when I arrive at a company, and the company is like a big carrier, and I am just a small plane in front of the carrier, and I am always flying out, and when I come back I have my ideas. And when I give them to my studio, then they work on it. And for me its also important to have this synergy, because one plus one is three, and then we make it and we have success. So you need to have synergy, not just between you and your client, but within the company as well. I like to create this ***** inside the company, so I give them my sketches and they work on them and I come back and say "I like this, lets build up this".

GK: So would you say you sort of encourage competition amongst your staff?

AQ: Yes, in our own way, we do that, yes.

GK: I notice that on your website, and also in the media, your personal self-image is quite prominent. How important do you think your image is to your success?

AQ: My own image? I think they make my image just how I am. I think that maybe its normal that they write stories about it and they focus on it because, because the normal way is to go to school, to study, and da, da, da, da. and I never worked in this way, I did everything my myself. I was a street kid, and now today I have a studio of 65 people, and the studio is around 10,000 square meters.... Maybe its how we do it, thats maybe so unusual that people want to read about what happens there. And I think also that I take absolutely my own freedom to do really what I want.

GK: Ok, thanks, I think that probably the end of the interview, but I did want to ask one more question because I notice you have a few tattoos, and i have a few too, could you maybe show us your tattoos and explain what they are about?

AQ: No I don't want to do it because I would need to take all my clothes off! I have just one but its more than a square meter.

GK: Ok no worries, and thank you very much.