Interview with Gerardo Ríos Altamirano

Winner of Furniture Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Gerardo Ríos Altamirano shares insights


Interview with Gerardo Ríos Altamirano at Friday 21st of October 2016:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
GR : My mother was an interior designer, I was always fascinated by design and I was very close to her work. Since I was a child I loved visiting museums and travelling, this broadened my horizons. I studied Industrial Design at the UDEM in Monterrey, México, and have a passion for painting and arts. I have worked 20 years in the furniture sector, designing pieces for hospitality and homes.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
GR : I have a passion for art, and a way to transform art into a physical and useful way, is to create furniture, so I can communicate and express emotions and ideas, through shapes, textures and colors.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
GR : I chose it.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
GR : Furniture for homes, conceptual design, with a functional and aesthetic approach.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
GR : Fill their head with positive experiences, travel and rise their horizons beyond their immediate circle. Gain experience, producing real products, and never stop dreaming.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
GR : The reason behind your designs.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
GR : A great design communicates, amuses and has an adds for society in a tasteful manner. A good design only solves a need.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
GR : Design is the motor of human evolution, is the initiator of the great advances in society.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
GR : I would love to design the furniture and lighting for a luxury hotel in Dubai.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
GR : A lamp collection integrated to furniture.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
GR : Design based on ideas and feelings that I want to communicate in a visual or tactile way, creating the greatest interaction with the user as possible.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
GR : Phillip Starck, Vladimir Kagan, Leonardo Da Vinci.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
GR : Juice Salif by Phillip Starck, because it astonishes, it communicates and is useful in an elegant way. Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid, because it revolutions the senses and amazes the subconscious, it inspires.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
GR : The Aero Collection, because it intends to emulate the 20’s spirit of freedom, an era with no limits for your dreams.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
GR : To be sensible to beauty, be surrounded by it and enjoy the feeling of creating something different that inspires people.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
GR : an Sculptor

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
GR : Design is the art of innovate in order to solve a problem in an elegant a beautiful way.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
GR : My wife and my mother, and my team

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
GR : My passion for design and art

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
GR : I had to learned through many years to build tangible, viable, and inspiring products.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
GR : The most important is the conceptual idea, the sketch and a good prototype, which is essential to create a good result.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
GR : I am investigating interactive lines, that can change their shapes according to the client desire, and light fixtures added to the furniture.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
GR : To inspire people to have beauty surrounding them.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
GR : Constant innovation and surprises.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
GR : It adds value to everyday life, it produces richness through development, and it lands people’s dreams.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
GR : Light and sound fixtures.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
GR : The Eros collection, because it speaks to the senses, it impacts the subconscious, creating sensations on the user. And the Picasso collection, which amazes and doesn’t have an end on my mind.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
GR : More appreciation for original design in developing countries.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
GR : Into more organic and warm shapes, art noveau and similar styles.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
GR : 3-12 months.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
GR : A feeling that inspires me and shapes that sustain it.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
GR : There is nothing better than surround yourself with beauty.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
GR : Design set trends.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
GR : It’s a tool.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
GR : Autocad, Solidworks, 3DMax.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
GR : Everything has to come into harmony, each aspect contributes to generate inspiration and beauty.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
GR : I like it when people sees the design and immediately thinks it represents something, this means the design has connected with the subconscious.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
GR : That there are good designers creating great things, and the ideas are infinite.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
GR : I have never experienced it, maybe an artist.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
GR : My work team and family.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
GR : Senses and not books mark my designs.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
GR : Working during 25 years, and travelling.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
GR : Leonardo Da Vinci and Saha Hadid

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
GR : I feel motivated to go further.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
GR : Blood Red, Milan, Regional Mexican Food, Autumn, Chalk, Ferrari

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
GR : When I developed the first Picasso Sofa, we decided to make the prototype directly from the sketch, and the form was so peculiar, that the master carpenter made the piece upside down, and the shape resulted better than the original.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
GR : A good coffee to initiate the day, drawing and having an inspiring idea before sleeping, constitutes a great and motivating day.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
GR : Yes, it was always my dream.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
GR : I would like to think that everything would be more organic, warmer, and more accessible, through design.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
GR : We need to promote appreciation for design, in order to create sustainable human development, in an inspiring, healthy and positive manner. Never lose the amaze capacity and fun that children have.