Interview with Elliot Chaves


Winner of Sports Equipment Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Elliot Chaves shares insights

 
 
 
 

Interview with Elliot Chaves at Thursday 20th of October 2016:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
EC : Graduated from Philadelphia University in 2003. Moved to New York City and began my design career working for Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. From then on, I "Ping Ponged" around from firm to firm until I met a couturier that opened up my eyes to design and built my foundation of knowledge as a creative.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
EC : I was meant to. I can't explain it. I feel it inside. It is truly who I am whether I want to be or not.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
EC : I chose to listen to my intuition

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
EC : I used to design apparel but over the past year, I have become more of a product designer. This being my first project as one, I am going to continue in this direction

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
EC : Listen to themselves and believe they are capable of anything. Work harder than anyone at obtaining the skills and always continue to raise the bar in what they do.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
EC : Experience of course but more importantly I think a great designer is very well diverse with their skill sets. Self-aware and mindful of themselves, personally and professionally.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
EC : To me it is kind of a funny question as the term "good design" never falls into a category. I think design must be great, it must have a wow factor, no matter how simple or complex. That being said, being able to know the designers thought process from concept to completion by simply looking at the finished product is a start. Did they hit the mark in all realms needed? etc.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
EC : Without putting my nose in the air as I very much respect "good design", as there is always a place for it but to me, I would invest in great design.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
EC : I would design products or services that are completely eco-efficient. I would design for anyone who would support it as I believe it is a designer's responsibility to think about the end use of any product they create to know what and how it effects the world we live in.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
EC : I am not sure about this one since I have not yet realized it. However, it would be an honor to work with certain designers and design firms who I look up to and respect.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
EC : Haven't found it as I don't consider myself a success, yet. I also don't think there is a secret ingredient. I believe the way to be successful is simple but not easy.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
EC : My range of "design masters" may be a bit off the path but they range from Peter Beard and Alfons Mucha, to John Meada, Tom Kelley, William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Even though Michael Braungart is a chemist.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
EC : Wow, thats like naming your favorite bands.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
EC : Haven't designed it yet.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
EC : be truly self aware and mindful. follow your intuition and work your butt off.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
EC : probably be a snow bum

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
EC : i think design is a very high and masterful understanding of form, function and evolution. design is knowing the effects of the product before you even begin.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
EC : my mentor, Mr. Ali Rahimi and of course my mom

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
EC : I don't consider myself a great designer yet

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
EC : I am still trying to get over them and am light years away from being a master. being a master takes a lifetime.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
EC : what speaks to them

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
EC : cant pull the curtain away just yet. hopefully better design.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
EC : to be truly respected for my talents, whether you like my style or not. To have companies come to me to create or improve what is needed, working for myself.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
EC : not sure what the question is exactly

DL: How does design help create a better society?
EC : because literally everything we all see has been designed. without design, the world would be a sad, mundane place.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
EC : with each project I get giddy about the creative process and with learning something new as each design project is like I am a beginner all over again.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
EC : since this is my first actual "product" design, I would have to say this one because I began to find myself for the first time as a designer

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
EC : no matter the creative specialist, all designers think about eco-effectiveness which I must thank William McDonough and Michael Braungart

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
EC : i think it already is but a greener one

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
EC : that is an unanswerable question as there are too many variables

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
EC : the niche market to which it is designed for. consumers are the expert critics

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
EC : intuitiveness

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
EC : both

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
EC : everything

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
EC : always use my sketch pad a paper. more feeling and realness for me. then Creative Suite and CAD programs when needed but since I am far from an expert on the computer, I use help where my weaknesses are

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
EC : color is everything. there are so many emotions, feelings with color. then comes ambient as it influences you whether you realize it or not. the materials can be both planned or felt out depending on the end use.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
EC : i am a big why person so why did you design it?

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
EC : hopefully an understanding of the designers personality

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
EC : someone who is great at everything I am not. absolutely, great design can never be accomplished alone. anything great for that matter

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
EC : for the first time, none. this project i did just for myself. i designed it for me.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
EC : i am still developing them as I am far from being a master. but to get to where I am now, rigorous devotion and ambition and repetition, repetition, repeitition

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
EC : George Lucas, Alexander McQueen, Richard Branson, Peter Beard and Shane McConkey and the list goes on...

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
EC : I am not famous by any means. I am honored to have received the awards and recognition.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
EC : blue and or green have a strong tie, any mountain with snow with my close family and friends mexican food fall/winter dont have a favorite thing or brand

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
EC : got fired from a couple firms because I thought I knew what I was doing

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
EC : the fact that I create for a living. I have always been motivated. it just wasnt ever an issue.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
EC : that is a question for my mother

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
EC : I just hope we are still here. Hopefully the human race finally learned from all our mistakes. We learned to design for the future rather for now, keeping our planet at the forefront of all design.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
EC : I think fans are for performance artists.