Interview with House of DIV by Gulsah Surel Erdem

Winner of Jewelry Design Awards

Award Winning Designer House of DIV by Gulsah Surel Erdem shares insights


Interview with House of DIV by Gulsah Surel Erdem at Saturday 22nd of October 2016:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
GS : Well… I’m an architect. It was my childhood dream. Philosophy, symbolism and history of art are my hobbies. Architecture experience, jewelry design course from GIA and hobbies come together, House of DIV was born.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
GS : Anything can inspire me in an unexpected time. It could be an object from a museum, a sentences from a book page or a view of nature.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
GS : I certainly knew I wanted to be a designer when I was nine.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
GS : I design conceptual jewelry. My collections have an inspiration and have a content, meaning, a philosophy come from that inspiration. I combine them in my designs with a contemporary way.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
GS : Thank you... I think a designer should look and see... should feel... should think...

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
GS : A great designer can see has nobody has ever seen, can think nobody has ever think.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
GS : I think a good design has to be unique, ergonomic, timeless and meaningful.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
GS : This completely related intellectual level, awareness and life style.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
GS : I would like to design for Tiffany&Co. Tiffany's collections have a story, as like as mine.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
GS : I believe that one day someone will wear my design, I don't know who is yet, I will say, yes, she is.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
GS : I believe that a magic of golden ratio from sacred geometry like a Leonardo Da Vinci.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
GS : I like the thinking way of Carlo Palmiero.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
GS : Mushroom Collection from Palmiero. He uses colors perfectly.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
GS : I can't choose one :) My Sacred Bowl Ring which is the Gold Winner at competition is my favorite. It's great because of its unique form and its meaning. But I should tell my another favorite, Megaron. That form comes from Architectural History and gives an inspiration my master collection and my brand.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
GS : I read books, travel and visit museums, take photos ( it helps for seeing instead of looking) and take courses and courses and courses...

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
GS : I'm sorry :) but I don't know.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
GS : Design is a form of human brain to think in a different way.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
GS : My husband and my little son... They believed me I decided to change my carrier.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
GS : I can say my architectural education and my hobbies for sure.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
GS : Great question... A design master should know everything about manufacturing. Techniques, materials, tools, norms...

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
GS : Displays, lightings, packaging are very important and I think they should also design for each collection.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
GS : I have already design a new collection. Inspiration of new collection comes from math. I cant give another hint :)

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
GS : My dream is House of DIV will be well known design jewelry brand all over the world.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
GS : People who like design are looking for unique and timeless pieces and if they believe that piece gives them a talisman and its personalized, they like to wear and keep it for aa long time.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
GS : Design is awareness. Awareness is essential to better society.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
GS : My new collection... Its inspiration comes from math and at the same time has a great philosophy.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
GS : My Megaron Collection. Because it's architectural, timeless, unique and the heart of my brand.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
GS : I hope that it becomes easy and feasible patent issues.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
GS : Multifunction designs will be important, I think.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
GS : In a very short time. I'm very excited about my inspiration. I finalize my design project in max one month. But manufacturing takes a time of course.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
GS : First of all I need and inspiration. After that I begin to research about that. Than I make a sketches and drawings. I make a prototypes after all.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
GS : '' Less is more...'' Mies Van Der Rohe said.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
GS : Well, it changes. I want to believe that design sets the trends.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
GS : Softwares are quite helpful. But I prefer hand sketches and make a prototype in my hands. Manufacturing in traditional way is my favorite.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
GS : I use and AutoCAD and Rhino. My favorites are my jewelry making tools anyway. Working with them is like a meditation.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
GS : My designs whispering to me which color and material what they want.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
GS : I'm very happy when they asked me the story behind my design.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
GS : ''So, why did not I think that...'' :)

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
GS : No, I don't believe in co-design. A design idea should belongs someone, but a collection can be improved with a design team.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
GS : Philosophers, art historians and some of my friends.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
GS : ''Chariots of the Gods? - by Erich von Däniken'', ''The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, by Drunvalo Melchizedek'', ''The Golden Ratio, by Mario Livio''

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
GS : Work, work, work....

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
GS : It's a wonderful question... I would like to meet with Leonardo Da Vinci. That would be great!!!

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
GS : Artists are fed with applause... I was proud.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
GS : Black&White, all historical places, spaghetti, Summer, my sketch pen and Kaufman Franco.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
GS : I made a prototype of a ring with a wax when I started jewelry making. It comes 40grams after we produce with silver :))) It was quite heavy...

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
GS : My son's smile and the sunshine are my motivation. One more; flowers....

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
GS : My first childhood memory is collecting seashells from a seaside, coloring them with my grandmothers nail polishes and making necklace.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
GS : We understand that we are not alone in the universe.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
GS : I do my designs with love. I wish this love, this faith be felt by everyone...