Interview with David Flores Loredo


Winner of Musical Instrument Design Awards

Award Winning Designer David Flores Loredo shares insights

 
 
 
 

Interview with David Flores Loredo at Wednesday 26th of April 2017:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
DF : I am Mechanical Engineer and Designer. Graduated from Mechanical Engineering at University of Oviedo, I pursued my passion for Design moving to Barcelona, where I coursed a Master in Automotive Design in the ELISAVA Superior School of Design. I worked as Designer at the SEAT Design Center of Barcelona in the Interior Design Team and then I moved to Gijón, where I works since several years as Engineer at DF developing the complete structural and mechanical design of big Bulk Handling Machines. Besides my own design projects, I also collaborate actively as Design Proffesor in short courses and with the successive Moto Student teams of the University of Oviedo.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
DF : I have always wanted to be an engineer and designer because my passion for machines, vehicles and products came to me since I was a child and I have been admiring and drawing them since that age. My dream was to design and build them and it made me study Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Automotive Design in order to learn the necessary skills to be able to do it. I have always loved to think creatively, sketch my ideas on blank papers and develop them in 3D to finally transform them into real and beautiful working objects. I feel alive and happy in this creation process.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
DF : I love to design vehicles, because I have always admired them and they are my greatest inspiration. Nevertheless, I also enjoy a lot designing products, especially electric guitars and I am opened to any kind of design, because the creativity has no limits and I think that all the design fields are really interesting.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
DF : I think that they should realize a formation in the Industrial Design field and if possible, complete it with a specialized Master. Is important for them to cultivate their aesthetic sensibility and to have a creative and artistic way of thinking. Besides that, it is essential to practice and enjoy drawing to have good sketching skills and to dominate at least one 3D software with high surfacing capabilities in order to upgrade them to an accurate and realistic three-dimensional model. It is really valuable to work in a real design environment because after the academic formation, it is by far the best way to improve their skills. Finally, I think that a designer must be passionate of its work and must have patience and perseverance, because they are the fuel needed to face all the upcoming challenges and to finish every project.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
DF : A good designer realizes good designs and that is very valuable, but a great designer can surprise with audacious masterpieces of undoubtable beauty and high level of innovation that usually break the stablished rules.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
DF : Firstly I evaluate the proportion and beauty of the whole design and the harmonious integration of form and function. After that, I evaluate the degree of innovation and the intelligence of the solutions applied.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
DF : Well, I would like to design hundreds of different products, but one of my dreams is to design a sports car.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
DF : Besides a harmonious and intelligent fusion of form and function, all the designs must be beautiful, balanced and elegant. However, my secret ingredient is to project fluidity, dynamism and sportive elegance to them, my personal touch of style.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
DF : At this moment it is the Eagle Electric Guitar. It has been a complete creation process and the result has been so good as I was expecting from the beginning. It is differentiated from other similar concepts because it is balanced, beautiful and elegant besides its clearly futuristic and defiant projection. Beyond its lightness and sound quality, it has a new fluid and sculptural design language that gives it a unique identity and a powerful presence and that was the initial objective.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
DF : Probably continue working in the engineering field.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
DF : Design is for me a fascinating creation challenge that searches an innovating product with a perfect combination of beauty, usability and the use intelligent solutions or even the inclusion of a deep thinking philosophy on it.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
DF : Study a Master in Automotive design and work for some time in the SEAT Design Center have multiplied my design skills because I was learning from professional designers in an environment with high level of exigency. That pushed me to improve myself to perfect my design level in almost every aspect. And that definitely helped me to become a better designer.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
DF : In the best way possible: with high visual quality, high finish level and if possible, with a real working prototype or at least, a scale model.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
DF : The proposal of new and different innovative solutions with my own touch of style.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
DF : I am actually working in the next guitar model and I am excited about the results that I am obtaining.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
DF : Probably the design of the Eagle, because it has been a dream project for me, made from the absolutely creativity freedom and with the final satisfaction of playing the guitar that I designed from a blank paper.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
DF : Well, it is impossible to say a specific length, because it depends totally of the project complexity, the accumulated know-how about it and the necessary grade of definition; Is not the same to develop a conceptual design, than a real working design completely finished and ready for manufacturing, that I consider that could take easily a 75% more. Said this, a design project could take from weeks to months depending on these factors.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
DF : I always start sketching my ideas on a blank paper.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
DF : A design must be always balanced, beautiful and elegant.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
DF : Absolutely essential, because without the actual 2D and 3D powerful software, the designs could not be developed with the quality, precision and visual beauty that can be achieved today. Also, the advanced manufacturing process, as the CNC machines or the 3D printers, are really powerful and they offer incredibly manufacturing possibilities that would be impossible without their technology. However, this does not means that the traditional ways as sketching or hand modelling are out-of-time, because they are also essential and pleasant for me.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
DF : Normally I use the next software tools: Photoshop, Solidworks, AutoCAD, Autodesk Alias and Autodesk Showcase. If it is needed, I also could use Ansys to check the structural strength and rigidity of any part of the design or the design assembly as a whole.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
DF : Their role is totally essential in the design. Talk about the implications of all these factors could take hours and it usually fills complete books about them. But summarizing in few words, the colors applied to the product and the relation between them and with the of rest of the elements integrated on it have to combine perfectly. Independently of the quality of the shape or other design aspects, a mismatch between colors could result in a visual disaster while a perfect combination between them would be an authentic pleasure to the eye. Likewise, the colors have a big symbolism and they should be intentionally aligned with the product character to obtain a clearly defined personality. The materials define also the product character and its physical properties have a direct influence in its usability, tactility, visual finish, weight and manufacturing process. The selection of the adequate materials and the combination between them, can conform the product itself. The ambient also defines the personality that the product should project. And I consider that a beautiful design can be only appreciated in an adequate ambient. Not in vain, the Tesla models finalize their production process on a polished wood floor in order to appreciate adequately their beauty.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
DF : I would like to meet and talk with Mike Oldfield and Mark Knopfler, my favorite guitarists and musicians around the world and my greatest musical influences. It would be an unforgettable experience.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
DF : Funny but real question. Is a great satisfaction to be awarded for your designs and to have news about them but I have to confess that a lot of media exposure shames me a little bit.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
DF : What makes me a great day as a designer is to work with creative freedom in a project that I really love and more if I see how it is being manufactured and I can touch it physically.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
DF : Yes, I think that it was quite obvious that I was going to be designer and/or engineer, as it fortunately happened.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
DF : The future, I like that word. I think that the humanity will face a great challenge in the future that will imply is own survival and the conservation of the earth where we live. This challenge has already started and first of all we must be conscious and quite sensitive to the huge destruction of the nature and the animal life of our pretty world, and the painful humanistic problems that we have. I think that we must face them with foresight and decision, looking for a world in peace, the conservation of our nature and the respect to the human rights and the animal life. We, the designers, could contribute to this huge task by developing new and feasible green technologies, beautiful, ecological and functional products, buildings and vehicles and betting hard for a bright future and a better world. As Jacke Fresco says, a “Future by Design”.