Interview with Brian Hoehl

Winner of Vehicle, Advertising and Web Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Brian Hoehl shares insights


Interview with Brian Hoehl at Saturday 20th of October 2018:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
BH : I am a self made product designer. I was a graphic designer by education.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
BH : I love to do minimalistic and holistic design. The reason i became a designer was because i once saw an ugly bike. Then I said to myself: This is my future. I can do this better.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
BH : I choose to be one.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
BH : I am wellknown in the bicycle industry for designing the worlds most beautiful biycles.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
BH : Work hard and be able to work in teams. Be humble of what you do.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
BH : A great designer is able to think totally out of the box.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
BH : I evaluate it by the level of how holistic the design is. The more integration the better.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
BH : Endconsumers loves great designs. Great designs sell. It talks not only to the consumers eye but also to the consumers heart.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
BH : I would design a bicycle for Tesla.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
BH : A Tesla branded electric bicycle.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
BH : Holistic design. I integrate and hide all the "ugly" components.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
BH : Henrik Fisker. A hard working danish designer.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
BH : The Nespresso Coffe machine as are one of my favourite. I like them because of their holtistic design approach and the ability to think out of the box. The same with B&O stereos for the same reason.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
BH : My greatest design is my new carQon cargo bike. A holistic designed cargo bike. Totally out of the box thinking.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
BH : I take a walk in the forrest. There is nothing a good walk in the forrest can not cure when it come to raining good ideas.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
BH : Graphic design.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
BH : It all about shapes and functionality.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
BH : My wife. Absolutely.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
BH : My will and a lot off hard work. Talent is secondary.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
BH : You need to learn to work in teams. But it is a balance of being stubborn to get your ideas through and being able to support your team mates and let them be a part of the succes.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
BH : It depends on the client. Find out who your client is first. Find out how he thinks. And then make your presentation concept. Try to match it with some marketing ideas. The the client can much easier see himself in it.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
BH : I have an idea where the public society owns the half of the bike and the endconsumer owns the other half of the bike.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
BH : Create good helping products for the people.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
BH : New innovative products. They want to be surprised by me evertime i launch something new.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
BH : In my case an electric bike is helping the community a lot. It reduces the numbers of poultice cars a lot.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
BH : I am working on an electric bicycle together with a big car company.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
BH : My carQon cargo bike. because it is a bike for the whole family. It can substitute a need for a small car. This makes the planet more green.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
BH : As a bicycle designer i hope my industry would not be so depended on components. So many bicycle designers are very limited in their ability to think out of the box because of this.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
BH : More integration. More connectivity.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
BH : It very much depends on the complexity of the design you are doing.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
BH : Pen and paper.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
BH : The same as Henry Ford once said: If i had asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
BH : Well - i hope the design sets the trends. It should be that way. Not the other way round.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
BH : It is very important.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
BH : Solidworks, keyshot.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
BH : It is very important. Colors can change a design completely.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
BH : How did you do that ?

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
BH : I want it.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
BH : I believe only in co-design. The is no I in team as i say.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
BH : Creative minded people. And they do not have to be designers. Good ideas can come from everybody.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
BH : Books about the nature. I get inspired by the nature a lot.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
BH : Hard work

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
BH : Elon Musk

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
BH : I am pretty relaxed about it.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
BH : Blue, Denmark, Seafood, my B&O headphones, B&O

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
BH : One i worked with Mr. Paolo Pininfarina and we decided to work together. We shook hands and then he left the office with the words: "Remember Brian, Pininfarina never do mistakes" And then he left.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
BH : I just love creating things.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
BH : Yes - or at least some sort of creative job.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
BH : Design will be even more important than ever.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
BH : Being a good designer is very much about having eyes and ears open. Listen to your team members when they have ideas. Dont be arrogant if you become a designer. Be nice.