LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Pierre Koukjian ("PK") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

PK : I am what you would call "autodidact". I teach myself through my reasearches, travels andsense of curiosity.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

PK : Since being a kid, I was bad at school but excelled in design class. This built the foundation to my career. As a teenager I won the Fabriano award two years in a row and this reconfirmed that I had no other chance than to take this path in life.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

PK : I was forced by destiny because I was not really good at doing anything else.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

PK : I love utilitarian design and wish to go deeper down this rabbit hole.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

PK : Work on a daily basis and listen to your inner voice.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

PK : There is no real absolute method of judging it is all subjective.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

PK : From the popularity and acceptance given by the observers.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

PK : The value is in the happiness that it bring in your daily life. This is something that money cannot buy. A good design makes you smile.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

PK : I have an idea for a design museum building. Architecture has always fascinated me.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

PK : A milestone in a city.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

PK : It is applying a life worth of work.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

PK : Too many to tell but right now I can think of is "Le Corbusier"

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

PK : I like small unknown designer who managed to make something better than the bigger ones.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

PK : The Bichrono watch for the brand deLaCour which incidentally became an iconic piece.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

PK : Intensity of the work and perseveration.

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

PK : A very sad person.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

PK : Taking the usual to to the unusual.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

PK : Anybody who believed in my work along the way

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

PK : The circumstances of life, great family and my travels.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

PK : People feeling comfortable in the mainstream and not daring to change.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

PK : First start by legally protecting your idea.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

PK : I am continuing the line of the bubbles and applying to different daily objects.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

PK : To have a milestone in the city.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

PK : Surprising them and make them smile.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

PK : It pushes the youth to be daring and to do something creative to invent new businesses.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

PK : I am continuing the line of the bubbles and applying to different daily objects.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

PK : The public sculpture I did for the city of Geneva, CH.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

PK : Less mass production and a return to artisans.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

PK : I think the world is coming back to being able to accept difference after a generation of sameness. People will abandon mass produced marketed items to more personal ones.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

PK : I depends on what it is. sometimes it takes a fraction of a second and sometime it takes months.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

PK : By thinking over and over and nothing else. It occupies all my thoughts before even sketching.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

PK : Since tomorrow!

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

PK : Real design breaks the trend.

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

PK : It helped me to reach another dimension of freedom of expression.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

PK : Sketchbook software.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

PK : It is mixing the whole thing with a good equilibrium.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

PK : How do you do it!

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

PK : Ah! He thought about it!

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

PK : My son who is an industrial design.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

PK : Women...

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

PK : Wikipedia. I love it.

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

PK : Working and researching every day.

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

PK : Le Corbusier

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

PK : More responsibilities and fuel to improve.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

PK : It changes with every instant.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

PK : Coming out with a design that someone else in a different country came up with at the exact same time.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

PK : I swim every day which inspires me and help me come out with new ideas.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

PK : I do not know about greatness but yes, it was clear I would become a designer.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

PK : I would love to ask you the same question.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

PK : I think the world is coming back to being able to accept difference after a generation of sameness. People will abandon mass produced marketed items to more personal ones.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

WORKING ACROSS A WIDE RANGE OF MEDIA, AND COMMON DAILY SUBJECTS , PIERRE TRANSFORMS WELL KNOWN MATERIALS AND STORIES INTO ARTISTIC PHENOMENA. HIS WORKS ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR STRONG CHARACTER , PRIMITIVE AND YET AVANT GARDE WITH OFTEN PROVOCATIVE SYMBOLIC RESONANCE. TRANSFORMING MATERIALS, SUCH AS HAMMERED STEEL, TITANIUM , INDUSTRIAL FOAM , BRASS, NEON, GLASS….AND GIVING THEM NEW USE AND MEANING… USING HIS NOMADIC LIFE EXPERIENCE AS A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION , HOLDING 3 NATIONALITIES FL­UENT IN 5 LANGUAGES, LIVING AROUND THE WORLD , GAVE HIM THE ABILITY TO TARGET SOME VERY GLOBAL ISSUES. BORN IN BEIRUT 1962 , PIERRE WAS A TEEN WITH PASSION FOR DRAWING, WHEN THE OUTBREAK OF THE LEBANESE CIVIL WAR FORCED HIM TO LEAVE HIS HOMELAND IN THE LATE SEVENTIES. PIERRE STARTED LIFE IN GERMANY WHERE HE ENCOUNTERED MANY ARTIST AND DESIGNERS AND GAINED VALUABLE EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS IN DESIGN AND SCULPTURE . IN 1990 PIERRE MOVED TO PARIS, WHERE HE RE‑NEWED HIS SKILLS. HIS WORK WAS IMMEDIATELY RECOGNIZED BY THE MOST PROMINENT PRIVATE COLLECTORS, WHO ACQUIRED HIS MOST POETICALLY DARING EROTIC SCULPTURES, A FEW PIECES FOUND THEIR WAY TO A PRIVATE PRIVATE MUSEUM. IN 1994 HE MOVED TO THE FAR EAST LIVING BETWEEN BANGKOK AND SINGAPORE, GAINING A REPUTATION IN ASIA, THEN IN THE LATE 90’S PIERRE CHOOSE MADRID AS HIS HOME. TODAY PIERRE WORKS FROM HIS WORKSHOP IN GENEVA AS A CONCEPTUAL ARTIST, IN THIS CITY HE FOUND HIMSELF AND COMING OUT WITH CONCEPTS AS HAMMERED STEEL , CEMENT WITH BRONZE SCULPTURE, NEON WORKS, WHILE STILL OIL ON CANVAS IS HIS DAILY TASK. PIERRE LIKES TO GIVE BACK TO THE YOUNG ARTISTS OF TOMORROW BY LECTURING THEM AT COLLEGES IN HONG KONG, PARIS AND MADRID.


Bubble bucket

Bubble bucket by Pierre Koukjian

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