Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Chris Herbold ("CH") 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.
CH : Originally I am an engineer specializing in lighting technology, but I have always made the connection between the passion for technology and the passion for beautiful things. For example, I have been involved in the development of forms that offer both technical and aesthetic advantages in lighting technology.
CH : I like to be surrounded by beautiful things myself and I enjoy it every day. But it is even more enjoyable when others enjoy my things.
CH : It was my own decision.
CH : Due to my (lighting) technical background, I mostly design decorative or technical luminaires. For the future, I wish that related things, such as controls, will be added.
CH : Fight for your dream! (I am still doing that...)
CH : A great designer creates designs that last forever (or at least for a very long time ...). A distinction is therefore hardly possible in the present, but time shows it.
CH : Surprise, peculiarity, attraction, balance, excitement - these are terms that I associate closely with really good design and that help me with the evaluation.
CH : The ability to make people happy - every day. It does not matter if it's about form or function. If everything fits together, you will be happy about the product.
CH : I would like to develop the design of even more lights, which enchant people with special lighting effects. I would also like to work with big brands to bring the design to many people - but that is not a question of time ...
CH : A huge light installation has been developing in my mind for a long time. I hope someday is time to put it into reality.
CH : Special technical components that support the design or even determine it and make it special.
CH : There are many, like Alvar Aalto, Eileen Gray, Christian Dell, Rennie Mackintosh, Rosemarie and Rico Baltensweiler, Gio Ponti, Egon Eiermann – just to name a few.
CH : If you look at the designs of the above people, you will find a lot of great things. I like them because they all have a peculiarity that at surprise first and rejoice every day.
CH : These are for sure the luminaires of the vanory Estelle family. They combine traditional materials and craftsmanship with innovative lighting technology. This creates special lighting effects that are surprising and always inspiring.
CH : Going around the world with open eyes, collecting inspirations, trying things out, rejecting them, starting afresh, adapting, having fun.
CH : I would do exactly the same - develop technical things. But they would not be so nice.
CH : For me, design is the combination of many aspects of a product, such as its function, shape, materials, workmanship and usability. In my designs everything is focused on the user and suits him and his needs.
CH : The people around me: my family, my friends and colleagues. During the development of new projects, questions arise constantly and it is important to discuss them continuously in order to achieve at a perfect result.
CH : The people who told me early "I like that" or "I do not like it" - that gives courage and motivation for further developments.
CH : I cannot remember obstacles. I have gone my (technical) way and the design has evolved over the years to accompany it.
CH : Digital media today offers so many possibilities for presentation, but it is still only a reduction of the overall design. It is only fully understood when experienced in reality. But the digital media can animate to want to experience it in reality.
CH : Always new surprises.
CH : Normally, I should not wish that, but it would be great to get one of our luminaires back in 50 years with a request to fix it for the use within the next 50 years. Then I'm sure it has a timeless design…
CH : Things to love for a long time.
CH : Design can help here on several levels. It makes a society more sustainable, it connects people and cultures and it transcends borders.
CH : At the moment I am working on several projects of vanory. We will soon expand the Estelle family but also build a whole new family - with great lighting effects.
CH : These are definitely the luminaires of the vanory Estelle family, because we have received so much positive feedback for the products and have often heard that people have fallen in love with Estelle.
CH : I do not expect a big change, but a continuous development. Especially with regard to the rapid progress of new manufacturing processes, I see exciting things coming our way.
CH : I think everything that makes products "smart" will become even more of a focus in design. At vanory, we deal with smart lighting products, but the integration and control makes it really good for the user. This will be an important task for the design.
CH : That strongly depends on the project. The Estelle family of smart luminaires for example was a way of about two years as there was development of hard- and software that goes together with the product design.
CH : Normally I start with some sketches but then go on very fast with a functional prototype to see how it feels in reality.
CH : Amaze!
CH : Both are very closely related, but in my opinion the design usually sets the trends, because good design is necessary to create trends.
CH : Technology is often the beginning and provides the basis for inspiration and ideas that will be translated into products later in the design process.
CH : Pen and paper, later also CAD and virtual models. The 3D printer also helps us a lot to consider all the details in product development.
CH : A very big role, because it's part of the design and can make a design great as well as destroy it.
CH : I'm glad when people are curious and ask, "how does that work?". Then I realize that they are dealing with it and want to know all the details.
CH : At first I'm happy and excited. Then I try to find the reasons for that and start a kind of analysis.
CH : The nature. It offers so many inspirations and suggestions for good design. If I am not satisfied with a detail of a design, then I take a look at nature. It always offers a way to solution.
CH : My family, friends and colleagues. Every design needs many discussions before it is finished.
CH : Mainly books and essays on buildings all over the world. These often give me inspiration and ideas for new things.
CH : I always start and develop new projects - learning by doing.
CH : All the people I mentioned above (question 12).
CH : I have not been known as a designer for so long, so every award is something special for me. I hope that will always be the case.
CH : Object dependent, by the sea, apples, autumn, Estelle, vanory
CH : Several years ago, we developed a design for easy lighting control. To test if it's really easy, we worked with older people. That was nice and fun and a complete success.
CH : There are many things that make a nice day. This can be, for example, a presentation of a design that inspires people or even a day in the studio where work is done until late at night. The motivation at the beginning of the day is to know at the end of the day that something has been created that lasts.
CH : Not for me, but for others…
CH : It will take a lot of effort for people to continue to live well on earth, but I am sure they will succeed and have a good future in harmony with nature.
CH : Are you interested in our products and projects or just want a coffee? Just come by in the vanory manufactory, Karlsruhe, Germany.
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