LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Zbigniew Dubiel ("ZD") 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?

ZD : I have been professionally working as a transportation designer for nearly ten years. After graduating from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, where I received the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Transportation/Automotive Design, I joined Solaris Bus and Coach as a bus designer. This was my professional start.

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

ZD : I always loved vehicles: cars, trucks buses. As a child, my back pages of school notebooks were always filled with drawings of cars, bikes, trucks,shoes. I thought of something and I would draw it. I just like to imagine new things, seeing things being improved, better, nicer. Although I would like to improve many aspects of our everyday life, due to my speciality and passion, I focus mainly on transportation.

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

ZD : Definitely, it was my decision.

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

ZD : I design all kinds of vehicles. Mainly public transit ones. I would like to work more on next generation of autonomous buses, delivery trucks and vans.

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

ZD : I don't really consider myself as a legend but if I had to give out prospect designers any advice, I think it would be not to give up, try hard and if it doesn't work, find another solution and try harder.

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

ZD : I think we need to look at the great designers and their achievements.

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

ZD : I think when any product, space, building or a service makes its users life easier, more pleasant, safer, more relaxing and on the top of it, it brings joy, that means that it was not only well engineered but also very well designed.

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

ZD : One of the things I would love to design in the near future would be new, fully electric with completely rethinked technical platform coach bus. We need them.

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

ZD : Maybe the one above.

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

ZD : Possibly good planning and time management, aesthetic management, staying open for new inspirations and ideas.

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

ZD : One of them would certainly be Mr. Tom Matano - original Mazda Miata designer and my former Transportation Design teacher and director of Industrial Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I learned a lot from him.

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

ZD : This days I really admire the new Tesla car sporty exterior and minimalistic interior design. Great use of the latest technology in a practical and easy to use package. I am also a big fan of simplistic design style of Dieter Rams.

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

ZD : I think looking back at Harley Earl era and the cars he designed makes me always very inspired. I love the emotions coming from those huge sweeping and elegant forms.

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

ZD : I think, besides hard work and being motivated it is really quite personal thing how you get better.

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

ZD : I think maybe a big semi truck driver.

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

ZD : "Design" already has a established definition, but for me personally, I would say it is a constant and infinite process of creating functional, intuitive and importantly beautiful things which help us with our daily lives.

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

ZD : I have always been supported by my family.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

ZD : The question is: should I consider myself as a great designer. Maybe not yet. Let others to decide :)

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

ZD : I am not in a position to consider myself as design master.

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

ZD : In person with clients.

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

ZD : Probably some new energy, ecological public transit vehicles.

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

ZD : Help others by design.

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

ZD : Good work, finding solutions to people's ideas, bringing new ideas.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

ZD : By innovating and improving.

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

ZD : I am still involved in couple of projects including Torqway, and I am very excited to see the fully working pre production prototypes being tested.

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

ZD : I have to say Torqway Hybrid was one the most challenging ones, maybe because it is a completely new type of product, there is this big satisfaction to see it on the road. While working at Solaris Bus and Coach I helped with the development of the intercity bus Interurbino and now to see this bus carrying passengers in many markets makes me proud.

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

ZD : I would love to see more intuitiveness and simplicity in future design solutions.

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

ZD : One of the direction certainly goes towards more eco friendly and autonomous, AI solutions.

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

ZD : It all depends on individual project.

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

ZD : Always with speaking with clients in order to learn as much as possible about their company, their needs and goals.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

ZD : Hmm, always try harder.

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

ZD : I think it works in both ways.

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

ZD : Huge!

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

ZD : Most of the time it is a pen/pencil and my sketchbook, but I would say the Photoshop is the major tool in my toolbox.

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

ZD : It certainly plays a great role especially when working with vehicle interior design.

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

ZD : I am always curious and keen to visually study it, read about it.

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

ZD : I think co-designing may be not only inspiring but it can make the process faster.

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

ZD : I've reading recently Altered Carbon, which is this cyberpunk novel by British writer Richard K. Morgan. It is a mindblowing view into the future of humanity.

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

ZD : I am still in the process of mastering this art.

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

ZD : It would have to be Leonardo da Vinci.

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

ZD : Although I appreciate the award I got, I don't look at myself as a famous person.

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

ZD : I like blue, Mediterranean Sea, Italian food, summer, my mountain bike.

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

ZD : I exercise in morning and this boost my energy and makes me ready to start the work.

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

ZD : No.

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

ZD : I love this question. I think the humanity will be very busy creating solutions of how to expand our activities to other galaxies :) I think transportation design will be booming sector.

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

ZD : I've recently created DubielDesign Instagram profile, so please keep checking this and my website as I post some news and new designs from time to time.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

I AM PASSIONATE PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION DESIGNER WITH OVER NINE YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN VEHICLE DESIGN AND STYLING. DURING THIS TIME, I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN SEVERAL PRODUCTION AND CONCEPTUAL VEHICLE PROJECTS IN EUROPE, UNITED KINGDOM, CHINA AND THE USA. I GRADUATED FROM THE ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, WHERE I RECEIVED THE BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS DEGREE IN TRANSPORTATION/AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN. FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, I ALSO WORKED AS AN INDEPENDENT FREELANCE DESIGNER, GAINING THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK DIRECTLY WITH VARIOUS STARTUPS AND INVESTORS ON THEIR FUTURE MOBILITY PROJECTS. CURRENTLY I AM THE OWNER OF THE DUBIEL DESIGN LTD - INDEPENDENT TRANSPORTATION DESIGN CONSULTANCY SPECIALIZING IN PROVIDING INNOVATIVE, SUSTAINABLE DESIGN SOLUTIONS AND TIMELESS STYLING TO HELP COMPANIES GROW THEIR BUSINESS. I ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO CREATE INNOVATIVE, NEW, STYLISH AND ONE OF A KIND DESIGNS, WHICH CAN MEET THE FUTURE STANDARDS IN URBAN MOBILITY AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SECTORS. MOST OF ALL, BY DESIGNING I WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO IMPROVE LIVING STANDARDS OF OUR SOCIETY.


Torqway Hybrid Physical Exercise Vehicle.

Torqway Hybrid Physical Exercise Vehicle. by Zbigniew Dubiel

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