Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Fernando Valdez ("FV") 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?

FV : I studied architecture in Tec de Monterrey, in Puebla, I didn’t really became involve with design until university before that I like good design in different areas but never really tried to do things or was involved in something regarding design, and then in the middle of the career designing my first projects for school fell in love with design, not just architectural design but all kinds of design.

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

FV : I always wanted to create, to do things you first imagine and time later you see them realize, that is my motivation.

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

FV : I choose to become one, I always been interested in the arts and the fields surrounding design it can be architecture, fashion, art, movies.

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

FV : We design everything in the office from houses to corporate or residential buildings or renovations, I will like to design more cultural buildings like museums, I think it would be an interested challenge.

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

FV : I think is important to have a human perception of the world, have a human touch in everything you do, and be involve with the arts as much as you can, visit museums, see architecture, follow fashion, basically everything that involves design.

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

FV : I think the difference between them Is the final message they give to their design, and the work they put at the end on the details and the message they try to bring to their product.

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

FV : A really good design for me is something that makes you feel, it generates an emotion on you, and creates a feeling of something new.

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

FV : I believe everyone should try to invest in good design because at the end we get to live with it, we see it, we feel it, we interact with it, so investing in it I think is a value we give to our lives.

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

FV : I would love to design a museum I think is really interesting the shape of the building and the meaning you can bring to the design, and for who, would be for anyone that asks for it.

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

FV : I would love to design a building in New York or Milan.

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

FV : We work a lot on the meaning of the project, we try to give a story to the design and we get inspire by other arts, so I think that helps us go places that we wouldn’t go if we stick only to architecture.

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

FV : I always get inspired by Alexander McQueen, I love his work and everything he did and the way he presented his shows and the message that he gave.

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

FV : I love the designs of Es Devlin and Neri Oxman, I believe they do some new work in their fields that are so human and so interested that is hard to keep your eyes from looking at them, and are designs that bring emotions on you.

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

FV : We did a funeral home so time ago that it was something so different that it was so out there, the interpretation we gave to it delivered a message of peace, the façade and materials we choose made it great.

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

FV : I always try to keep learning, by any means necessary that could be books, visit museums, see architecture, take a course, always trying to keep growing.

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

FV : I would love to be a movie director or movie producer. I love cinema and the creativity it brings to the screen.

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

FV : Design is where ever your imagination can take you. It is the tool we have to bring new things into life.

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

FV : My family is my biggest supporter they always believed in me, and also the people I work with my team, they have had my back since day one.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

FV : Keeping faith in what we were doing, on the design we wanted to present and the path we wanted to follow.

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

FV : Getting people to like my work, sometimes the things we do were very different of what people expect, or like so it has been a challenge to get people to like what we do.

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

FV : I think every designer has the creativity to present their work as they like, I don’t think it should be just one way, that’s where creativity comes in.

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

FV : Right now we are working on some project that we got inspire from fashion, so it’s something that is coming along nice, and in the future we will like to keep pushing the boundaries in architecture, involving other arts in the process to create new things and designs that bring together different arts.

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

FV : To do design that becomes as a brand, that the design we make becomes recognize all over, by the style we create.

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

FV : To keep bringing new ideas into the design we make and to keep challenging ourselves with our work.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

FV : With design we can bring society to care more about their environment, to see things with a new perspective and the respect the work of design they found around them, it’s like when you see art, you get this feelings, so I think that if we can do that with the designs we make we will have a better society with a more human side.

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

FV : We are working on a private salon for a client of ours for his house, it’s an space dedicated for gatherings and social reunions, but we took this project that could be very basic because there is no so much room to what you can do with it, and we made it into this sculpture like volume, and we played the interior so it resembles a cave, so I’m really excited to see how we end this project.

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

FV : The last year we have work on some project that I’m very happy with, they represent everything we want to do and the message we want to send you could say they are our project that give the idea of who we are as an architecture office.

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

FV : I would love to see more recognition by other institutions not related to the design industries I think is important that the design get more recognition due to that it is something present all the time on our lives.

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

FV : I think we will keep seeing new ideas and going more into the ecologic side of things, evolving with the new mentalities we have of the world of taking care of our world, design should go with that also.

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

FV : It depends on the scale of the project but it could go from 6 months to a couple of years depending on the project.

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

FV : We started with talking to the client to see where the project has to go, but on the design side we always started by looking into other arts to see where they can take us, if we can get inspired by something and talking with the team ideas.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

FV : It’s a quote by Alexander McQueen that I loved ‘give me time and I’ll give you a revolution.

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

FV : I think design sets the trends.

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

FV : Technology helps us create what we have on the mind, by using computer programs that can helps us see the design more clearly and see the whole process, I believed technology is a big tool for designers right now.

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

FV : We use the basic programs Autocad, Revit, 3dstudio.

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

FV : I believed these 3 concepts make the final design, each of them helps the design has its final look, and the final product. Without them we can get things more abstract.

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

FV : What is the idea behind it and what where you trying to said with this design.

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

FV : I love seeing great design, it makes me happy to see new things out there and I always think what new design that person will bring next.

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

FV : I believed design is a team effort, I do believe in co-design and that a team effort makes the design better.

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

FV : My dad was one great influence in my work, he was the one that taught me and helped me in my first works.

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

FV : I read a lot, of everything but a book that has had effect on my design is Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton.

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

FV : I try to keep up with trends going on, and I also read, and watch documentaries to get a feeling of what we are living.

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

FV : I would love to meet Leonardo Da Vinci I think he is one of the most interesting people in history, all the areas that he studied and work in, and also Alexander McQueen is one person I would love to talk to.

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

FV : I don’t consider myself famous, I’m grateful and honor of the recognition we had so far.

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

FV : My favorite color is black and purple, a place I love is New York City, my season is winter, food I love pasta and tacos. Thing are books and brand I love is apple, all the innovations they develop in the world is amazing.

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

FV : Our whole process a bit funny when we start because we do research in everything from art, to chef’s plates, to dancers so it can be strange for new people when they join the office.

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

FV : I motivate myself it day by knowing at the end of the day the design will take new shapes and forms, and will keep going down new paths, so that is enough motivation for me.

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

FV : No it was never obvious, as a child I wasn’t that much creative or good at drawing, so it was a surprise for my family how things turn out.

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

FV : A thousand years from now I hope we have a new kind of renaissance getting back to the human side and a new era awakes in design.

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

FV : I hope they keep liking our work, and we will continue to keep bringing new ideas and new feelings into everything we do.


Best in Black Multi Unit Housing

Best in Black Multi Unit Housing by Fernando Valdez

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