Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Jonathan Beldner ("JB") 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?

JB : I was fortunate enough to move many times as a child. This opened my eyes to the world as my family moved overseas to Denmark. Being surrounded by such a design focused society had a profound impact on me, and as we moved back to the states I grew up watching my mother impeccably decorate our new homes. I found myself intrigued by many of the furnishings and accessories she chose. The objects and products I personally gravitated towards were often more minimalist and efficient in their design, Scandinavian in a sense. I made it my goal to study abroad in Scandinavia and learn more about design, which I did my senior year of high school. In rural Sweden I studied design at a college prep school and learned all about form development with a Nordic flair. To continue my design education, I studied Industrial Design at Purdue University.

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

JB : I became a designer to express my creativity and put my style to good use.

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

JB : I chose to become a designer out of a passion for the arts and creativity.

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

JB : I design everything from instrument cases to telecommunications systems. I would like the opportunity to design plumbing fixtures and lighting.

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

JB : Work hard in school and seek out meaningful internship experiences.

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

JB : A good designer creates products that are aesthetically pleasing now, whereas great designers can create concepts that are timeless and anticipate the future.

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

JB : A good design will never date or look out of place. It will anticipate the needs of its user years into the future.

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

JB : Good design enhances the lives of its users and improves their everyday experiences.

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

JB : Building a tiny house for myself.

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

JB : I approach problems from many different angles to generate various unique concepts early on.

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

JB : Frank Lloyd Wright, Hans Wegner, Zaha Hadid

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

JB : My greatest design was a pressure cooker I created for a client. I focused heavily on solving various pain-points such as a lack of aesthetic sensitivity, difficulty navigating cluttered interfaces, and app integration.

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

JB : Listen to the feedback of your peers!

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

JB : I likely would have become an architect or engineer.

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

JB : Design is creating purposeful, aesthetically pleasing objects that offer a user hesitation free operation.

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

JB : My parents have absolutely been my biggest supporters, I would not have made it this far in my design journey without them.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

JB : Varied educational and corporate experiences. An innate curiosity and adaptability helped too.

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

JB : Designers should be prepared to present their work digitally, each should have their own professional website.

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

JB : I will be working in the appliance industry for a second time.

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

JB : My ultimate goal as a designer is to work overseas for a firm where I have exposure to a variety of projects and clients.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

JB : Design enhances the lives of people by making objects or spaces more beautiful and livable

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

JB : I love doing furniture design projects and building the subsequent concepts. Working with my hands is incredibly satisfying for me.

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

JB : I would like to see more of an emphasis on designing low environmental impact products.

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

JB : The "design field" is becoming much more technology based, we will likely see many more connected products.

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

JB : I can create a design in anywhere from a couple of days to a number of months, it depends on the scope of the project.

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

JB : I start by defining the problem I would like to solve or purpose for my design.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

JB : Stay curious and ask a lot of questions!

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

JB : Design sets trends as consumers use their purchasing power to dictate what is most fitting with their tastes at the moment. In this way, products that sell well encourage manufacturers to emulate them which in turn creates a trend.

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

JB : Technology helps me visualize my design and quickly conceptualize what I am thinking on the computer.

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

JB : I typically sketch by hand and with a Microsoft Surface tablet. As for software, I predominately use the Adobe Suite, Solidworks and Keyshot.

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

JB : Color, materials and finishes drive the final look and feel of a product. The wrong choice here can make an expensive product seem cheap or even have the potential to make a product more difficult to use.

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

JB : How did you come up with that?

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

JB : I am often curious as to their thought process behind their design.

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

JB : My professors have been extremely influential on my design, their input is incredibly valuable.

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

JB : I heavily prioritized my education and worked hard in school.

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

JB : I would love to speak with Frank Lloyd Wright, he must have been so interesting to speak with.

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

JB : My favorite color is blue, place is Sweden, food is ice cream, brand is Volvo

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

JB : I motivate myself by making my clients happy, when they are impressed by my work my day is made as a designer.

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

JB : I was always intrigued by creation. You could find me making elaborate block houses, refinishing my parent's teak table, and I was a photography buff.

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

JB : I think our planet will be uninhabitable at the rate we are warming it if we do not make any big changes.

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

JB : Please visit my personal design website for more of my work: https://jonbeldner.wixsite.com/home



Samara Coffee Table

Samara Coffee Table by Jonathan Beldner

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