LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Christian Kroepfl ("CK") 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?

CK : I studied at the UT Vienna and the "L'Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris La Villette (ENSAPLV)", and worked in several offices.

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

CK : I simply like it to create.

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

CK : Actually I wanted to become a designer when I was a teenager but I preferred to study architecture and urban planning at the university. Becoming a designer happened randomly, I was asked to the design a few tables...

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

CK : It is all about functional design. I like to design everyday's objects.

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

CK : I don't think that I'm a design legend. Never work for free! If somebody doesn't want to pay you for your work, he or she is not a professional. Avoid these people, they are only trying to use you!

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

CK : It must fulfill its function and you must see that: this can be comfort or representation,...

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

CK : First of all good design simply works. If you invest in a good design objects like a table, the chance is high that it doesn't only satisfy your needs. It will also increase its economical value.

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

CK : A school in Nepal.

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

CK : Glenn Murcutt, Josef Frank, Roland Rainer, Adolf Loos, LC, Sverre Fehn,...

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

CK : Actually I like anonymous functional design that simply works.

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

CK : I don't think that there is a greatest design, I do have a preferred one - it is a table called KT8 made of wood: a solid wood table supported by a simple delicate wood truss. The use of traditional wood joinery, in combination with a well-conceived construction method, allowed for a 20% reduction in the wood cross sections that one would ordinarily expect on such leg structures.

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

CK : Nid lugg lau!

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

CK : archaeologist or historian

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

CK : The clarity of design and the deliberate restraint to the essential is the most important thing to me.

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

CK : family and friends, especially Harald Gorbach, Nik Smutny, Zdenek Svoboda, Tomas Nekula, Petr Suman, Hana Tumova, and all the other guys from SWN

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

CK : Again, I don't see myself as a master.

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

CK : Nid lugg lau!

DL: How does design help create a better society?

CK : Actually it is not only about beauty, it is about making people's lives easier.

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

CK : A children's desk and an office line.

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

CK : Designing a garden city with 160 flats for an 90 years old famous Austrian architect called Roland Rainer, when I was a young architect.

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

CK : That depends on the project.

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

CK : I start with hand drawings and models, the computer is part of the second step, then starts prototyping,...

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

CK : Good design makes a decent living possible.

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

CK : Technology creates form. If you use wood, the legs of a chair look different to legs designed in steel,...

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

CK : Colours, materials and ambient create form. If you use wood, the legs of a chair look different to legs designed in steel,...

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

CK : Where can I buy it?

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

CK : Wow, a functional idea!

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

CK : Yes, it is always about interfering with each other...

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

CK : "A Pattern Language" by C. Alexander

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

CK : My loved ones.

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

CK : Being a guy from the mountains, it is a wonderful experience to wake up in a sleeping bag on top of a mountain with a great view. The grass is still wet, the sunlight is clear,...

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

BORN IN DORNBIRN (AUSTRIA), CHRISTIAN KROEPFL STUDIED ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN DESIGN IN VIENNA AND PARIS. IN ADDITION TO HIS WORK AS AN ARCHITECT IN VIENNA, HE ALSO DEVELOPS UNIQUE FURNITURE AND DESIGN OBJECTS, WHOSE CLEAR AND TIMELESS FORM LANGUAGE AS WELL AS DETAIL PRECISION HAVE NOW BECOME HIS TRADEMARK. AS A RESULT, DESIGNS LIKE THE KT11, HAVE ADVANCED TO BECOME DESIGN CLASSICS IN A SHORT TIME. SEVERAL OF HIS CREATIONS HAVE WON INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARDS (RED DOT AWARD, INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARD, GOOD DESIGN AWARD, GERMAN DESIGN AWARD, ICONIC AWARD …).


SB11  Sideboard

SB11 Sideboard by Christian Kroepfl

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