Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Mohamad ali Vadood ("MAV") 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?

MAV : His father worked in the industry, and from childhood he was a part of his toys. His older brother gave him his first training in creative games. And her mother always supported her childish ideas and took her seriously. When he was a teenager, he would make his own toys and toys and enjoy the work of his friends. She was bullied at school and felt she could make better use of her time. Wood was available to build his ideas, and this made him interested in woodworking. Through a television program he realized that there were workshops in another city. He traveled there and spent a year training with special tools and making inlay forms. After returning he opened his own workshop and was invited to work by the Cultural Heritage Organization for a while. At the Institute of Traditional Arts of the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization, he had the opportunity to draw on the experiences of ancient masters in various fields of design and traditional arts. And then he was elected head of the Wood Arts Workshop at that institute. At the same time, due to his artistic and research activities, he was able to receive first-rate art from the Supreme Council of Culture of Iran. Then she was invited to teach by the art universities. In all of these, she has experienced a real on-the-job training process and this is the record of the training she has gone through.

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

MAV : He always had many questions. Sometimes his family or teachers would answer his questions, and most of the time no one. So, he got myself involved and started designing things to meet his questions and needs and then began making. People around him ended up praising me and he myself got to like designing. I am habitually motivated in three fashions to get started with a work. First of all, I enjoy designing something for my own sake. Next, I fancy making stuff for others and get them surprised and smiley. And finally, when a design goes well, developes and turns out to be a great one, a glorious feeling cheers me up, and this is when I can say I design for the sake of designing.

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

MAV : He was first only encouraged to be a designer, by his mom and also his friends. And after some time he decided to become a designer this time himself and of course to make them happy, he tried to be a good one.

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

MAV : He has a huge interest in three areas of design: first, designing applications which make everything possible or easier; second, to design a new concept to inspire others into an intangible culture; and third, designing for the sake of expressing aesthetic and decorative motifs.

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

MAV : It is best to see what others have done and what they have made. Then think about why they did it. And after that, think more about what else could be done. And now, finally, it's time for us to do what others have not done.

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

MAV : A good designer finds the answers to a challenge. While a great designer raises a challenge as well as the answer.

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

MAV : Designing well can only help solve a problem, draw attentions to a phenomenon by making it look beautiful, just express an invisible meaning. However, a great design can completely and utterly express the beauty of a concept and solve problems in a wider fashion.

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

MAV : A fine design can promote the level of thinking and vision of the society, And the community that has upgraded their view would need stronger and better designs. So, investing in design means investing in the future development of our society.

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

MAV : Designing educational content and packages is very important for teaching to enthusiasts. I believe designing is very attractive and enjoyable to ladies, they give great importance to a fine design. Moreover, it is a smart and profitable job for the industry.

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

MAV : He is a 42-year-old man who would like to live until 2080 and has a 100-year plan. He hopes and strives to run his organization in a way to continue until 2120, 40 years after his death. He has designed a special award for the best works in the wood arts and is bestowed annually on the best design. These awards will be handmade sculptures, in 100 numbers, and will be themselves an antique and valuable works in the next hundred years. And everyone knows a designer made them 100 years ago with the love and hope of that day. The institution would have a garden planted by its founder and all students are required to plant a tree and care for the garden when joining. Its 100th Anniversary Celebration will be held in 2120 at its Garden, which by that time would have 100-year-old cedar trees. His institution will be a specialized wooden arts academy that collects and maintains alumni's knowlege, create educational content and educates enthusiasts, train instructors in the field of wooden arts, and also experts and curators, train skilled technicians and laborers from among trainees and create woodworking pieces of art and even tools. There will be an annual festival, in which the bests of each category are presented. This is a summary of his dream project

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

MAV : They would only accept and do what can truly be a part of their being.

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

MAV : Leonardo Davinci Mahmoud Farshchian Michelangelo Beonaroti Simon Sheikh Baha'i

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

MAV : Michelangelo's sculpture of David is a real masterpiece. It can seriously move or take steps. Leonardo da Vinci's designs are inspiring as they are their forward-thinking and bold. Mauritius Corlens Asher's designs are very challenging and appealing and one feels that there is something beyond what he really sees.

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

MAV : For the 2020 A Design competition, I have presented an intriguing artistic idea called Naqshbandi that Wood-pattern Tracing could be a literal equivalent of that and a work made entirely of textures and natural wood colours is included as an indication of this idea. This idea presents a new perspective for wood artists and could be the origin of a new movement in using wood as an organic, non-repetitive occurrence. The attitude of man's innate harmony with nature is the key to acquiring the knowledge of the Naqshbandi as a form of marquetry. This view invites man to the desired level of harmony with nature rather than living in an insane state which is destructive to or even indifferent about it.

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

MAV : The process of designing a work consists of three steps of seeing, analysing and performing. It is best to go each of these three steps on our owns to build up a real designer of ourselves. If we follow others at every turn, we will probably always be behind them.

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

MAV : I would grow flowers and work as a gardener.

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

MAV : Designing is the ability to integrate with your environment which means the impact taken or caused between human and their environment. Making a design is like a harmonious dance with life as your partner. Sometimes you dance and sometimes your partner makes you do so. Designing is to embrace the immutable things and alter the things that can be changed and this is the art of designers to distinguish the difference between these two points.

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

MAV : My loving and caring mother has always been my great suppoter.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

MAV : 19. We can claim everyone and anyone who has been with us for even a few seconds in our life time, all we see or hear and all the spaces we experience are to help us be a great designer provided that we learn our brain has only one point of consciousness and concentration and we have to take it as properly as possible.

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

MAV : The biggest obstacle is the lack of educational and written content in the wood arts, and next is the lack of proper copy right in Iran.

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

MAV : There is a so-called saying in Iran, a word for word of the fragrance does not need to be advertised for its scent! In the first step, the designer should create a complete design which is a vital part of the presentation. Secondly, it is the design itself which should be presented in the right way at the right time and in the right place.

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

MAV : I have already come up with an innovative idea for 2021 A Design which seems to respond to a radical challenge. As for the challenge, there is this question that how we can integrate circular pieces of wood without creating a triangle-negative space between them, a real challenge in the world of working with wood.

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

MAV : There is much more beyond what humans have learned and designed. It is actually a path that is infinitely unknown and unseen. So, staying on track can be the ultimate goal of any designers.

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

MAV : A designer gets a lot of his motivation from people and it makes them accountable to such people. Therefore, a designer should, first of all, recognise the needs of their people and then do their best to do a design which can meet them. A designer should know it is their job to improve the quality of their life and that of others. People might even have the right to expect them to do the right thing as a designer.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

MAV : A society demonstrates real improvement when its people have a happy and content heart. People should feel supported and taken care of. A fine design can create such a feeling of satisfaction and attention in the broadest form of society. It is when people see that designers have responded to their needs, even before people themselves have even realised the existence of their own needs. This creates a sense of joy and pleasure in people and creates a very desirable society.

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

MAV : At the moment, I am busy with preparing a motivational book ready to be printed by a publisher called Roshd in Iran. I'm preparing pictures and drawings for it. The name of this book is Maternal, and it is about how a mother can treat her child so that she can give rise to their creativity.

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

MAV : A design of mine called A Bird from Paradise was awarded in the 2019 competition which was very complex, challenging and enjoyable project. The design and implementation of A Bird from Paradise has a set of knowledge, artistic taste and technical ability in itself.

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

MAV : The industry has numerous needs, and these requests have taken a destructive course that the Earth cannot afford. It is natural that to a small workshop or factory petrochemicals are not responsive, but a huge refinery is needed. And then a refinery can produce as more much as a city or country requires, so Much of its output must be sold and consumed in whatever way that will help provide the cash flow to sustain this huge industry. This means changing people's lifestyles without the real need! Thus, we hope the future designs of the industry tend to be more in harmony with nature and with real human needs and we all should be aware of such a change.

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

MAV : If your meaning is a field of study, geometry and its concepts are a priority for any designers.

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

MAV : It depends on many points. I have the experience of accomplishing a project in one day and I also have works which have been in a nearly 4-year procedure.

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

MAV : First, I review all the highlights of my life making me happy. I think of each of those bright spots in years past, and the images, the emotions, the colors, the smells, and the people, until my earliest childhood memories. There's not much in my mind about it then. Now, I feel blank and can think like a free 5-year-old kid. I enjoy this freedom and start playing. My theme is about my new design project. I play so much until I eventually peak. And there is a miracle happening and what I wanted appeares.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

MAV : Looking at what is present is half the sight. The other half is seeing things that aren't ...

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

MAV : Of course it is! Design has and will have a direct impact on individual, group, social, cultural and customs behavior and fianlly human history.

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

MAV : It is best to walk, run and exercise when one wants to strengthen themselves. But when it comes to commuting, it is best to use a car and not walk. Manual design, as well, is the best option when it is designing for the feeling and strengthening of our mind. And So, technology is the best option when it comes to controlling time and having precision and speed at the same time.

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

MAV : I mostly use softwares like Corel and Photoshop, and as for hardwares, scanners and printers. However, I would personally prefer to do my designs manually.

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

MAV : Seeing is the spirit of designing. Our eye is able to catch colours, lines and shades and lights, and a design means a purposeful layout of these inputs.

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

MAV : I wish someone would ask me: would you like me to tell you a secret to make your design so much better?

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

MAV : I think to myself how I can improve it!

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

MAV : In designing for industry and for applications, working with a good design team is the best option. Designing to express concepts must be done individually. The best design partner I have ever had is Shadi Habib.

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

MAV : Master Kamal Mir-tayebi's encouragement has had the most impact. He is an Iranian Cultural Heritage members and professors.

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

MAV : There are many books: Suffering and Joy, related to Michelangelo's life Collection of Leonardo da Vinci Books on motif geometry Books of Iranian and World Art History

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

MAV : I have a daily reading habit and believe the best way to read is to first get started and build up a personal project. Facing a difficulty, we should do our best to work it out. If the problem was beyond our common sense, we need to read and ask informative people for help. When the complete solution is achieved, we have actually learned a new skill.

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

MAV : Noah the Prophet Leonardo Davinci Sheikh Bahai (Lebanese architect and scientist) Mani (Persian ancient artist)

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

MAV : The only downside is that at times I cannot make enough time for all friends and this can sometimes cause them feel upset.

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

MAV : I like different colours for each different pupose: yellow and black in my work environment, cream, brown, green and blue for clothes, for home, white, and by and large my most-loved colour is red. As for my favourite location, it is mountain and forest. I am mostly fond of meat and vegetables for food. My dearest season is spring and best-liked brand is Mercedes-Benz.

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

MAV : The Flower on the Carpet Once upon a time, on an unrepeatable / unforgettable day, at primary school, the teacher made us a hand work, a home, fitting some pieces from a packet of sweets, using some orange sewing tape with blue fringe, some dried dill as the grass of the lawn in the back yard, pistachio shells as the stones on the border of the lawn, beans and chickpeas as the gravel path surrounding the small pond in the yard, and an offcut of cardboard from a box as the walls, the door and the roof. Through the sole big window of the card-made house, its floor is visible, it is bare. It could do with a carpet! I eye the lines of the carpet on the bare floor, from the outer border to its most beautiful flower. My hand hurts; the carpet is too firm! The scissors are sharp. However, they meet with terrible strain. Mum shows up … A flower has been picked up from her dowry's carpet, to lay on the floor of the card-made home's room. She freaks out but she also drops into my home. A story by Mohammad-ali Vadood From the story collection "Maternal" August 1, 2011 When I was a kid, we were taught at school to build a house with cardboard cans. I got to like it and did it at home. When making the cardboard house was over I thought it needed a rug. I picked up a pair big scissors and cut a flower from the rug, putting it on the floor of the house as its rug. That rug was my mother's wedding gift. When she saw the thing I had done with the rug, she was shocked, but said nothing and played with me as a guest at the cardboard house.

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

MAV : I start my mornings by looking after the plants and the trees in my open patio and that's incredible. Fine music, and the smell of wood are marvelous. And I believe I will soon surprise my audience and my fans with a new work.

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

MAV : Yes, they usually wanted all my paintings and crafts.

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

MAV : There are many things in the world that the human has not perceived or realised yet. And there are things they may understand or get a feel of however can not express. I believe our being is formed on the basis of a triangle, and each phenomenon evolves when it has these three dimensions. There is still so much to do in the area of ​​knowledge and design that only one dimension or two we can claim are already found. The attention that humans drew to points, in its geometrical terms, in order to do a work of design and convey concepts can be cited as a notable example here. It took them millenia to make use of lines, then geometrical shapes, followed by patterns and then conceptual patterns. In our time, there are concepts which can not be expressed through any of these methods, and so it is time a fresh visual phenomenon emerged and a new era in designing commerced. Human may be able to assist such a phenomenon with its earlier occurence.

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

MAV : The greatest gratitude of the audience is to try to understand the meaning and also the purpose of a work of design. This is the deepest wish for a designer.



One Thousand and One Nights Vessel

One Thousand and One Nights Vessel by Mohamad ali Vadood

Forest Heart Wood Picture

Forest Heart Wood Picture by Mohamad ali Vadood

The Bird from Paradise Wooden Sculpture

The Bird from Paradise Wooden Sculpture by Mohamad ali Vadood

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