Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Davide Marin ("DM") 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?

DM : Earlier during school I started looking at common products that I was using (pens, other school items) thinking if they could have been improved in functionality and usability. Later, I started getting interested into electronics based projects, using scavenged components; For a while, I was into developing Apps and programs for PCs. Among time, all those skills merged into designing products, starting from a simple idea, that I know exactly how to make into a real product since I has all the required skills, so I did not need external help. I used Kickstarter and IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaigns to turn this into a job and sell the first products I designed. Later, thanks to a Startup incubator, I founded my Startup company for designing and sell additive manufacturing devices. After a while, I was in contact with big companies like Leroy Merlin and Ivoclar Vivadent, for which I followed the development of products as an external consultant.

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

DM : When I see that somewhere there is a need for a solution for a problem that can be solved with a well designed product, then it is a good motivation to work on it.

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

DM : It was mostly a natural process, I always has a lot of ideas about "creating things", so I learned all the skills I needed to be able to make these ideas into actual products, without the need to rely on external consultants of companies.

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

DM : I have designed many different machines for additive manufacturing, and several project to help people with disabilities. I also like robotics, and I would love to further develop some of my concepts in this field.

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

DM : Learn a lot! And it is not a bad idea if you know a bit of everything, even outside your specific area of competence. Are you a product designer? If you have learned photography, you will coordinate better with the photographer when it is time to photograph your product, and already know what can or can't be done, and you can plan the shot before. For example, I also have a digital reflex, some lenses and tools, so I can easily document my progress on a project or even take some photos for online publishing. If you learn programming skills, when you will work with external consultants, you know again what can be done or can't, and roughly how much time and resources it will take. If you have ever built some of your projects/designs, you know how suppliers work, and this helps designing projects ready for production later. Finally, if you know a bit of everything, even outside your specific area, this will help you a lot coordinating a group of people with specific expertise for a big project.

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

DM : Perhaps being able to distinguish between a real problem, for which it makes sense to develop a solution, and a nice idea that the world actually does not need.

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

DM : First rule is functionality. If it does not work as it is supposed, is not ergonomic, design has to restart from scratch sometimes. I also like the form to be unconventional, as long as it does not break the first rule.

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

DM : Good design creates functional solutions, with great usability, no more complex nor expensive than it must be to be.

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

DM : I have several interesting concepts for products in additive manufacturing for the food sector that I would love to develop further!

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

DM : My dream project is an additive manufacturing device (a 3D Printer) that uses nothing but concentrated sunlight and sand to create parts. It can even work on the moon or on Mars (there are experiments already done that support this). I have done some experiments, I even have somewhere a bag of official Mars soil simulant to further test my project, but first I have to find someone interested in funding it!

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

DM : Constantly learn and keep yourself updated in your field(s) of expertise is a must.

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

DM : Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Leonardo, Gianlorenzo Bernini, Caravaggio, Edmond Halley, just to name a few...

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

DM : I like the works of Ingo Maurer and Marc Newson most.

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

DM : Probably my 2 years project for Multinational Company Ivoclar Vivadent, it was based on one of my concepts, and required complex electro-mechanical design and programming, I personally designed every part, it was very time consuming, but the client was happy with the result! I think it is a great design because every sub-system of this project works well with all the other, despite being quite a complex machine, and it is still easy to use.

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

DM : Keep learning, possibly in more fields, and appreciate positive and negative feedback on all your works.

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

DM : I have many different interests so it is quite difficult to say! Portrait photographer, is one of my passions, may have evolved into a full time job; also being a consultant for companies about how to develop their own projects and manage time and resources is a job I have considered many times.

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

DM : Finding the best solution for a problem.

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

DM : My very supportive girlfriend, and the Startup incubator that helped me when I funded my startup company, have been very relevant to my career into Design.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

DM : I learned many of my skills by self-teaching, and I would say that my biggest supporter is... my best client, I was pushed way out of my comfort zone to develop their project, refining my skills in order to handle a project of that complexity.

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

DM : Not having all the skills required for a project, or not having the necessary resources to develop it.

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

DM : In the simplest possible way. If it is a good design it will not need elaborate presentations.

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

DM : As of today, I have a lot of projects at various stages of development! I am working on robotic-based projects, additive manufacturing devices, including food-based ones! On my website, madaeon.design, I will share some of them.

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

DM : To identify problems that if solved can make the world an (even slightly) better place, and find good solutions for it.

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

DM : Many of my clients want to understand if their ideas are feasible, and what resources/time are needed for this.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

DM : As a designer, I think that my contribute to the society is very important. Even if I do not have a lot of resources, every year I work on Open-source projects designed for people with disabilities, that I share on websites like Hackaday.io . I have designed a low-cost refreshable "display" for Braille characters, wrote a program that converts text into a 3d printable "tag" with the text as Braille dots, and a bracelet that uses low cost time-of-flight sensors to work as a "digital white cane" when the user is in tight, or crowded places. All of these projects are free to use, modify, and redistribute.

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

DM : As of today, I have a lot of projects at various stages of development! I am working on robotic-based projects, additive manufacturing devices, including food-based ones! On my website, madaeon.design, I will share some of them.

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

DM : The design of the New LumiFold Tab, the portable 3D Printer. It took some years to make it work as I imagined it, but when it finally worked, I was really satisfied!

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

DM : That only products that really solve a problem are designed, avoiding all these unnecessary items that are more solutions looking for a problem to solve.

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

DM : I see a lot of companies outsourcing design jobs looking to spend as little as possible; while I understand looking for cost reduction, I think it is important that these jobs are not underpaid, as I have seen even from big companies sometimes.

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

DM : It can take just one day (as when I designed an interactive table with a projector underneath for an exhibition) or several years, like my Molbed project or the LumiFold TB, as they went through several iterations. Many of my projects take some months, but can take longer since I do not only design but most of the times I also handle the mechanical design, electronic design, writing firmware and software, building and testing a prototype already optimized for production, including document the whole process, and writing patents in some cases.

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

DM : I like most the part where you start with just an idea, and develop it into a working prototype. My working prototype many times have already 80% of the look of the final product, and are already thought with production in mind, so I do not have to do a lot of iterations. At this point, I like to handle the project to the company for the final touches, documentation, and production, and for me to start a fresh new one.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

DM : Constantly learn, possibly from different fields.

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

DM : I think that probably trends set the designs, at least for the time being.

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

DM : It is a fundamental part, but care must be places to avoid over-using it.

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

DM : As software tools, I use many different ones: Solidworks and Fusion 360, sometimes Rhino and Keyshot; Eagle for PCB design; Arduino IDE, Delphi, Android Studio, Xcode for firmware/software development. Photoshop is a must too. My most important hardware tool is a CNC machine that I own that allows me to quickly machine plastic and aluminum parts for some of my prototypes. I have a big drawer cabinet with all my small components, where each drawer is numbered, and I wrote an App where I can write the name of the part I am looking for and it shows me where exactly it is, this really saves me time!

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

DM : Color and materials are both important from a practical point of view, as for from their aesthetically effect. Function of course is no less important.

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

DM : I like when people ask the story behind one of my projects.

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

DM : Take inspiration from it, or understand how it has been developed, which techniques have been used.

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

DM : It can really improve a project, because the other person will have some ideas you didn't think about, and see flaws in your design that you did not see. But there must be an excellent communication and all the people involved must have flexibility of mind, otherwise things will not work.

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

DM : An engineer in Ivoclar Vivadent, who coordinated my project when I had them as a client, there was an excellent communication flow and the project design really benefit from this.

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

DM : I liked "Big-Game: Everyday Objects: Industrial Design Works", "Great Designs: The World's Best Design Explored and Explained", and Futurekind: Design by and for the People.

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

DM : Mostly by self-teaching, trying to create a project, and learning new skills if needed to finish it.

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

DM : I would love to have to meet and learn from the NASA JPL. Also I would love to meet Ksenia Penkina and Adriano Zumbo to discuss about high level pastry techniques! Yes, I have many different interests.

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

DM : Luckily, I am not famous, so this is not a problem for me...

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

DM : I like Teal as a color. As "place" I would say nothing is better than a relaxing walk in the forest, in Spring! For thing and Brand, I do not have a specific one that I like most.

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

DM : I like participating in fairs and exhibitions open to the public, where I showcase the product I have designed. You get sometimes the most absurd questions! Or people able to understand the inner working of your device just by the sound it makes!

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

DM : Create things that are really useful for people or society.

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

DM : In middle school at some point a project was created to make us create a product, doing a survey among all the other students to find out what they would have loved to buy; I was tasked to coordinate this, define the product, organize the classroom for production (it was a clay pendant), and ultimately sell it during a school event. I still have one of them today in my office!

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

DM : It is very difficult to forecast what will happen: looking at technology predictions made in 1990 for the 2020, they were correct in a few things, but many of them (flying cars, nano-robotics, teleportation, "digital" food) are nowhere in our present life. Anyway, I would say that in thousand years we will be either had colonized distant stars, or semi-extinct and back to Iron Age.

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

DM : Many of my designs can be found at madaeon.design among with my services.



New LumiFoldTB Portable Resin 3d Printer

New LumiFoldTB Portable Resin 3d Printer by Davide Marin

Design Legends Logo

© 2020 Design Legends - All Rights Reserved

Design Legends platform highlights valuable insights from the best designers from across the globe; a great resource for all designers to learn, reflect and think about good design and how good design helps create value for the society.

Design Legends website was created by DesignPRWire and A' Design Award to promote truly great designers, outstanding architects and inspirational artists that contribute to the development and advancement of society with their outstanding works.