Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Francisco Eduardo Sá and Felipe Savassi ("FESAFS") 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?

FESAFS : Felipe: I have graduated in architecture and urban planning from Izabela Hendrix University in Belo Horizonte (MG) in 2013 and I am a specialist in architecture and construction of sustainable buildings by W-POs Unileya from Brasilia (DF). | Francisco: I started college in the Graphic Design program in São Paulo, but I switched to Industrial Design and concluded at the Universidade Positivo, in Curitiba. My senior project back then was about urban mobility and I felt the need to design in a different scale. So finally I've got my bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism at Universidade Santa Úrsula in Rio de Janeiro.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: I like to understand the yearnings, desires and possibilities of our clients and turn them into a design. I like to see the transformation of ideas in reality. | Francisco: I've been always an applied student in arts in general. I used to sketch on my notebooks more than anyone in class. At the same time, I enjoyed get my hands dirty fixing things and disassembling things at home. I guess what motivates me the most is to find solutions for people's problem through the creative process of design.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: I’ve chosen architecture when I was 25 years old, after graduating in another major. | Francisco: Given my interests and skills, the design career had shown to be the only possible way.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Sustainable modular architecture. | Francisco: Ultimately I've been design more private residences and offices. I would be happier if I could design public spaces like parks, museums etc.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Always follow your dreams trying to innovate. | Francisco: Follow your dream, be honest with yourself, participate in challenges and get things done.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Get out of your comfort zone and be always ahead of your time. | Francisco: A good designer will do something cool that everyone is expecting. A great designer will do something awesome that no one is expecting.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Clean shapes, functionality, detailing and sustainability. | Francisco: Every design should answer its questions. It has to fulfill its symbolic, aesthetic and practical function. But all of this is useless if it doesn't move you.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Good designs create efficient and more economic buildings besides being more beautiful. | Francisco: Good designs are ageless. They prove our ability of making things better.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: A totally Modular and sustainable city. | Francisco: The way our global society organize on this planet.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: A modular multi floors building. | Francisco: A space to care for the less fortunate and marginalized ones.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Minimalism. | Francisco: I don't have a recipe. I just work following my instincts.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Normam foster, Arthur casas, Oscar Niemeyer and Bernardes arquitetura. | Francisco: Dietmar Starke, João Figueiras (Lelé), Alejandro Aravena, Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, Antoni Gaudí and many more.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Mapa architecture because of their minimalism. | Francisco: Each one has his own style. But, for whatever briefing they were working with, their designs are carved in our memory.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Linda house. | Francisco: Heydar Aliyev Centre, by Zaha Hadid Architects. It's a very impressive project. I risk to say it's the current state of art architecture has reached so far.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Studying and searching for new technologies. | Francisco: Working in different ways, with different people, in different contexts with different projects. Diversity, worldview and experience were keys.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Airplane pilot. | Francisco: Rockstar.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: The art of translating in design the yearnings and desires of someone. | Francisco: The transformation of given needs into results by drawings and creative work.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: My family. | Francisco: My family, my teachers and my friends.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

FESAFS : Felipe: Resiliency. | Francisco: Inquietude, life experience, open mind, curiosity and humility.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: There were many. After the bankruptcy of my old business and my father’s death, I had to reinvent myself. | Francisco: Doubts about the path I had chosen, family issues, depression, lack of money are some. Whatever crisis you pass through, you see clearly afterwards.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Digitally, with the highest level of technology. | Francisco: Whatever communicates best the idea.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: A modular smart house. | Francisco: I'm still deciding on that.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Disseminate the modular architecture and construction around the world. | Francisco: To change people's perception about the value of good design.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Great modular design | Francisco: Maybe an idea way different from the rest.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

FESAFS : Felipe: We live inside buildings for the most part of our lives. The better the buildings, the better the life quality offered. | Francisco: Good design should bring improvements to things we use, like being more energy efficient consume, easy to disassemble and clean, low maintenance, safer environment, sustainable materials, friendly and intuitive interface and so on. Design is about of either attends new needs or making existing ones better.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Modular architecture. | Francisco: I'm investigating the relationship of urban grid with social development.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Modular house of medium and high standard. They allow you to have more freedom when it comes to design. | Francisco: Projects that didn't have one particular client, but a group of people instead. If I want to make this world a better place, I need to make good design that serves more people.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Modular construction being more accessible in terms of cost. | Francisco: A change of mindset about design. Things shouldn't be designed to sell but to be useful. Understanding the importance of that in long-term might be key for our job be valued.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Modular construction. | Francisco: Digital fabrication.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Usually four months. | Francisco: That will depend of the project. As an Industrial Designer and Architecture I can't assume will take the same amount of time to design a chair than a tower.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Archicad. | Francisco: Studying the site area. I try to picture what would be a person's window and taking a break for a cup of coffee.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

FESAFS : Felipe: To foster and disseminate the modular architecture around the world. | Francisco: To be responsible when designing things for people.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: It works in both ways. | Francisco: It works in both ways.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: It's everything. | Francisco: It helps you achieve better results.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Macbook Pro and Archicad. | Francisco: Sketchbook, pen, markers, Macbook, Archicad, Rhino, SketchUp...

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Materiality makes the whole difference. | Francisco: They change the perception that your design transmit to others.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: How was that possible? | Francisco: Can I use it?

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Congrats. | Francisco: Nice job!

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

FESAFS : Felipe: I have many, but I especially like those who are more independent and proactive. Yes, I believe in co-design. | Francisco: Someone that understands, contributes and encourages me in my work. I totally believe in co-design.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Ferraro habitat. | Francisco: My masters, my family and my designer friends.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Architect Entrepreneur, by Eric Reinholdt. | Francisco: Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Studying very hard. | Francisco: Watching, learning, trying and adjusting.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Norman Foster | Francisco: My grandfather.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: I'm not famous. | Francisco: I'm not famous.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Black, beach, barbecue, summer, dogs and Tesla. | Francisco: Turquoise, beach, egg, summer, computer and Lego.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: My container house, it was my first project, My laboratory where I had made a lot of mistakes. | Francisco: It happens to be more than once that I had an idea and before I start to sketch it I saw that was already made.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: Working out in the morning and having my creative hack on the beach. | Francisco: Getting feedbacks and encouragement to continue my work.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: No, It wasn’t. I wanted to be an airplane pilot. | Francisco: Possibly.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: I really don't know. It's way ahead of our time. | Francisco: Hopefully we will be living smarter, making sustainable use of natural resources and eradicating poverty like one single global community.

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

FESAFS : Felipe: I hate to respond people on social media in the morning. Haha. | Francisco: As a person and creative professional I still have a lot to learn. I made mistakes along the way and there's always one thing or two I can improve. I try to keep my mind open about new things and thoughts, so feel free to share some of yours as well.



Zen Mood House

Zen Mood House by Francisco Eduardo Sá and Felipe Savassi

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