Question: What historical tools and processes do you still use on a regular basis? Why are these important to you?
Answer: As I began my career as a designer, my first, and very wise employer required me to apprentice at every work station in his furniture factory over the course of one year. Shipping, receiving, cloth cutting, sewing, upholstery, woodworking, engineering and developing patterns…well, you get the picture. Simply put, designing the furniture could only occur after I learned how to actually make the furniture. As a result of that education, I developed an intimate understanding of designing products that are actually possible, rather than impossible, to manufacture for sale. Thank goodness, the creative process is constantly seeking “what if” scenarios in a push to innovate and dream, but making dreams a reality is the true adrenaline high. To this day, I mentally put each of my designs through every workstation in the factory. Each station influences the design inspiration; from the initial sketches, to the engineering drawing, and all the prototype stages. The symbiotic relationship that occurs between a successfully executed new design and the craftsmen that make it possible should never be taken for granted.
Not a day goes by that I don’t pick up a pencil and sketch. I use drawing to communicate as much as I use words. The old cliché, “A picture is worth a thousand words” rings so true with designers. And once the sketching process has matured to the point of taking the next step, color theory. I literally use drawing to communicate as much, maybe even more, than I use words. The old cliché, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, rings so true when explaining your design concepts to the craftsmen that are responsible for its manufacture. These simple visual tools of our trade, and an insatiable curiosity, continue to be the building blocks of my career’s foundation.