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I Never Stop Working: Sander Mulder

Sander Mulder is a designer, who in year 2002 graduated the Design Academy Eindhoven. Today he has his own studio called Sander Mulder; it provides design in the area of furniture, interior design and lighting design.


The interview

1. To take Woofers as an example, how did you get the idea of making a polyester headless dog into a sound system?

The idea came to me in the blur of a moment (as most of them do). It was a direct result of the trend that people started putting surround systems in their living room. These surround systems always come with 1 ugly box which is the subwoofer, and you’re supposed to place it in the middle of the room.

These boring boxes made me thinking, so one thing led to another. With the pun 'woofer' in the back of my mind I had an 'eureka' moment when I was visiting a local flea market and saw a polyester dog statue to place in your garden. In the end it turned out to be really hard to make a decent subwoofer within an acceptable price range on our small quantities so we decided to make it into a not-so-standard “standard” two way speaker system. The idea was born, and it then took about half a year and a few models before we had a decent speaker system with custom engineered filters.

2. As a designer, do you constantly look at your surrounding to get inspiration and change the current designs?

For me being a designer is being passionate. I never stop 'working'. My mind is always playing with new ideas and new inspirations are of course endless. That being said, I do not follow trends in design for inspiration. I challenge myself and my public with new experiences to stimulate

3. Are you mainly influenced by certain cultures or do believe to have a more international approach?

As the world is involving more and more into a multi cultural society, people are afraid that unique traditions are lost. In some ways this might be true, but to counter that I also see a lot of exciting results and
therefore opportunities from this mix and match that inspire me in my designs.

Marie LouiseMarie-Louise

4. As a designer, what’s the most common question people ask you? And could you answer it?

How on earth did you come up with this idea?

- It's like asking a marathon runner why he runs 40 km's and/or how he does it, I guess. He could tell you a million scientific reasons about endorphin and all, but it all comes down to this I guess;

1. Because he loves it.
2. He runs because he loves it, the more he does it the more he loves it, the better he gets at it, the more he want to do it.

For me it's the same with designing stuff, at any given time I always have more ideas then I can put into reality, so I am hoping for a long life...

5. When you get an idea, do you first make the object, to see if it works, or do you first pounder thoroughly about the model before getting through with it? Can you lead us through the process of the making of a design?

I got a similar question from one of my interns the other day. I answered; I always try to get the first prototype to be perfect even though I know it will never happen. The reason for this is that designing is filtering; trying to get it as perfect as you can get it, will make the seams in your net smaller which saves steps/time later on, but stuff will always get by you, and that's fine. This means you will always need more models because of things you will see and find only upon working on or with the first model. That's why I feel that a designer should always stay in touch with the materials he's working with. Realize that a computer is a tool and not reality.

6. What advice do you have for an aspiring designer?

Stay true to yourself and your creativity, don't follow the trend but create your own. Life as a starting artist/designer can be harsh and difficult at times so you will only make it if what you do really makes you happy.


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