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Observe Your Environment: Oliver Schick

Oliver Schick was born in Darmstadt year 1969. He studied product design at HBK in the city Saarbrücken, Germany. Today he is an industrial designer.


The interview

1. You`re born in Darmstadt, have you taken a lot of inspiration from there in your work?

Darmstadt is a small town as many in Germany. But noteworthy it has one of the biggest still completely existing quarters originating from the Jugendstil era (Art Nouveau). There you find buildings from famous architects who also designed the whole interior of these houses - everything from teaspoon, table, lamps to the front door - and all pieces are concerted to each other. I think at this place you find the roots of industrial design which is very inspiring for me!

2. How come you`ve taken interest in industrial design?

On one hand I have always been fascinated by handcraft, technology and materials. When I was a child I often demounted the objects surrounding me to find out what they were made of and how they worked. On the other hand I´m an emotional and sensitive person and I´m always interested in how forms, colours, smells, sounds etc. are affecting people. I think it is the mixture of both which sparked the interest in me to become an industrial designer.

3. How did you get inspiration for Walker?

Some years ago I spent a lot of time exploring the sense of use and function of daily life commodities. Walker is a creation developed in that time. I wanted to check out the borderline of functionality. Everyone seeing Walker conceives that it is the most complicated way to rock a chair. Moreover, 16 legs are very costly for a serial production.

But there again, Walker's unconventional form transforms it into an interesting object. People want to know how it feels to rock on it - it is triggering a play instinct in the user. Further, it breeds pictures in their brains (like a millipede or an animated being in motion). All these new attributes in my opinion could be for commodities as important as their pure function!


4. Which material do think is the most easiest to work with? Why?

Each material has its own properties and I think there is no material which is easier to work with than others. My creations are sometimes the result of exploring the material´s properties. I try to find new ways to use them and that often has an influence on the form and function. But it is not easy finding new and expedient applications for materials!

5. Do you find it to be difficult or easy being a designer?

Each new project brings lots of questions and problems which have to be solved – that make design difficult. But for me it is no burden, it is a challenge - and that makes design easy!

6. What made you create Lumix?

Lumix is the idea concluding different uses of light in one lamp. In that case usability and function came to the fore. The simple division of the lampshade in an upper and lower part with two different light-sources and the possibility to combine them with each other makes it a universal usable lamp. Further, the details are important to me such as the switches, which are touch dimmers integrated in the tube directly at eye level. At first view Lumix looks like a common stand lamp, but at the second view it holds a lot of surprises.


7. Who has influenced you the most in your design life?

I don´t have an idol - there are lots of good and inspiring designers, artists, architects etc. Above all it is interesting to see, that there are so many different ways of thinking about design. I think the best thing is to find your own way to design.

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

Just observe your environment and all the things surrounding you and reflect on their purpose, why they are existing.

9. Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview?

Thank you for inviting me to this interview and your interest in my opinion!

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1 Comment

  1. today we have table lamps that are using Light Emitting Diodes which is of course great coz they consume less power ''

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