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Philip Michael Wolfson: Approach to Design should Always be Developing

Philip Michael Wolfson shares his thoughts on the approach of design for every designer, and how his design approach became "something personal and individual." He started his architecture studies in Ithaca, New York at Cornell University.


He says that through the years, both designers and architects have had an impact on his work with the way in which they approach a space or project. These would be Oscar Neimeyer, Zaha Hadid, Mathias Goeritz, Luciano Baldessari, Luciano Fontana, Harry Bertoia (for his 'SONAMBIENT' sculptures) Naum Gabo, all Futurists, and most Russian artists & architects of the Constructivist period.

"My inspiration from the works has to do with the way in which the various artists and architects treated movement, scale and space. Also, the photographic investigations carried out were very influential, with regards actual lines and shadows within the images."

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communal table

"I believe that anyone's approach to design should always be developing. It is something that cannot arrive on a date, or at a place. Influences of site, budget, material, concept and/or client continuously affect each particular project in an individual way.

As Zaha Hadid was my mentor at University in London, at the Architectural Association, and afterwards, as lead designer in her studio thru the 80's, the influence of her ideas and ideologies was very influential. It was only after setting up my own practice in the early 90s, that my interpretation of Deconstructivsm and Modernism became something personal and individual.

Obviously, there are certain unique design characteristics or approaches to a project that can create a style, but there is something in this that always evolves.

Don't stop researching and studying any and all influences. Know your field, and what has been done before. It's said that everything has been done, but I do think that there is an infinity of ideas to embrace, and its' just too easy to use "everything has been done" as an excuse. Understand your influences, likes and dislikes.....BUT seriously understand them. And that implies experimentation, fact finding and analysis."

Communal table gold rose G version

NY spc

In terms of design development thay're glancing at further fluid works, where a series of forms are influenced by sound waves and shadows.

"A new project is for a number of sculptural furniture pieces designed for the restaurant at the new Museum of Art & Design, in New York, opening in November 09. Then, there are a number of pieces we are doing in carbon fiber being shown in London and NY at different galleries, as well as a collection of works in Hi-Mac (an acrylic stone) which was presented this past September in London entitled DESATURATED DOGMAS, and hopefully being shown in Milan next April."

sound sculpture

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