Interview with Design Lab jury member David Fisher

David Fisher

David Fisher is the Design Director of Seymourpowell, the internationally-renowned product design consultancy based in London, and one of four internationally-recognized designers on this year’s Electrolux Design Lab jury. On September 24, 2009, the jury will choose the winner of the Electrolux Design Lab 2009 global competition at 100% Design London, the UK’s leading architecture and design event.

Born in 1966 in Nottinghamshire, David has worked at Seymourpowell for the last twelve years, responsible for key accounts such as Nokia, BMW, and Mercury. His approach is focused on innovation and flexible design process, ranging from future-defining conceptual projects, which have embraced new technologies and human experience, to designing and managing products through to production.

What are some of your favorite product designs?
My favorite products tend to be the ones I use. for example, I’ve always loved the functional and ‘blocky’ aesthetic of the Canon Ixus. I’ve had one of most generations and now have the G9 – which is just a solid black brick of tech! I love using Zwilling knives, Silit and WMF cookware…. stuff that works!

What will be the most exciting or important design innovations over the next 90 years?
As we truly let go of the industrial age and move into the age of intelligent products – we will see a shift to ubiquitous systems: products that don’t have a presence. I think thats a real challenge for designers; exciting in terms of how people live their lives through technology but less exciting for designers who over-indulge and celebrate the physical object too much!

Describe your design style.
A systematic approach to problem solving which tries to remove all the
clutter and put meaning into every element that is left. Sometimes with an object at the end of the process and sometimes its a proposition.

Give an example of your greatest design accomplishment so far?
Greatest is too strong, but a product that aimed high from the start and met the challenges we set out to achieve is a range cooker called Mercury Thermastone.

What kinds of projects are you working on now?
Technology-meets-people projects! Working with various consumer electronics companies in South Korea and Japan.

Who or what has most inspired you as a designer?
Mr. Richard Seymour. He hired me 15 years ago and will be a friend for life. He thinks big picture, draws like a demon and totally engages people on subjects that they didn’t even know they cared about!

What advice would you give to young designers just starting their careers?
Learn to draw. If you can’t draw you can’t design properly. Drawing allows you to explore ideas and not just settle with the first form that looks acceptable. Drawing is your secret weapon for communication and expression.

Do you have any special wishes for this year’s Electrolux Design Lab 09 finalists?
I sincerely hope that they all achieve what they expect from this competition and find their futures as a result!

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