emiliano godoy interview
 
emiliano godoy interview
aug 14, 2013

emiliano godoy interview

emiliano godoy interview
portrait © designboom

 

designboom spoke to designer emiliano godoy at his workshop in mexico city.

 

DB: please can you tell us about your background and how you came to do the type of work you do today?
EG: I studied industrial design at iberoamericana university here in mexico city and graduated in 1997. I began my own studio before finishing my BA so I’ve never really worked for anybody, I’ve always done my own thing – which is a good way to learn but also a good way to loose money! I started several small studios and projects before going to study my masters at pratt in 2002. after a couple of years in new york I came back to mexico and started up my own studio again – which in one iteration or another is what i still have today.

 

paralell to my own studio I’ve been part of the NEL collective which was a group of mexican industrial designers doing slightly more playful and experimental things. I also started pirwi about seven years ago which is a manufacturing company doing mostly commercial furniture. and lastly I started TUUX with some friends a couple of years ago, where the focus is on interiors with furniture designed and manufactured by us.

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
CDO interiors by emiliano godoy and tuux
photo romina hierro

 

 

DB: what’s had the biggest impact on your approach to design?
EG: I started studying design in 1992 which was the year of the earth summit and the issues that surrounded that like social injustice and environmental concerns informed my work a lot. from day one I was interested in how manufacturing and consumption impacts the environment and society. it struck me that I wasn’t really taught much about that at school and it became something of a passion. I questioned a lot of things and began thinking about ways of working that are less damaging to the environment. when I did my masters I finally had chance to put together my research and come up with a methodology that I felt could be put into practice and that’s informed my work ever since.

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
CCE interiors
photo jaime navarro

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
CCE interiorslighting
photo jaime navarro

 

 

DB: what’s the biggest lesson you have learned with regards to sustainability?
EG: that there is no golden rule. everything is so specific to the project, the location the way the problem can be realistically solved. it’s something very hard to give a ready made recipe to. the best thing a designer can do is come up with a set of ethics and apply them to their decision making as ruthlessly as possible.

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
M for masisa

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
tshichold for pirwi
photo enrique macias

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
knit chair for pirwi
photo enrique macias

 

 

DB: are the issues you mention now part and parcel of design education?
EG: I have been teaching design for about ten years now and when you review most cirrocumulus it’s almost always the same – that design is taught as a service in quite a simplistic way. my biggest concern is that teaching students or designers to think they can pass on responsibility to their clients is no use. they need to understand how important their work is and the impact it can have on society – not just the client. people have to make a living of course but designers really should think more about the impact their work has – don’t make bad ideas desirable.

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
snow chair

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
mulciber for pirwi

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
flex for pirwi

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
drip table for pirwi

 

 

DB: what changes have you noticed in the design industry since you started out?
EG: internet has changed everything in so many ways. for the better in that information is much more widely available now than it was ten years ago. especially working in mexico a decade ago it was very difficult to get access to good design books and good information but that’s no longer the case. it’s also really easy to connect with like-minded people and there’s no room for excuses of not being informed.

 

the biggest change for the worst is that everything is so fast now. there is an urgency among people to say ‘I did this first!’ even if the project is just a rendering or simulation… the realities of production haven’t been resolved, there is no market for the idea. design is not about image creation. people seem very concerned with celebrating their ego in that respect and I don’t think there was really the same platform for that 10-15 years ago.

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
estrellas fugaces

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
pedro y pablo for nouvel studio

 

 

DB: in that respect do you think industrial design is in a low point?
EG: no, not at all. I see a value on speculative ideas but only if they are part of a bigger discussion – are they making us think about things in a different way. sometimes it feels there is too much focus on the spectacle and not the content.

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
hip lamp

 

 

DB: how has the design scene in mexico has changed since you started out?
EG: it’s a much bigger scene now. when I started out it was a case of there being only a handful of people doing the work I do and I would know more or less all the projects going on in the city – that’s no longer the case now there are tons of designers. there’s also much more diversity, which is great.

 

on the other hand, we are still suffering from a very clear disconnection between design and manufacturers and distributors. almost all the good design is being made by designers themselves or in very limited productions with artisans, which means it’s only available to a relatively small audience. that’s good for the designers in that they have more control over the final product but it would be good if the value of design could reach a wider audience. I think we’ll get there eventually.

 

 

emiliano godoy interview
corola

 

 

DB: apart from design what are you passionate about?
EG: my one year old son, music, literature, art.

 

DB: what advice would you give to young designers?
EG: have a code to work by – maybe it’s hard to know what you want to do at first but understand exactly what you won’t do. put your personality into your work – see it as an expression of who you are and what you stand for. don’t be afraid of creating your own model to follow rather than following someone else.

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