interview with designer julian mayor
 
interview with designer julian mayor interview with designer julian mayor
dec 04, 2014

interview with designer julian mayor

julian mayor with his graziano chair

 

 

julian mayor is an artist and designer based in london. his work is inspired by the sculptural possibilities of computers combined with industrial and craft making processes. after graduating from the royal college of art in 2000 he worked in california as a designer for IDEO design consultancy. on returning to london in 2002 he worked for pentagram and other design studios before teaching 3D modelling at the london college of communication and starting to exhibit his own work. he told designboom more about his work and influences.

 

 

designboom: what originally made you want to become a designer?

 

julian mayor: the idealistic answer would be because I love creation and the culture of making things. the realistic answer is because I quit or was fired from everything else.

 

 

02_parallax-table-and-chairs-2014-c
parallax table and chairs, 2014
photo by gilles pernet

 

 

DB: how would you describe your approach to design?

 

JM: I would describe it as ‘techno-craft’. technology is seen as a facilitator, something that acts as a means to an end, a distinctly rational way of looking at the world. craft, on the other hand, is seen both as a means to an end and an end in itself, a continuous process that involves making-do, imagination and fun.  traditionally, craft and technology have been seen as ‘either-or’ ways of looking at the design process and in judging whether an object is a good design.  but I think i’m part of a generation of designers that are using craft and technology not in competition, but together.  we are creating objects that keep a technological sensibility, but that have the warmth and unique appeal of being hand made.

 

03_gallery-view_armel-soyer_2014
view of the exhibition at galerie armel soyer
photo by gilles pernet

 

 

DB: who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking?

 

JM: I hope that my design work is influenced from a wide variety of sources, richard deacon, franz west, ron arad but also by the culture of computing, the internet (whatever that is), and the task of sitting on a december morning welding in the cold.

 

04_strata-stripe-2009
strata chair, 2009
photo by gilles pernet

 

 

DB: has anyone or anything recently challenged your views on design?

 

JM: working with armel (at armel soyer) and renaud (at 21st21st) is always challenging and inspiring, they push me to try new things I wouldn’t have thought of on my own.

 

 

05_glenda-chair-2012____
glenda chair, 2012
photo by gilles pernet

 

 

DB: what would you say is your strongest skill and how have you honed that skill over the years?

 

JM: I am impatient and patient at different times, I think knowing when to push and when to wait is some kind of a skill. my parents and family are my strongest asset, they help me with everything I do and pick me up when I am feeling crazy.

 

06_copper-fernando-chair-2012
copper fernando chair, 2012
photo by gilles pernet

 

 

DB: what materials do you enjoy working with the most?

 

JM: at the moment I greatly enjoy working with metal, welding is very satisfying. I really hope to develop the carbon fibre direction more, it is a very unforgiving material that is perhaps not best suited to my temperament but I will persevere!!

 

07_lunar-table-2013
lunar table, 2013
photo by gilles pernet

 

 

DB: what are your thoughts on specialisation vs generalisation?

 

JM: a good designer knows where they need to be a professional, e.g. devote substantial time to learning and practising a particular area, and where being an amateur is good enough, or occasionally even beneficial to the feeling they are wishing to create.  on the other hand, they know when being an amateur is not good enough, and when to draw on the skills of other people to help realise or edit their projects.

 

08_spiral-column-2011
spiral column, 2013
photo by gilles pernet

 

 

DB: how do you think online design resources have influenced the design being produced today?

 

JM: all I know is I’m addicted to reading design blogs – designboom, dezeen, sight unseen, facebook, instagram, I check them multiple times a day – I especially enjoy reading the comments…

 

09_organic-loop-2012
organic loop chair, 2012

 

 

DB: what are you currently fascinated by and how is it influencing your work?

 

JM: I am currently reading a book on the iranian artist monir shahroudy farmanfarmaian, I think her work is amazing.

 

10_general-dynamic-2004__
general dynamic chair, 2014
photo by gilles pernet

 

 

DB: what are you most passionate about besides your work?

 

JM: my work is just about everything I have apart from my friends and family.

 

11_contour-chair-2000__
contour chair, 2000
photo by gilles pernet

 

 

DB: do you have any superstitious beliefs or rules that you live by?

 

JM: I can be paranoid, but I’m not really superstitious – if that makes sense?

 

14_frame-light_2009
frame light, 2009

 

 

DB: what’s the best piece of advice you have heard?

 

JM: people always tell me ‘don’t overthink it’. it’s good advice that often I don’t heed.

 

13_clone-chair-2005
clone chair, 2005

 

 

DB: what’s your personal mantra or motto?

 

JM: do your best.

 

 

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    491,793 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample