We work through a process; it is the backbone of our methodology. It is a process of thinking: examining, sifting, digging, exploring until you get down to the thing that is just right.
Sometimes I discover by happenstance, but a lot of people get seduced by happenstance and that is a very different thing. That is the culture of the found object as opposed to the culture of the designed object. It is not that it is a wrong way of working, it is a different way of working.
Whatever we do, if not understood, fails to communicate and is wasted effort. We design things which we think are semantically correct and syntactically consistent but if, at the point of fruition, no one understands the result, or the meaning of all that effort, the entire work is useless. Sometimes it may need some explanation but it is better when not necessary. Any artifact should stand by itself in all its clarity. Otherwise, something really important has been missed.
If you are an artist, you can do anything you want. It’s perfectly all right. Design serves a different purpose. If in the process of solving a problem you create a problem, obviously, you didn’t design.
Choose things that are timeless. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. There are folding chairs that cost $10 to $15 that are great design, just as there are chairs that cost thousands that are junk.
Our favorite cups are plain white Wedgwood ones designed long ago. Five hundred years from now, they will still be beautiful. And they didn’t mess it up with decoration. There was no need to.
You can reach timelessness if you look for the essence of things and not the appearance. The appearance is transitory — the appearance is fashion, the appearance is trendiness — but the essence is timeless.