In case you missed our interview section, here is something that will definitely keep you posted, especially if you are a young designer looking for some reassurance. What we’ve learned from Sandro Lopez is that great design can be achieved at any age (Sandro is just 28 and has started working in this business 3 years ago) if one is genuinely interested in changing something. There are some witty and very wise answers in the interview below that could count as great career advice and even life lessons. We invite you to go through them, analyze some key information and let us know if anything hit the spot. Enjoy!

  • Freshome: What determined your passion for design? Tell us about the moment when you decided this is the way to go.
  • Sandro Lopez: There are few things that came to me as naturally as design, it felt right from the very first moment I started. I never had doubts about it since then and as a consequence never really had to make a decision whether to chose it or not.
  • Freshome: Can you remember your first design project? Describe it a bit, whether it is a gizmo you worked at as a little kid or something that was sold at a large scale.
  • Sandro Lopez: My first real design project is called “Limu” a seating system I designed for an Italian company called Pircher. Through this project I really learned how to imagine, conceptualize, visualize, create, improve and produce an idea.

Project: “Limu”

  • Freshome: What field of design are you most interested in? Do your works have anything to do with it ? (We are asking this because not many designers do what they actually want)
  • Sandro Lopez:I am interested in any field of design. I would design almost anything if I could connect that something to a situation I am familiar with. I mean that if I for example design a chair, I should know or be able to imagine someone sitting on it or looking at it, someone who would really like it and be happy with it, I should be able to imagine it in a real life situation even though this real-life situation sometimes might look unreal!
  • Freshome: Chronologically describe what you are going through (feeling and thoughts) on your way to work.
  • Sandro Lopez: I don’t basically remember my very early thoughts in the morning, I guess I think of what I dreamt the night before. I usually take a shot of espresso and gradually come back to life by this time I’m already working.
  • Freshome: What is your favorite book/magazine on design? How about your favourite site?
  • Sandro Lopez: There are some books I frequently go back to and read over. Writings of Naoto Fukasawa and Kenya Hara are my favorites at the moment. I randomly flip through design magazines and visit design blogs but I do it as a passive activity .

Project: “Limu”, an original seating system, exhibited at Salone del Mobile, Milan

  • Freshome: What inspires you?
  • Sandro Lopez: People, nature, things, events, places, my memories and my dreams.
  • Freshome: What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as a designer? And the most rewarding one?
  • Sandro Lopez: frustrating – People who measure design according to its profit without understanding its benefit; rewarding – Seeing people interact with your thoughts.
  • Freshome: From your point of view, is design an art or a science?
  • Sandro Lopez: Design learns the art of observation from Science and the science of communication from Art, but it is a separate field of work on its own right.

Project: “Mezzanine”

  • Freshome: Tell us something unusual that happened in your career.
  • Sandro Lopez: My career is pretty short I started 3 years ago, for the moment everything that comes is new, unpredicted, exciting and surprising for me.
  • Freshome: Let’s say you entered a contest. You have to come up with a design for the first house on the Moon built for extra-terrestrial living. How would your project look like?
  • Sandro Lopez: I would rather think of how to create living spaces on moon than coming up immediately with the solution of a “house”. Today we think that buildings are an inevitable factor for life but many communities and societies managed to live in other types of dwellings and spaces. Architecture is not about constructing buildings but about designing space and space is infinite; think of for example how we define space in a soccer field or how we define space on a beach when we take a sunbath. Creating buildings is a practice born in societies where the concept of power and dominance of men over nature and other men were the main issues. I would take the opportunity of being landed on moon to design completely new and exciting spaces. If the goal of traveling to the moon is to spread life in the universe then a living space on the moon should reflect life’s wisdom.

Project: “HONGO”

  • Freshome: If design were a product, what would it be and how would you design it?
  • Sandro Lopez: If design were a product it would be both a pencil and a paper, something that creates but it is also modified through its own creation. And I would design it by leaving gaps, spaces and situations that could be freely interpreted by everyone.
  • Freshome: If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?
  • Sandro Lopez Money, resources and tools are limits but also constraints of the project, it is almost impossible to approach a project without having limits. My dream project though is to design a new device that would replace cars forever. I would design a vehicle for traveling short distances, a device for 2 people and a small storage space, weight 40 Kg, max speed 50 km/h, volume 1 cubic meter, needless of infrastructure or fuel! with a simple and elegant form not a spaceship or a Bat-mobile. The idea of having a ton and a half of material on 4 wheels powered with an extremely powerful engine running at irrationally high speeds making our cities unlivable is clearly irrelevant, not to talk about all the issues regarding infrastructure, fuel or pollution. I believe that in a near future we will look back at cars and wonder how we could live with such unintelligent objects for so long.
  • Freshome: Share something you would like the world to know about you or your ideas.
  • Sandro Lopez: Everything I said above.
  • Freshome:. What do you think of our site?
  • Sandro Lopez: I am very new to Freshome! I really like the way the articles are prepared, I would love to see it with a more refined layout. This interview gave me the chance to verbalize my thoughts and I’m pretty happy with that.