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INTERVIEW | Jozeph Forakis: Ideas, Emotions, and Perceptions in Design

INTERVIEW | Jozeph Forakis: Ideas, Emotions, and Perceptions in Design

Designers will be the superheroes that save the planet. Unintentionally, we helped to create this crisis. Now we have to make amends. We can do it!

Elizabeth Soufli: What do you consider “GOOD DESIGN”?
Jozeph Forakis: To create beauty and quality - in the absence of excess.

E.S: Which are your favorite materials to work with?
J.F: Ideas. Emotions. Perceptions.

E.S: Where do you get your inspiration from?
J.F: Nature. Everyday experiences.

E.S: Can you recall the first thing you’ve ever designed?
J. F: When I was 10 years old, I designed a professional 35mm SLR camera. My family never had money, but we were culturally and artistically rich. I always appreciated beautifully crafted and designed things - long before I ever knew there was something called Design. If I wanted something, I had to make it myself, or work and save to buy it. That gave me a lot of time to research which camera I would buy once I had enough.

I went to all the stores and examined all the models, bombing all those poor people with endless questions. I brought home mountains of catalogs and brochures to study and compare all the specs and features. At a certain point, I concluded that none of them were perfect: I liked aspects of some and certain aspects of others. Unable to satisfy my desires, I cleared my table and got my drafting board out to create ‘my dream camera.’ Then began the next adventure: countless hours designing and refining. Time disappeared. I loved the whole process: Research, Analysis, Design, numerous iterations… until there was nothing more to add, and - perhaps more importantly - nothing to remove.

I started to do this for anything and everything I wanted throughout my teens (a teenage boy wants a lot of things): hi-fi, motorbike, car… I came to love the process more than acquiring ‘the thing’ itself. I was in my nature. But I never knew there was an activity called Design until the end of my first year in college.

E.S: What’s your latest work?
J. F: I have just finished my first motor yacht, a 29-meter flybridge conceived and developed with a very holistic approach: exteriors, interiors, layout - all together. She is very different from other yachts, with interesting new spaces and a blurring of the lines between outside and inside. Designing a yacht is a fascinating problem: like 5D chess. I like doing things I’ve never done before. Hopefully, people will like it.

E.S: What is the future of the design industry?
J. F: Designers will be the superheroes that save the planet. Unintentionally, we helped to create this crisis. Now we have to make amends. We can do it!

E.S: What would you say to any young designers who are just entering the field? What’s your advice to them?
J.F: It’s a great time to be a designer. The future of the planet, and of the world, is in your hands. Work hard and have fun!

Elizabeth Soufli for The Chicago Athenaeum & GOOD DESIGN

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