Feature Story

A designer is a designer is a designer

construction tidiness
Directionless
layer cake
expensive reflection
image
facade
water
verboten
egoland brick rain
Kill your TV!
heaven's in the backseat of my theater

1. What kind of designer are you?

I've studied industrial design, but today I'm doing communication design, webdesign, stage design and photography. I work as a freelancer.

2. What did you want to do for a living when you were a kid?

Pilot, train driver, priest, adventurer, designer. In order of appearance.

3. What is it about your design work that makes your photography better? And vice versa? Where do you see parallels between the two?

Both are very much about perception: how do we see things, how do we feel, hear, taste and smell? And how do we transform these experiences into good design or photography? I've started with photography pretty late, two years ago. So all my previous design work has heavy influence on how I take photos. A major part of my photography stuff is about reducing complexity and digging out the essentials. To find and shape appropriate channels to communicate in effective, self-evident, and valuable ways. That's almost design work. The other way round is more complicated. Taking photos teaches me to take breaks, stand still, review and look closer again and again. This affects my design work in a more philosophical way. Beside that, I rarely use stock photography as I now shoot what I need.

4. What do you find most challenging about your work?

The most challenging and at the same time the most pleasing aspect is the unlimited impressions and experiences I can have because of this work. A new project usually means new learning, gathering new knowledge and eventually making new friends.

5. Do you have design heroes? Photography heroes?

There are so many. To name a few: Otl Aicher, Charles and Ray Eames, Jan Tschichold, Buckminster Fuller, Archigram, Thomas Demand, Man Ray...etc. pp

6. Name some unexpected sources of inspiration you've had.

I really have a soft spot for musical influence, e.g. Boards of Canada, Gyoergy Ligeti, Throbbing Gristle or Johnny Cash. I often have my earphones with me when I'm on photowalking. And the poems of Rainer-Maria Rilke and Erich Fried are in my mind when I take portrait shootings, as they often reflect my view on people, especially when I know them very good.

7. Do you have any regular habits/exercises that make you a better designer? Photographer?

Once a week I do some drawing exercises to prevent becoming a mouse-hand-dork and I also try to copycat photographers I like and admire on a regular basis. Furthermore I'm member of a designer regular's table, which brings up a lot of different views and discussions.

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