Design Talk: Nicolas Thomkins10.02.2010 / 11:14
Industrial designer Nick Thomkins first teamed up with DEDON back in 2003. Over the years, he has created some of our most iconic pieces, including the highly acclaimed YIN YANG collection of coupling sofas, which garnered the one of the world’s most prestigious furniture design awards, the red dot: best of the best (2007).
Born in Ascona, Switzerland, to a family of artists, Nick studied fine arts and sculpture at Düsseldorf Art Academy as well as industrial design at the Folkwang Design School of Essen University. In 1983, he founded his own design office in England, followed by three additional offices —Lucerne, Essen and Cologne — in partnership with colleagues.
In addition to his work for DEDON, Nick creates a vast array of products for industrial and household use, including the kitchen utensils he uses in his own home. Clients include Miele, Fendi Casa, Imperial, Gunther Lambert, Küppersbusch and Schindler Aufzüge AG. In addition to the red dot, Nicolas Thomkins has won numerous other international design awards, including Legacy of the Future Award (2008) and iF Design Award China (2008).
Short Interview with the Designer:
Q: What motivates you? A: People and my environment. I don’t want to bore myself and others, or leave tracks behind.
Q: Where do you work? What does your workplace look like? A: Tavern table, airplane, beach, but preferably at my high desk.
Q: Where do you relax in everyday life? A: I like to cook for guests and family in my own kitchen, with self-designed kitchen tools.
Q: What is your favourite vacation spot? A: My house in Sardinia.
Q: What is the most valuable item in your possession? A: A sharp pencil and a piece of paper.
Q: What is the most difficult point during the creation process of a new collection? A: The end: the presentation. The design usually already exists in the mind, the development unfolds with time, but the result must not only appeal to me.
Q: What is beauty? A: Simplicity, purity, naturalness, plainness, excitement.
Q: What is design? A: The symbiosis of form and function.
Q: What is the function of design? A: Design should not only look beautiful, which probably could also be called styling; good design originates ideally from the inside-out function.
Q: What distinguishes your design? A: My tendency to perfection reveals the “Swiss” in me. It doesn’t celebrate itself and doesn’t take itself very seriously.
Q: What do you consider the best piece of design ever? A: Bionics – the design of nature.
Q: Why did you become a designer? A: Because I’ve always been fascinated by the function of objects in interaction with form. Industrial production was another factor. I’ve therefore deliberately chosen the job of industrial designer, i.e. designer of industrially manufactured durable goods as well as less fast-moving consumer goods. This is a socially demanding task, since my products must not only look good but also meet the outward promises in regard to ergonomics, safety, durability and efficiency.
Q: What inspires you? A: Everything, always and everywhere.
Q: What is typical of DEDON design? A: The woven work, literally as well as figuratively.DEDON Collection YIN YANG by Nicolas Thomkins