The synergetic dialogue between material and technique – Interview with Lex Pott
Through an intuitive and experimental approach to natural materials, Dutch designer Lex Pott creates captivating and beautiful objects that explore the boundaries between art and design while pushing the material to its limits.
Among the incredible designers graduating from the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven we find the talented Dutch designer Lex Pott. Since graduating cum laude in 2009, the Rotterdam-based designer founded his namesake studio housed in a former shipyard where he comfortably experiments and creates impactful objects that instantly capture your attention. His raw and intuitive approach allows him to explore not only the boundaries between art and design but also function, story, object, and imagination.
Lex Pott’s work shows not only his fun and courageous style but his particular interest for the origin and experimentation of the materials he uses the most: wood, stone, and metal. Each one of his creations displays the very essence of its design, a captivating trait the has caught worldwide attention allowing him to collaborate with a variety of designers and present his work in multiple exhibitions, museums, and design showcases internationally.
Fascinated by his work, DesignWanted had the opportunity to interview Lex Pott and find out more about his work, design process, and what is next for the accomplished designer.
Who is Lex Pott? How did your design journey begin?
Lex Pott: “I am the son of two artists. My father was a painter and my mother a sculptor, so I was always in museums. I also saw how hard it can be to make a living as an artist. Then someone told me to look at the Design Academy Eindhoven for applied arts. I visited the graduation show and realized: I don’t know what they do here, but I also want this.”
Why focus on product and furniture design?
Lex Pott: “I started with an internship at Hella Jongerius and Scholten & Baijings. Then I realized I also wanted my own studio. This is now approximately 10 years ago. I like having my own studio to experiment and work on new objects. My ultimate goal would be to make what I want to make and work in a rural area and making everything myself for the house. From a chair to a candle.”
Prior to starting a new project, what type of research do you do and why? What information do you look for and where?
Lex Pott: “I am a material freak. I like processes and experimenting with materials and techniques. So I really work with a material hands on to understand it.”
When choosing materials, how do you balance their aesthetic and functional qualities?
Lex Pott: “Actually it always starts with a technique and material of fascination. Aesthetic and function is a result of the research.“
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A lot of your designs are made with stone, can you tell us how you experiment with the material and production methods?
Lex Pott: “I love working with natural materials such as stone and wood. I always work on scale. A small rock is fairly easy to handle and cut. But there are also large rocks and boulders, so I like to work on scale models and later on translate this into larger objects.”
When designing with stone in particular, how do you go about your prototyping phase? What steps do you take to arrive at a final prototype?
Lex Pott: “Drawing, model making. Speaking with the manufacturer. I always like to discuss my ideas with the people that make it. They know what can be done the best.”
Many believe failure is a requisite for innovation and success, do you agree? Could you share with us some failures you went through in your career, and what did you learn from them?
Lex Pott: “Yes. If you experiment failure is the majority of what I do. For instance some of my Pillar candles I designed for HAY melted during a heat wave. This resulted in the TWIST candle project. Using the flexibility of wax.”
What is the next step for Lex Pott?
Lex Pott: “This year will be a lot of new projects! I can’t wait. I am working on an installation for the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen. Its about craft. Then I will also launch new furniture, and I am working on a lot of new projects. Silence before the storm, I hope during 2021 we can plant some seeds and harvest in 2022 again.”
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