Collaboration: The Future of Design (A’ Design Award Interview: Part III)

Collaboration: The Future of Design (A’ Design Award Interview: Part III) 150 150 Karice Lighting - Custom Lighting Vancouver

Over the last two days, we have posted snippets of Maurice Dery’s A’ Design Award interview. Part I focused on the differences between design and art (click here if you missed it), and Part II highlighted a “day-in-the-life” of Maurice (click here).

Today, we bring you Part III: Collaboration, The Future of Design.

(For the full interview, click here.)

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
MD: I prefer to work as a team. Too often though, my designs are completely my own. But as I age, I am making a concerted effort to pass on my knowledge and skills to the next generation, so I am co-designing with younger designers as much as possible.

FS: How do you think the “design field” is evolving? What is the future of design?
MD: Collaboration. The synergy that comes when diverse disciplines unite with a common purpose is powerful. I believe in teamwork, not just with my internal team but with other leaders in the industry. The more generous we are in working together, the greater our innovation will be. The leaders of the future will be the collaborators who can best bring highly talented people of diverse disciplines together.

FS: What is your “golden rule” in design?
MD: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As a designer, seek excellence. Seek innovation. Seek originality…with EVERY project! When a client hires you, treat the design with the same level of care and attention that you would if it was your own. Make other people famous because of the amazing work you do for them. Such an approach will ensure you are always in high demand! And, in time, you will receive your dues.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
MD: I always like to ask the question: “Is the piece selfish and exclusively about me and my expression, or is it generous and purposeful – making a positive impact on those it interacts with?” That is what differentiates the finest work: it is responsible and forward-thinking. The same goes for environmental consideration. We are to be good stewards of our resources and planet, and aim to leave the world a better place for future generations.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
MD: Look at their skills and abilities, by looking at their track record and longevity. If they have an outstanding portfolio but they’ve only been in the business for two years, you need to think twice about how honest they’re being. No amount of talent can make an expert overnight. A true master will have years and years and years of consistently creating brilliant designs – from start to finish. Age does not make a master. Consistently innovating and pushing creative boundaries over many years does.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
MD: To be able to actually create the design you come up with. If you can’t create it, why design it? Having a technical understanding of how things work is critical.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
MD: For Design: AutoCAD.  For Development: I stick to metalwork, so I do a lot of fabrication – TIG and MIG welding, grinding, etc. – as well as machining and waterjet cutting.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
MD: Develop practical skills. Great ideas are common, but excellent execution is rare – really rare! Few people have the skillset to actually bring their ideas to life. Few can actually CREATE the brilliant design.

Also, know that the difference between good and great is in the little details. Master the basics. Truly become an expert on all the fundamentals of your discipline, and over time you will be known as the best in your field.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
MD: In my late twenties, I decided to make a career change out of ironworking, after replacing a coworker who was blown off a bridge. After that, I decided to refine my metalworking skills and get a machining ticket.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
MD: Positives: You get to create things! It is very fulfilling to have an idea, design and develop it, and then see it through to completion. Being a designer is very rewarding.

Negatives: Finding the balance between confidence and humility is the greatest challenge of any designer, in my opinion. You have to be confident but you must be humble. If you lose sight of either, you will fail altogether. When no one knows about you, it is hard to persevere and continually perfect your work. And when you’re successful, it is equally challenging to continue pushing forward – the temptation is to sit back and enjoy your success.

FS: How do you work with companies?
MD: Collaboratively. I take my skills and expertise in design and metalwork and apply those to help others reach their final goal.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
MD: A day. A week. A month? It entirely depends on the project. Some stuff we have developed from start to finish in an afternoon. Other projects have a life of their own. We have had some designs that took six months to complete.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
MD: BUILDEX Vancouver, in February 2016, was the last exhibition I attended. Although my work was displayed at the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York City in March 2016. The next exhibition I will be personally attending and displaying at is the Interior Design Show Vancouver in September 2016.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
MD: More original pieces. I want to keep pushing the creative envelope, and leave a legacy that my son is proud to inherit.