Check out some great work from Lambert Kamps.
AH: Your work blurs the line between art and design. Can you discuss your approach and share an example of the challenges that you face in designing for a very niche market?
LK: The first five years of my own practice, I concentrated on art projects. I made a lot of big objects for exhibitions in galleries, in festivals and moved during that period a bit in the direction of autonomous architecture. After those five years, some interior projects came along and I started to use art concepts in interiors and vice versa. It wasn’t a choice, it just happened. I think that it is interesting to make an artistic, political, or critical statement in design. There are enough products, empty products, which are only made because of the shape, color, or technique. I need a reason to design; just making a product is not interesting enough for me. It is not so easy to earn money with this approach, so I didn’t become a rich man, but people are interested and I can tell them something through my designs.
AH: What characteristics or qualities are necessary to be a successful industrial designer?
LK: First, you need interesting and inspiring ideas and different ideas work in different fields, techniques, and interests. Next thing is that you have the skills to do it and create something out of those ideas. More importantly, you have to start and just do it, find people who can help you with problems, because it is impossible to know a solution for every problem. Another thing is that you have to take care of your money; you are running a company and you need to earn some money to live from and to pay for your experiments.
AH: What motivated you to open your own design studio?
LK: I started my own studio during the summer of 1999. After finishing art school where I was trained as a visual artist, I had to start my own business or work for another company. The choice was simple—there were not a lot of jobs available and I am a determined person, so Lambert Kamps Art & Design was born.
AH: How do you manage the non-design aspects of running a studio?
LK: Running a studio is at least 50% of your time, working to make it possible to create a design. As I am working on my own, it means 50% of my time is doing things like bookkeeping, making offers, billing, discussing, having meetings, traveling (a very important aspect, if one of your customers is not next door), presenting, et cetera, et cetera. I also have a workspace with a lot of machines and materials that need care, that need to be cleaned and calibrated, so this is also part of the job. Some things are nice to do and others are boring, but still part of the job.
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AH: What advice would you give to a young designer who wishes to start their own practice?
LK: Just start, and see what happens. If you are young you can always integrate into the ordinary work process, doing it the other way around is much more difficult.
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