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10 Questions in 10 Minutes – Blair Hopgood

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Blair Hopgood

Continuing with our designer interview series, we speak to Electrolux’s industrial designer, Blair Hopgood. Hailing from Australia, he shares with us the source of his inspiration and what makes him tick.

Copy of Blair B&W

1. Describe yourself in under 50 words.

A passionate and driven industrial designer who enjoys a balanced lifestyle between all interests.

2. What inspires you?

Music is my main inspiration. Whenever I have a creative block or need some fresh ideas, I love nothing more than shredding some strings o­­­n my guitars, or relaxing with my djembe drums to clear my mind. It’s a great time for coming up with new concepts when there are no distractions.

3. Who inspires you?

Other designers, designing amazing concepts and ideas, inspire me to push the envelope, and evolve my designs.

4. When did you decide you wanted to become a designer?

I have never accepted the norm. When I was 16, I made my first electric guitar to get a deeper, heavier tone. I’ve always wanted more from my products. To me, industrial design is about the freedom to create, refine, and decide the path in which the product takes its life, by means of material specifications, aesthetics, and function. Having all this control over a product is what drove me to Industrial design.

5. 1000h. 1200h. 1400h. 1600h. Tell us what typical activities you’d do during these time slots as a designer.

1000h is a perfect time to be creative. I’ve already prioritised what I need to do for the day, so it’s a good time to create and for problem solving whilst the mind is fresh!

1200h is when I hash out ideas from my morning creativity, whether it is ‘cadding’ up (using the AutoCAD design software) multiple ideas or resolving design details.

1400h or the early afternoon is a good time for me to follow up with suppliers, production parts and prototypes.

1600h is a good time to hash out any form studies and functional prototypes, required to proving my concepts.

6. What are some of the biggest challenges for young designers?

Getting those first years of experience, where you have the training in design but not necessary the work/manufacturing experience.

7. What’s your favourite part of design? Which do you like best and why?

The start and end of the design process are my favourite parts of design. I love looking back on the original sketch and form study to see how the product has evolved in its creation. It’s so rewarding when a product is out on the market after living and breathing it throughout the design process.

8. How do you approach design assignments? Is there a personal routine or traditional technique that you apply?

It’s a very traditional routine that’s been ‘tried and tested’ over the years. Hashing out ideas in sketch form, then moving into quick CAD and refining those options. Then creating form studies, functional prototypes and other supporting data to aid you in reaching a viable, well-executed final solution.

9. How do you, as a designer, go about improving yourself?

Always ask questions and listen to what others have to input into your ideas or designs. It helps to have someone come at your design from a new angle, and a fresh pair of eyes, so you don’t get tunnel vision.

10. Before I’m 40…

I want to have a ‘banquette’ of products that I can look back on and know they have enriched people’s lives in one way or another.

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