Interview with Emin Music, LICC Winner in USE (Product) in the Non-Professional category, shares that how important is a solid foundation, which is his family, to be able to build something creative. He also told us that his son has the biggest influence on him, who actually came up with the name “Latis” for the winning project.
Tell us a little about your background. How did your love of design grow?
I always had a strong desire to shape and design things according to my own ideas. Before I got into the design field, I was active in the graffiti scene, then started a small fashion label, tried my hand at carpentry and built knives myself. Starting a design degree was probably more of a happy coincidence or just destiny, but the motivation from my wife Hana helped a lot.
What merits do you see in being Winner in Use (product)? What does receiving this award personally mean to you?
It’s a really great honor to be the winner of a category and to get recognition for your work. I must confess, the greatest joy I get from this award is that I can see how happy my family is about it and I can fill them with pride and joy. Moreover, it is a huge source of inspiration for me to believe in myself and to move forward into the future as a designer.
What steps do you take in the creative process, and what tools do you use?
I think my design process is similar to that of many other designers:
Best in USE (Non-Professional): “Latis” by Emin Music
In the beginning you read up on the field, research existing things and try to define for yourself where there is a gap or what can be done better.
After that, I usually spend a few days sketching possible ideas, directions and possibilities. It is the typical “thinking on paper”. For me personally, this is the most important phase in the entire process. Even if it often seems that no good solution can be found, experience lets me know that it will come at some point. Sometimes it happens faster and sometimes it takes longer.
Once a concept and direction are defined, I make many more sketches to understand the product for myself. I usually start with the digital part only when everything is clear for me and I know exactly where the project should head.
After this phase, I move into the digital 3D world and start CAD modeling. Here it often happens that I go back to pen and paper and sketch further possibilities of a certain detail.
While modeling I often check myself and check the actual manufacturability of a concept. To a certain extent, this must always be given.
Where do you find your inspiration and motivation for your work?
I am motivated above all by the thought of having the opportunity to contribute something to this world and to implement my own ideas and visions. I get inspiration mostly in moments when I see no sense for something, do not understand the meaning behind it or ask myself why certain things are never questioned. I was lucky to be trained by very good and open teachers who always motivated us to ask the question “Does it have to be the way it is right now?”
What design endeavor would you most like to pursue?
Currently probably a project in the automotive sector. The megatrend mobility is more present than ever and currently a lot is happening in this area. In my opinion, unfortunately, a lot of pointless things are happening that unnecessarily waste resources and raise doubts in my mind as to whether anyone is actually thinking about the future or whether it’s really just about money. I think in the automotive sector it is not enough to just design new vehicles and equip them with unnecessary gimmicks. Instead, a deeper change has to happen that questions the entire way of looking at the term “mobility”.
What impact do you believe your own culture and environment have had on your creative vision both personally and professionally?
Probably my 7 year old son Amar has the biggest influence on me and the way I work. I try to be a father he can be proud of later and I also try to include him in the creative processes. I am also lucky to have a very supportive family. I draw strength mainly from the knowledge that I have people behind me and behind whom I stand. I think it’s just like building a house: Only a solid foundation can allow you to build something creative on top of it.
Tell us about a project that you feel has been your most successful achievement.
I wouldn’t call it a project but it was probably the decision to get married and have kids. Before that, there were often moments when I was looking for the “meaning of life”. In fact, so many questions are answered automatically when you are no longer at the center of your life, but someone else is. This gave me the freedom to try, to make mistakes and not to reduce myself to my work.
Which photographers and designers in your industry do you most admire, and why?
I feel compelled to mention the name Dieter Rams now, but that would be too cliché. In fact, it is my lecturer Bernd Stelzer from Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. Despite having an impressive career as an industrial designer, he is one of the most down-to-earth and motivating people I have ever met. The way he teaches and accompanies design projects has had a very positive impact on me and has changed my way of looking at the world completely.
How do you think design has changed over time, and how do you envision it changing moving forward?
To be honest, I envy the designers of the past who didn’t have the internet available to them. I often wonder how liberating it must be to devote oneself to a project without all the influences of Instagram, Pinterest, or Behance. I think the creativity of the current time tries to please the masses more than the creator themselves. Trends are picked up and copied too quickly in my opinion, and very few have the courage to do something that goes against the grain for most viewers. Additionally, artificial intelligence now comes into play, which pulverizes any love and dedication to a project. With just a few clicks, hundreds of other variations can be created. With so many options, it’s hard to commit to one direction, knowing that another click would generate new variations. I think in our fast-paced world where consumerism has taken over, this way of thinking and working will not move us forward.
What do you believe to be the current significant possibilities and problems in your field?
Perhaps this sounds a bit exaggerated, but as a designer, you have the power to change the world and people’s behavior. However, this requires a deep immersion in the subject matter and a long design process that must be constantly optimized and improved. The danger, in my opinion, lies in social media and the pursuit of quick recognition. Here, the question arises for me: do you want to be someone or do you want to do something? I think many people have exchanged the desire to create something truly important for the desire to be famous or successful. During my internship, I often heard the phrase “There are many designers in the world, but very few good ones.”
What are you working on right now, if you could give us a sneak peek?
Currently, I am in the last semester of my master’s degree, and I am writing my master’s thesis on the topic of mobility and dominance competition. The focus is on developing a sustainable mobility concept and questioning the concept of mobility in general. Additionally, the research aims to explore how crucial a vehicle’s dominance effect is on customers’ purchasing behavior.
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