Q&A: Bertjan Pot
The Dutch designer—the man behind the infamous Moooi Random light—speaks at IDSwest in Vancouver this weekend.
Where do you find inspiration?
Sometimes this question pisses me off. We say it for fun at the studio: “This is so creative and amazing, what inspired you?” It’s daily life. Inspiration seems to be a lazy word… as if you’re looking at something and then there’s this idea that when you’re stuck and don’t know what to do, you go to an exhibition or look at a butterfly—but I don’t think it works that. I like to see opportunity in things. I like to find out how things are made, and how machines work and what materials do in certain circumstances, and what a loom is, and what an injection moulding machine can do, and all these possibilities together are inspirational to me. There’s not this magical moment; there are many magical moments throughout the day that just come from working and doing. Another idea and another idea that lead to another idea. It’s everywhere.
You designed the Random light for Moooi in 1999, and over just 15 years it’s become a design staple. What’s the appeal?
I can say what Marcel Wanders said: This is so easy for architects to plan in an interior… just draw a circle. It’s almost nothing. It’s a globe or a circle. It’s very little material. If you made a wonderful house, you can still see through it; I think that close-to-nothingness is attractive to a lot of people. It’s not a lot, it’s very little.
What do you think makes for a good collaboration?
I believe in the power of a solo mind because it allows you to come up with more unique ideas. And then, at a certain point, those ideas should come together with other ideas to strengthen and execute; when collaborating, you should get people giving each other ideas that weren’t there before in individual minds. But a brainstorm is not effective if it’s more than three people—you only get the mutual ideas if it’s more than three. I believe in being a small studio so we can think a little bit more in extremes.