An interview with Paul Bloemers by House of Design
1. What event in your life influenced your choice to become a designer?
At first it was an urge, perhaps in order to escape from reality.
As a child I was a dreamer and was always drawing.
Cars were my favorite subject at the time.
2. When did you know what you wanted to do?
When I was about 28, I realized that designing as such 'set me free',
object itself (cars in those days).
Designing furniture then arose out of the blue.
However, I did design and built my own cupboards when I went to live on my
own at 17 years of age. I was a real stay-at-home person back then, and drew lots
of furniture and interiors for myself.
I also became more interested in the concept of taste: how do people interact
with their environment? And why do they do that the way they do?
3. Is it hard for recently graduated designers to find a fitting job?
It may sound a bit contradictory: at first self-producing designers in particular
(it doesn’t really matter what they produce), have reasonable access to the market.
They are attractive to the media and/or attractive to customers.
But later, it becomes really tough. In a world where media and customers do nothing
but shop around, it is extremely difficult to stay successful.
4. Do you think that people are becoming more and more interested in design?
I think that 'good' design is a look into the near future, it is an expression of 'looking forward'. Sometimes it is separate from the Zeitgeist, other times it is somewhat or strongly influenced by it.
5. Who are your customers?
When I look at 2008 (the first full year that Bloooms was in business), I can make a rough estimate: 75% Business to Business 25% private market.
6. What makes a design a good design?
If a designer succeeds in conveying his or her originality and vision (the looking forward)
in a design, and succeeds in making it look 'natural', then you have a good design.
7. How do your ideas arise?
That depends: a large part of my collection arises from commissions, which is a
matter of listening and feeling very carefully. The rest is free work. I am strongly
inspired by Japanese architecture, product design and art. The combination of light,
the basics combined with refinement, is something that strongly appeals to me.
8. What inspires you?
Difficult to answer, I love beautiful things, designs where real attention has been paid
, that can really move me. As a designer, you're constantly searching, in all openness, blank. The past few years I discovered that you have to do that in your daily life as well. That you have to stay true
to yourself as much as possible, in everything that you do.
A random example: if I’m
approached by a customer, I will not start selling. I will try to put myself in the situation,
and I try to come up a solution.
9. What are you currently working on?
Shaping Bloooms. I am becoming more and more of a manufacturer.
10. What is your goal with Bloooms?
Creating a feel-good brand.
And not just that, but also conveying something that is
very close to you.
Let me explain that. About 6 years ago I was looking back on the
previous years. At that time I had been designing for 5 years. I asked myself the question:
“Did these years bring me everything I hoped for?” The answer was no. The first two
years started off auspiciously, and after that it was a varying success, all in all not so great.
11. What caused it?
It's easy to blame external factors, but I knew better. It was me. Didn’t I try hard enough,
didn’t I work hard enough? No, on the contrary. I probably worked too hard, I tried too hard. But I especially realized that my way of thinking was a negative one. I knew I had to do something about that. Yoga and books from among others Eckhart Tolle had a very positive influence in this respect.
Today I notice that a lot of things have fallen into place. Then you notice that many beautiful things just come across your path, in this case bamboo. A material that provides a positive contribution to the environment, and so to us. That’s plain awesome.
12. What fascinates you the most in your work?
Becoming aware and converting this into a shape.
13. Who is your favourite designer?
From way back Ruudjan Kokke and more recently
also Marcel Wanders.
But to be honest, I do not follow what designers do
14. Which design would you have loved to design yourself?
Well, I adore the button chair and table by Marcel Wanders from a design point of view.
I don't know how comfy the chair is, but it's a terrific design.