Mohamad Montazeri was selected as the legendary designer in 2020 by Design Legends magazine. For this reason, the Design Legends interviewed Mohamad Montazeri. It is a pleasure to share this interview with you. Also, the link address of the page of this interview, which is on the Design Legends mag website, is available at the end of this text.
Design Legends (“DL”) had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Mohamad Montazeri (“MM”) for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.
DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
MM : I lived and grew up in an artistic atmosphere as a child. Painting and music were some of my most important artistic activities before entering university and studying design. I had a lot of success in painting and music. In painting, I managed to experience different styles and held more than 10 solo painting exhibitions, and in music, I was able to play various instruments, and I also made several songs and music albums. Despite all these successes, with the full interest and knowledge I had of design, I decided to study industrial design at university. Today I have reached a level where I do not enjoy life without design.
DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
MM : I love design because I love to creation and I believe that the greatest human ability is to create. So what’s better than using this ability in the best way?
DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
MM : I have been interested in design since I was a child, and this interest grew over time, and finally, I entered the university with full interest and knowledge about this field and studied in this field, and now I am completely satisfied with the decision.
DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
MM : I am more interested in product design particularly digital product design, and besides, I am very interested in calculations and data analysis, examples of which are in parametric design and generative design.
DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
MM : Frequent and intermittent study increases knowledge and this knowledge is completed by gaining a lot of experience in the work. All this is possible for someone who has a clear plan for his future and has a lot of perseverance. But with all these hardships, I think it’s harder to stay a legend than being a legend.
DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
MM : A good designer has reached a good standard and the result is quality designs and this is very good. But a great designer is beyond the standards of a good designer because s/he has more concerns that result from his/her different outlook on life and the world and it sets him/her and his/her work apart. The great designer and his/her works last forever.
DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
MM : Design is not just about form and function. It also has dimensions that paying attention to each of them, will improve you step by step. The more concerned the designer is, the more mature and complete the design. This infinite way goes as far as the designer has the understanding and ability to climb these steps. The more concerned the designer is, the harder his/her design process becomes, but the more enjoyable and lasting the result will be. This is a really good design.
DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
MM : Good design is actually win-win design. It does not harm anything and no one is harmed because it is a perfect design and it also perfects human life.
DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
MM : I have countless answers to this question. But in general, I respect any subject that can meet the need and solve a problem and make people more aware, and I would like to design in that field. The most important thing is to help balance the environment, the Earth and human beings.
DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
MM : I have many big projects in mind, each of which can change the world. I cannot prefer one over the other. I can only say that what they all have in common is helping to make better world.
DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
MM : Knowledge from extensive and intermittent study, interest in learning at any time and at any level of life, having a clear goal, perseverance and experience.
DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
MM : I am very interested in history and I study history a lot. Especially the history of design. In answer to this question, I must say that many people and movements have directly or indirectly influenced me to this day, but in the meantime, I have been most influenced by the period of modernity and the Bauhaus school as well as good design. I am very interested in the works of Dieter Rams and I admire them.
DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
MM : Every good design is respectable and lovable to me.
DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
MM : I have an important motto for myself, which is: ” do not do something, or if you do, do it in the best and most complete way.” I strongly believe in this statement and that is why I have tried my best to be the best of its kind in all my designs. For this reason, for me, all of my designs are valuable. I am very satisfied with all of them.
DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
MM : First of all, having an interest in design is very important. Good design requires a lot of patience and this patience can only be achieved by having interest. Perseverance and gaining knowledge through study and gaining experience are other important factors.
DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
MM : I cannot imagine a world without design for myself.
DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
MM : The definition of design in my view is the purposeful and conscious process of creating a value.
DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
MM : Many people have directly or indirectly influenced my life. But I cannot mention the names of people here because someone’s name may be forgotten. These people are very valuable and important to me and I wish them more success and health.
DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
MM : Great interest in design, effort and knowledge that I gain through extensive and intermittent study.
DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
MM : There have been many obstacles that have arisen for me due to living conditions. The important thing is that with management and self-confidence and patience I was able to overcome them all. What is useful to me today is that potential obstacles are easily predictable to me, and this helps prevent them from being encountered.
DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
MM : I consider presentation as part of the design process and for this reason I believe that presentation is very important and necessary for a designer. No matter how good a designer’s design is, if it is not presented correctly and intelligently, it will not look good and will not be well presented.
DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
MM : Many projects are underway. In general, they all have in common the simplicity of form and creativity in idea. I like good design and I try to walk in that direction.
DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
MM : In design, I reach a position where I can be more influential in life with my designs and help balance between the human, environment and the Earth.
DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
MM : Commitment to work and value to human beings and the environment is the most important expectation that all of us human beings should have from each other.
DL: How does design help create a better society?
MM : A better society depends on the greater awareness of the people of that society. A good design can raise the level of awareness and concern of human beings and consequently improve the quality level and standards of that society. The most important examples of these concerns are attention to optimal consumption, respect for the environment and the Earth.
DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
MM : I am always very sensitive and obsessive in choosing my subjects, and this makes me have a lot of excitement and satisfaction with my work, both during the design process and after finishing the work. I am currently working on three projects simultaneously that have their own places.
DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
MM : I have experienced this feeling in all my designs, but in general, the closer the design is to the goal of respect and attention to human beings and the environment, the more I am satisfied.
DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
MM : The increase in population and human needs on the one hand and the encouragement of consumerism due to the great thirst for financial maximization, has led to a dramatic increase in the uncontrolled harvest of natural resources and energy, as well as waste production. The destruction of the Earth means the destruction of our home. Technology is advancing more rapidly over the years, and I would like technology to be one of the factors in the future who helps preserve the land and the environment instead of destroying it.
DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
MM : I think the role of technology in it will be much more prominent than today. However, history reminds us that at times, this role of technology becomes so prominent that it will cause shock, and as a result, we will see the emergence of various anti-technological movements in design. But all this is temporary and technology will easily strengthen its place in the design and future life of people.
DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
MM : I can not specify a specific time period. The time spent for each project is different.
DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
MM : Knowing the subject is a good starting point. Studying, interview and any method of gathering information to understand the subject of design, provides me a good and very important starting point.
DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
MM : The designer is not a neutral human being. The designer is not separate from man, society and the environment. The designer must be up to date at all times and know what is going on around him. Design is not a pure science or art that can be formed in isolation. It must flow like a river and hit rocks, ridges, hills and heights along the way to stay fresh and successful.
DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
MM : I think both affect each other and complement each other. This is a cycle that is constantly synergistic. New trends are created from new designs and new designs are created in the context of new trends.
DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
MM : Technology plays a very important role in my designs. Maybe it’s because of my great interest in technology and my extensive study in this field.
DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
MM : Depending on the type of project, it can be different, but in general, we can refer to 3D modeling software, rendering, presentation and simulators and data analysis.
DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
MM : All these are the main pillars of design and complete the design.
DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
MM : Protect the Earth.
DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
MM : I always get excited by seeing good designs and I enjoy working with them. The most important thing that comes to my mind is how I would design it if I wanted to design it.
DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
MM : Undoubtedly Elham Mirzapour. She has been the best business partner I have ever had.
DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
MM : I see the role of my colleague Elham Mirzapour much more vividly than others.
DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
MM : I am very interested in reading and spend a lot of time reading during the day. Every study has had a special effect on me and has helped me to mature. But in the meantime, I find books on the history of design and the study of art and design movements more effective than any other book I have read.
DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
MM : Gaining successive experiences by welcoming various challenges as well as up-to-date knowledge through frequent and intermittent study.
DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
MM : There are many additions, but the most important are Omar Khayyam, Dieter Rams, and Albert Einstein.
DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
MM : It definitely feels good. But as you get bigger, the human responsibility becomes more and more difficult.
DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
MM : Color: dark color palette, place: pristine nature, food: traditional Iranian and Mediterranean dishes, season: spring, and finally I must say that I love collecting glasses.
DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
MM : I do not have a specific memory to define in my mind right now, but I can say that every moment of my life is full of memories and events. Because I pay a lot of attention to the environment and the little things that others may not pay attention to and pass by easily. This has been one of the reasons for my success in design.
DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
MM : Seeing good designs, spending time in the heart of pristine nature.
DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
MM : Yes. totally. I have been interested in design since I was a child, and as much as I can remember I have been exploring my surroundings, curiosity, questioning, theorizing, and inventing. Going to university and studying industrial design promoted this innate interest in me.
DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
MM : The speed of technological progress as well as the speed of intellectual growth of society has increased very much and is increasing day by day. The future may have two opposing faces, both of which stem from our behaviors today. Or with the help of the very good tools and facilities, it progresses towards perfection and degenerates with pride and arrogance. I sincerely wish the best future for the earth and its inhabitants.
DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
MM : It was a comprehensive interview and I do not think there is no specific topic left that we did not address. Finally, thank you for choosing me as a design legend and this interview.”