Designer Dialogues: Lucas Muñoz

The creatives of Sectie-C, an Eindhoven based design hub, initiated BLANK SPACE MAGAZINE, a magazine that portrays different creative makers in their workplaces while interviewed by colleagues. What fascinates, inspires and drives them to do what they do? Especially for ddw.nl, BLANK SPACE MAGAZINE edited the interviews into interesting short stories. This time, we’ll take a look inside the studio of Lucas Muñoz.
How would you define your design practice?

I approach my work from my very own angle. With my work I try to subvert the standards of what is generally known as industrial design, yet using standardised materials, parts and/or components.

Lucas Muñoz
Saskia Overzee
What would you say is your main source of inspiration?

I have two major sources of inspiration: logic and love. Between the process of ideation and production there is an unquestionably high degree of self-questioning. It is a sort of negotiation with myself, everybody around me, the materials and the ideal goal I have in mind.

On one hand, some of my creations arise from syllogisms, a logical step-by-step process. They arise from questions like: can I add conceptual value to the piece by playing with its measurements? Can I translate particular data into the perimeter of a table? Can I…? Can I…? Can I…? and somehow distilling the essence until the last drop.

On the other hand, other works come from love. As an example, “I would really love to ride a stone”, therefore I make a skateboard from a stone. I eventually support the material result with a concept framed around it, but it all comes from the fact that I fall in love with the first idea that prompted the piece upfront. There are very few times where the conceptual part comes before its materialisation.

Are you just counting on yourself for your projects, or do they involve some collaboration?

In a way each project has its own demands, if I need more people, I look for them. However, sometimes it is not only about you being capable to do it by yourself, while rather that is simply more fun and perhaps enriching to do it in collaboration with someone else.

Sometimes I find myself thinking: ‘maybe I shouldn’t have asked this person to collaborate with me’, but eventually you realise that the basis of the collaboration is wrong, so I try to steer it. I look at myself and I ask: ‘what makes me uncomfortable about it?’ If I find the reason, I try to tackle the problem. If it is a personal matter, I go to talk to them and realise that 99% of the times that your collaborators are feeling the same way and agree totally with changing the direction. Then it starts flowing much better. Even though I always try to reach a shoulder-to-shoulder partnership, there is no collaboration without individuality. That is something you have to respect. Being open to the other’s thoughts is the enriching part of working with someone.

What do you think are the key elements to have a successful collaboration? Do you choose people by expertise or shared vision?

I only engage with projects and people I like. There is certainly a large part based on human relations. The better I feel with that person, the more I will like to collaborate. This premise already makes it very horizontal even if, unavoidably, at a certain point it has to be vertical. I don’t remember who said it but ‘democracies are very slow’ which comes to say that dictatorships are very fast. Sometimes votes are needed. To chat, hearing different perspectives and a nice vibe is something I enjoy and value, but sometimes you need to say this is it and let’s move on.

How do you position yourself within the market?

All of work is my way of steaming out creative energy. I do not consider my objective to be in the market and I do not care if my pieces are sold, published or exhibited. Making these diverse projects doesn't cause me as much stress as I used to have in the past. Back then I had external questions like: Does it look good enough on a photo? Is it going to be published? Is it sellable? Is this figure I have met going to like it?

I hate the idea that as a creative you have to spend 80% of your time in making mailing lists, Instagram “thingies”, stories or whatsoever. Continuously spamming people to tell them how nice my work is. Parasitizing their daily lives so they accept my work and publish it. That is not my cup of tea. I feel my work is to do my thing and someone else's work is finding it good or bad and reporting about it.

I see my work as a marathon, not a sprint. I try to envision what I’m doing in ten years, without knowing what will happen in between. The things I am currently working on should represent what I would like to have in my background in ten years from now. Further in time, in a more relaxed moment, I hope I will be able to look back and say: ‘that was worth making!’

The full interview with Lucas Muñoz can be found in the second edition of BLANK SPACE MAGAZINE. You can follow BLANK SPACE MAGAZINE here.

Interview: Corradino Garofalo and Joan Vellvé Rafecas / Photography: Saskia Overzee / Text editor: Mats Horbach