What Makes a Product Attractive is its Character

author Filip Gordon Frank
interviewed by Marko Golub


Filip Gordon Frank’s product design portfolio is characterized by his sense of pragmatism, formal purity and simplicity. Still, immediately under this somewhat distanced purist surface, his work has a very authentic charm and some subtle humour. A good example is his Mini Me desk lamp, probably Frank’s most popular and most published product. He has recently become the owner of the designer brand Polymorph. Filip Gordon Frank has a lot of valuable experience in industrial production, as well as in ‘manufacturing’ do-it-yourself projects (for example, the Ashley ashtray), and is one of the self-conscious authors on the scene where projects, dominantly in the field of furniture design, are developed within an ambitious, but realistic framework, considering that in today’s conditions project designers must also be entrepreneurs.



ORIS: What is a typical concept, process and development behind a certain product? Do you begin from a certain artistic idea, a concept or available materials, the concrete commission, the projected budget or occasion?



Gordon Frank: Each project is specific and therefore the methods, that is, the approaches to designing are different. This mainly depends on whether it is a commissioned project or a self-initiated one. Sometimes the product is the result of long and thorough research and contemplation, with many drafts and analysis, but sometimes the idea just comes up, usually before sleeping. These ideas that just appear are also a result of experience and the long process of contemplation, when only one ‘spice’ was missing for everything to fall into the right place. There are, however, principles I respect because I believe successful design depends on many aspects and rarely only the form, however attractive it may be.