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Vol. 5 No. 1 (2020): Visual Spaces of Change: Designing Interiority - shelter, shape, place, atmosphere

The power of imagination: An interview to designer Hans Thyge, from Design, Interior & Branding Studio Hans Thyge& Co based in Norsminde, Denmark




Fátima Pombo (FP) and Hans Thyge (HT)

FP The motto of your Design Studio is that ‘it all starts with the power of imagination. Every design should tell a story, on its own and as part of a bigger context’. What is the meaning for you of such statement?

HT Let me tell you a story that enlightens the meaning you are asking for. Many years back I was driving down to the Cologne furniture fair with two employees. We were driving late evening and started to discuss a new competition we were invited to take part of. It was about an ergonomic chair made of plywood for the contract market. In the night we discussed advantages and principles. After some talks back and forth, we suddenly discovered an interesting static principle, which could move the pivot point of the backrest up in the lumbar area. Immediately we felt that we had discovered something compelling while driving in the dark without pen and paper. The interesting thing was that we had elaborated an idea using our imagination and the spoken language even the matter was about three-dimensional form. The day after I flew to Poland after a long day at the fair, and I quickly sketched the principle down on the back of my ticket. The idea remained intact and worked after some experiments with prototypes. We often talk about “The power of imagination” which has become the motto of our small design studio. Design is about being able to imagine and sense stories and elements carried out in materials, with colours and surfaces. Theoretically there is no difference between writing a book, composing a piece of music or designing a chair. Whether it is the pencil or the very sophisticated 3D modelling programs we are using to elaborate our ideas, it always comes down to our ultimate ability to see and feel the object for our inner eye. Without that, designing becomes a superficial act dethatched from our personal life. A genius violinist once was asked where he got the ability to play so beautiful and he answered: “It is the sum of my life and all I see and experience everyday”. Our power of imagination is a sum of the cultural input we are experiencing, or in other words all which our senses see and feel through our life. It is not only the capability of playing the notes or designing a chair……the character and ingenuity of the expression is a matter of who we are, which will always be reflected in the things we create.