Karim Rashid speaks openly about the AVA Software and the future
July 1, 2014
Karim Rashid, one of the most prolific designers of his generation. Over 3000 designs in production, over 300 awards and working in over 40 countries attest to Karim’s legend of design. His award winning designs include luxury goods for Christofle, Veuve Clicquot, and Alessi, democratic products for Umbra, Bobble, and 3M, furniture for Bonaldo and Vondom, lighting for Artemide and Fabbian, high tech products for Asus and Samsung, surface design for Marburg and Abet Laminati, brand identity for Citibank and Sony Ericsson and packaging for Method, Paris Baguette, Kenzo and Hugo Boss. Karim’s touch expands beyond product to interiors such as the Morimoto restaurant, Philadelphia; Semiramis hotel, Athens; nhow hotel, Berlin; Universita Metro Station, Naples as well as exhibition design for Deutsche Bank and Audi. Karim has recently been selected to design several real estate developments in New York City for HAP Investments, a New York City based International investment group.
Karim’s work is featured in 20 permanent collections and he exhibits art in galleries worldwide. Karim is a perennial winner of the Red Dot award, Chicago Athenaeum Good Design award, I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review, IDSA Industrial Design Excellence award. He holds Honorary Doctorates from the OCAD, Toronto and Corcoran College of Art & Design, Washington. Karim has been featured in magazines and books including Time, Vogue, Esquire, GQ, Wallpaper, and countless more. In his spare time Karim’s pluralism flirts with art, fashion, and music and is determined to creatively touch every aspect of our physical and virtual landscape.
AVA interview with Karim
An inspirational designer who is passionate about design, technology and the future. Karims innovative products range from interiors to fashion, furniture, lighting, music to installations. Karim speaks openly to AVA about how the AVA Software has facilitated his design process, how much his team enjoys using the software daily and what the future holds.
Can you outline your business in relation to decor and textiles?
Well I’m an industrial designer, practising for around 30 years but probably in the last 15 years or so I started doing products that were more two-dimensional. Decorative products like carpets, wallpapers, ceramic tiles and I have always been interested in this idea of making 2-D services to have a dimensionality, some sort of perception of 3-D, to try and get some depth, especially because of the age we live in. So through these 2-D surfaces I’m trying to speak about the digital age in a way. The digital age for me is how can I say extensive, it’s fluid, it’s data it’s about data, its about energy and all these things, so this is the kind of work I do. I got busier and busier designing interiors, hotels and condominiums and now architecture, even things like urban planning, parks etc, so I find myself doing more and more patterns, more and more embellishments and augmentation with 2-D surfaces, using various materials, even textile design and furniture etc.
Can you tell us a bit about the adoption of HP latex technology and AVA how you’ve used it so far?
Well for years as I told HP I’ve had plotters in my office and over the years they have got progressively better and faster, higher resolutions. The most recent plotter that we bought and are using, I can’t remember the model name you guys know it, the 260?, yes, it’s quite amazing thing to have in one’s design office as these machines are generally relegated to the surface industry and printshops, that sort of thing. To have it as a designer and then to use AVA software with it, I know we’ve only had it here six months, I find were using it daily, so I find myself being involved in more and more and more projects that involve two-dimensional patterning. I think I’ve built quite a reputation for that so in turn I find myself more in demand. The opportunity of having it a house is how fast and how experimental we can be, how many different substrates we can use. Then with the software we can quickly, very quickly manipulate colours, tonalities. What I love is that recently we were working on a bunch of wallpaper for Marburg in Germany, and with the AVA software I can repeat very easily and quickly, so we’ve been taking advantage of that ease.
What do you and your team like or find most valuable in the AVA software?
The team that are using it, My graphics team, have told me themselves because they use it daily, they find it faster than the prevailing softwares. Number one they find it easier and more friendly, it’s very manipulative. Number two they find it like a bit of a combination between Adobe illustrator and Adobe Photo shop, almost like it can do two things, two programs at once, so the beauty is that you’re dealing with two things at once non vector based and vector based within the same software, so that is a fantastic advantage. (Nick H – the software has that familiarity to it, so makes the transition to AVA easier) Exactly, so it’s great that way. We are enjoying it, there’s a lot to learn about it obviously, but it’s going quite well. The nice thing is, the beauty of it is that if we have a client in the office we are able to show them on screen, manipulate with them, so they say well were a little concerned about that hue or colours seem a bit bright, we can manipulate right in front of them and plot immediately to with screen to print. Screen to print and the immediacy of doing business with clients.
What are your immediate plans for the future in the 2D digital print and design area?
Well just to continue as I am going where I find myself doing more and more business in the two-dimensional embellishment and ornamentation. I find that the business in general is growing because I’ve been so interested in it but I realise with my interiors and the projects I’m doing around the world, the more I push this idea of surfacing or changing of surfaces, whether it be wallpaper or textiles etc, it’s becoming more vogue and popular too. Hence I find the interior design world inspired, everybody now seems to be including more ornament or more decoration or more patterning in interior design. When I started design in the 80s basically it was kind of bauhausian left over modernism so everything was relatively monochromatic, people did hard floors not carpeting, wallpaper almost disappeared, so I feel that the future is gonna be more and more interest from a consumer point of view, the developer’s point of view, the manufacturer’s point of view, to manipulate the 2-D surfaces, do more and more beautiful prints and embellishment. So I think in general the business is just going to grow for me and for others. It adds richness to all our lives, the fact we can create millions of colours today and then use the software to manipulate those million colours, already makes our lives and brings a bit more depth to our lives, more aesthetics, more beauty and far less restrictions.
What is your personal vision for the future of Digital design and print?
How do I see the business going? well from a personal point of view, I can see, I can for example now with HP use various substrates, going everywhere from something like chiffon a textile all the way to something that’s like a magnetic wallpaper. But I would like to see eventually that all this becomes more durable, meaning I could print textiles, they could be washed and worn, and use the machine more as a machine for mass production, not just for sampling or for proofing let’s say. So I see it going that way. I also see that the software itself will start becoming more 3-D, the complexity of it so I could start to build more 3-D imagery to print in 2-D. If I want to do very 3-D thing things now, I use product design programs like solid works and others, then I have to bring them in as a vector into Photoshop and then AVA. So I would want to see that in this software, I could start to build this 3-D imagery, and more let’s say realistic imagery, for example if I want to make something that looks like chrome, I can create a surface or surface modelling in the software. So then i’ll be able to come down from using that other software, that would be ideal. That is an official feature request for AVA, that’s where I think you guys should go :). I think Surface texturing in general has become so global, with 3-D modelling programs you could move from say like brushed stainless steel, all the way through to something like glass, or something like chrome or anodise finishes, why not the 2-D surfaces also give you those impressions. It’s only really the 3-D modelling applications that that can afford you that quality. And then you can start getting into hyperrealistic or hyper realism printing.