Frank Willems is a young Dutch designer with a passion for adventure. A graphic designer by training, with a degree in advertising and presentation techniques, and a specialization from the Design Academy in Eindhoven, Frank has already made a great start: The hand-made Madam Rubens is but one piece in his collection which brings ordinary unrelated objects together in the harmony of a distinguished final piece.
Q : When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?A : I always wanted to create something of use. Later on in high school, I was very interested in art. There, I realized that I could creating something which is usable but with an artistic perspective. That was the time when i wanted to become a designer.Q : How would you define your design style?A : My work is characterised by a great sense of functionality, aestheticlining and shapes, and expert use of materials and techniques. I knowthe possibilities of the application of my designs. I realise these differentapplications through new shapes and materials.Q : What would you do if you were not a designer/artist?A : I could not imagine not being a designer. I can imagine being a fashiondesigner or a Garden designer though. Q : Where do you draw your ideas/inspiration from?A : Traveling by train or bus always gives me inspiration. Just by looking out of the window the ideas just come towards you. The smallest things or events can result in the best ideas.Q : Who do you consult about works?A : I work very individual, and I am very closed if it comes to my work Ifollow my own feelings.Q : Which of your projects do you consider a success?A : The Rubens Collection has the most success. I am also proud of thenewly created ceramics project I did.Q : Which of your projects do you consider a failure?A : I never proceed a project when I think it goes the wrong way. Some of my older projects I would do differently now.Q : What is the first design work you can recall?A : A wooden canoe I made as a child made out of a piece of wood.Q : To what extent do you believe that design should be functional?A : I find that design should always serve its goal. When you design a chair, it has to sit comfortable. My designs my not always look as if the would do so, but the ‘Plus the madam Rubens' chair sits very comfortable.Name a colleague you admire.Q : Name a colleague you admire.A : I think the ideas of Jurgen Bey are very original and fresh. He approaches the things in a new way.Q : What have you learnt about design yourself?A : You should always follow your feeling. When I was at the designacademy my classmates and teacher were not very positive about theprototype of the Madam Rubens chair, but I followed my feeling andproceeded the design.Q : What in your opinion is the greatest design invention in recent years?A : My Iphone and I are inseparable.Q : With which personality from the past would you like to have coffee?A : I would like to have coffee with Charles and ray Eames and ludwig mies van der rohe. I admire their work. Also Alexander Mcqueen would bevery interesting to chat with.Q : Which materials interest/fascinate you most?A : Rest materials give me a lot of inspiration. The idea of making unwanted materials into something people want , appeals to me.Q : What advice would you give a designer at the start of his career / What advice would you have liked to receive at the start of your career?A : Follow your guts. Never make products because you ‘think' they wouldbe a success, when you personally don't really care for them.Q : What are your future projects?A : I working with ceramics at this moment.