“Design makes art useful. “

Martin Ballendat is an internationally successful designer. Born in Bochum in 1958, he studied design at the Folkwangschule in Essen. After 3 years as an employee at Sedus in Switzerland, he worked in the development and design department of the Austrian company Wiesner Hager for more than 10 years.
In 1995 he founded his own studio in Northern Austria and later a second one in Germany. Design Ballendat is a company that works with many well-known brands in more than 10 countries. He has received more than 100 design awards. Ours is a long and successful collaboration. Our products have won many awards, thanks to the originality of the shapes, materials and intrinsic functionality of each seat. We interviewed him, focusing on the design concept and the elements connected to it.

What does design mean to you and what is its purpose?

“Design makes art useful”. In other words, design combines art and functionality to create something new, better or even more extraordinary . The 1:1 construction of prototypes is vital for our design and development process. My German studio therefore possesses over 1000m2 and accommodates work areas for construction, engineering, upholstering, metal and plastic processing. This mirrors our understanding and concept of design.

What elements do you think are fundamental when creating a product?

A good design needs to fulfil a number of criteria. It has to contain a piece of art but be functional at the same time. It has to be practical, doable and of course affordable and nice to look at. For me personally it is vital that at the very beginning of creating something new I ask myself what products or designs are out there already and how can I achieve something better and different to what the market already offers.

What do you want to convey with your products?

Milton Glaser, a graphic designer had a well-known statement once that I fully agree with as it contains everything that is important.

“There are three responses to a piece of design: Yes, no and Wow. Wow is the one to aim for”.

Sustainability: how can it be used in design?

Modern design should reflect a reduction to the minimum, which means less parts, less material but without loss in comfortability and functionality. The message I would like to bring across with my products is that “Less is definitively more”. We try to produce with less material or costs for example to achieve better quality and environmental friendliness


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