Gagan Singh is a self-taught furniture and modern lighting designer. Raised in Air Force family, Gagan combined his passion for furniture design and love for aviation into one unique vocation, designing functional aviation art furniture and modern lighting accents. Gagan started his career in advertising communication. After 18 years of communication design and multiple international awards including One Show Design London, New York Festivals Midas, he took his passion for world-class design into third dimension.
Quote: “I’m an aviator, I love to soar up high and when on ground I let my imagination fly.”
Gagan Singh /aviator, designer, dreamer
About the competition:
A’ Design Competition had over 5641 participants & 12523 entries in 105 categories from 208 countries.
On April 15, results will be final and available through A’ Design Competition. On August 9, 2014, gala-night and celebration will take place in Como, Italy. Exhibition will be held on August 3 to 25.
What does winning A’ Design award mean for Gagan Design Studio?
A’Design Award is very prestigious and we‘re very excited to have won it. It is epitome for top design and innovation. Like any award of similar stature, A’Design is a platform that furthers great design by bringing the best at one lace and inspiring many others.
A’ Design Award and Competition is the worlds’ largest design competition awarding best designs, design concepts and products & services.
(You can read more here: http://www.whatisadesignaward.com/)
In a world where there are millions of products and designs launch each year, the award was born out of the desire to underline the best designs and well designed products. The award-winning products and designs are highlighted to the international public via the A’ Design Award Gala-Night and Exhibition in Italy and they are communicated to all relevant press across the world.
For Gagan Design winning A’Design is an affirmation of being world-class and that our efforts in design development, bringing the best to the consumer is recognized by none other than the best in class.
It further inspires us to create better and more meaningful products for the discerning on a daily basis. Our quest is be better tomorrow than we were yesterday.
Sometimes it’s more difficult to keep things simple. How did you get to this very minimal shape for Peg lamp?
Very rightly said. Simplicity isn’t a simple process. To me it’s like solving an algebra equation where you start with complex jumbled up equation and you simplify it at every step to arrive at the simplest possible.
There’ s a lot of design development that happens towards creation of a minimal looking product that performs to the maximum.
I wanted to design a lamp that is modern, minimal and aesthetically beautiful standing on a desk. Modern design also tends to get very industrial, machined and sterile at times. So my quest was to offer best of both worlds; clean modern design and handcrafted warmth of the old world. With that in mind, many sketches and prototypes later the Peg-Lamp was born.
The Peg Lamp is also technologically savvy and friendly to the environment. It uses low energy consuming LEDs.
It’s a smart and simple desk lamp that sits at an angle with the help of its red pegged stand. The thin wooden frame houses LEDs, which put off warm, diffuse light with great energy efficiency. The thin, angular design pairs form and function for a finished product that is stunning and modern.
Few quotes by legends that come to my mind regarding simplicity that I find inspiring:
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
“Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.”
Looking at your work, one sees that colours are of a great importance. The furniture is very powerfully coloured, which gives an energy boost, while the lamps have a calming colour. How do you decide on the colours?
Our Aviation furniture is a contrast to the Lighting design but both have a streak of playfulness and zest to them by making use of accent colours. I don’t like things monotonous and sterile. Adding a bright fabric cord not only creates a balance but also lets the consumer customize the lamps to their taste.
While the lamps can be customized to consumers taste the Aviation furniture is inspired by the history and heritage behind the aircrafts the parts came from. For instance the striking ‘red’ on the C45 Expeditior couches are inspired by the ‘red’ of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The plane was essentially bare polished metal with striking Canadian red.
And so are other pieces. The desk pushes the boundaries a little further by exaggerating the military green and finding a more modern and fresh expression of it.
It’s impressive to see how something as rough as metal coming from airplanes are turned into beautiful furniture. Tell us why you are specifically interested in this area.
I was raised in Air Force family, so love for aviation is ingrained in my genes. I combined my passion for furniture design and love for aviation into one unique vocation, designing functional aviation art furniture and modern lighting accents.
I grew around airplanes and played in them during my childhood. We used to have old decommissioned planes in our parks to play around. So it’s sad to see a lot of great planes dying a slow death rotting in open or in rubbish piles or ending up in a smelter. They served our nations good and there’s a lot of history behind them. I find them very inspiring. Flying like a bird has been an ultimate dream for the mankind and ever since the first flight the world has really taken off in every sector. Our Aviation Furniture collection is our homage to aviation. We design and build high-class furniture from vintage aircraft parts; airplanes that once flew in open skies guarding our nation and carried people around. Turning them into beautiful pieces of furniture is our way of giving second life and paying tribute to the magnificent flying machines that once touched our skies with glory.
A great man once said “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” He was none other than Michelangelo.
To create something magnificent out of something seemingly broken mangled piece of metal gives ultimate satisfaction and inspiration to do more.
From what we’ve seen, you are definitely interested in producing unique works. Why is that?
I’m interested in innovation, pushing imagination and boundaries. That gives me happiness and also to the people who buy them. As an advertising creative director for 18 years, I worked in environment where every solution had to be different, novel and better than the previous one. I can’t do the same thing everyday.
Uniqueness inspires people. And inspiration is fuel for meaningful life. It inspires and motivates people to be better than what they were, personally or professionally besides making a task or interaction better while making you happier.
Mundane and monotone doesn’t inspire anyone.
What are you up to?
My vision is to create high-class art furniture and modern-minimal lighting accents that are not just good to look at but also affordable to own. Objects that are like no other.
We’re not manufacturers, we’re craftsmen. We take time to handcraft each piece, bit by bit, weaving a symphony just for you because we believe the human in us still appreciates a human touch, a hug over a like, a tete-a-tete over a tweet, for there is spirit and magic in things our hands touch against things that come out of a mold, for we truly believe… THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE STILL MADE BY HAND.™
At the moment we’re designing some more floor lamps and ceiling pendant ones. On the aviation side there’s an amazing ‘Bar’ project underway. The plane part in question is vertical fin from Bell Jet Ranger helicopter used for training by the RCAF.
We have asked A’Design Award and Competition several questions about this year’s competition:
What is expected from the designers once they enter the competition?
What we expect from designers is firstly to respect their own work, and show their designs the care they deserve; i.e. we expect all designers to make a very good presentation of what the work is, with questions such as why, how, when, where, who answered for each work; this pushes them to visualize better which is good for press appearances and publicity, meanwhile we also want designers to be able to talk about their work; this pushes them to think further about what makes their design unique, functional and relevant and how these aspects could be improved.
Tell us about the number of subscribers. Also, why do you think that so many designers apply?
Over 12.000 entries, from 208 countries in 105 categories; we have our presentation in 33 languages and we appeal to all design disciplines but that is not why there are so many entries; the actual reason is that those who join the previous years are rejoining each year and more new participants join each year especially to be able to obtain the A’ Design Prize which provides extensive publicity to winners.
We are mainly interested in the direction of the design today, as seen from inside the competition (we imagine that seeing the winners, you could tell the audience what is common in their works).
We see there is an ongoing trend of “auto-production” i.e. “makers” and designers use newly developed platforms and newly re-discovered technologies such as cnc cutting, 3d printing and others to create their own unique designs rather than being depended on companies to realize their ideas. I would say that it is sort of a new awakening, a design revolution, where designers discover once again to be innovators with capacity turn their ideas into reality.