Q: Hello Lars, to start it off, who are you, where do you originate and what do you do?
Hey there, my name is Lars Amhoff and i'm born in Detmold, Germany. A rather small town. At the moment i'm living in Essen. I'm a product design graduate, focusing on furniture and object design.
Q: A lot of your industrial design seems very architectural. What other mediums do you gather inspiration from while developing a product?
I'm getting inspiration from everything. Just look around you and you will find inspiration. I'm interested in anything around me. If i find something interesting i just go and check it out. You never know when you need the knowledge you get through walking around in this world... awake and with your eyes open. I love looking at architecture with clear lines and interesting materials. Classic furniture design means alot to me and i gather alot of inspiration from designers and architects like Mies van der Rohe and Charles Eames. They lived in times in which you could move something with design and in my opinion they really moved something and did alot for us designers today. Artists like Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol deliver alot of inspiration too. And of course i get alot inspiration from the people i work with. If i wouldn't love what they're doing and if it wouldn't inspire me i wouldn't and couldn't work with them. When i start a collaboration i check out as much work of the other designer as possible to get a feeling for his style, his way of doing things. After that i can perfectly imagine what we could do and what could suit the style of both of us.
Q: We all know there comes a point in creativity where we get a mental block, do you just work through that or is there somewhere you go to get away from it all?
Ah yeah, we all get these blocks from time to time. But i just work through... maybe taking some more breaks. In those breaks i use to play with all kinds of things making fun with the people in the office. But usually when i start working on something i want to get it done as fast as possible and i want it to be perfect. I'm a huge perfectionist and that's why i don't like to interrupt my work if i have to do really important things. But you know... for a perfectionist everything is important. Though if things are getting too much i travel to my family's house and just chill. I'm a big family person and they help me to get my powers back!
Q: Recognizing the mass market, what brands of your genre's stick out to you?
That really depends! Like i said before i'm really into classic furniture design and that's why i'm diggin companies like Vitra and Herman Miller. Those two sell the pieces of my favorite designers. Those pieces just resist time and space and are the same since more than 5 decades. That's really impressive in my opinion. Besides that i can't think of any brands sticking out. There are more single people whose work is outstanding. There are for example product designer Naoto Fukasawa (plusminuszero) and i really love the work of Bijules... that's some outstanding and fresh jewelry. I'm always trying to go against the mass market because that market is not really selling anything good. People just get uncreative and lazy because of phenomenons like ikea. I really hope the market will head back to quality not quantity.
Q: You are known for bringing artists from all around to collaborate, why is collaboration so important for the design community?
I think it's really important because we are able learn from each other. The illustrator knows how laser etching and other manufacturing techniques work and i get in touch with everything around the illustrator. With all the knowledge we gain we are able to develop better and more outstanding things! Communication is a huge thing and how could you communicate better with someone from another genre as with working directly with him? Also you're getting fresh impressions and experience other ways of working on projects The painter maybe has another way of thinking about a chair than i have and if he's telling me about his ideas i get a whole new perspective on it. That's about it! Fresh thoughts to develop fresh things.
Q: All the furniture you've done so far is made from wood, why not other materials?
I'm in love with wood. You shape the perfect piece and then nature enters the game. There are the different color tones in each piece of wood and no piece is like the other. Plus there is the quality aspect... Currently i'm getting into glass for a very special collaboration and i can't wait to see it in action. Glass is one of the most interesting materials in my opinion. You know glass stands never still. It's always moving. You can look through it but at the same time it's hard and you can touch it. Glass is like a ghost and i think it will give this special piece of furniture it's own soul. Like the wood does with the other pieces.
Q: If we take a look at your last 3 collaborations we can see your shapes are getting more and more minimal. On purpose?
Kind of, yes. The Inkywood tables were kind of playful. At the time i worked on those i got really inspired from the current neo-baroque scene. I love minimal and clear shapes but at the same time i love heavy and flourish shapes... it's ike black and white.this overload on impressions baroque furniture contains. So i took those shapes and filtered them down to a minimum. Then when i began working on the The Chair with Nigel i was kind of sick or corners and edges. If you look close at the chair you won't find a single round edge. Now the newest piece, the stool, is reduced to a cubic shape, focusing on the materials and the laser etched illustrations on it. I wanted to create something puristic. Upcoming piece will contain the same amount of minimalism.
INTERVIEW BY: SON / SOMETHINOFNOTHIN