[en] At Viefe® we opt for design, that’s why we collaborate with product designers from all over the world. They are the ones who initiate, sketch and design some of our knobs, handles and wall hooks which we then produce and market at Viefe® across the five continents. The German Frank Person is a product designer with plenty of experience who has joined as one of Viefe®’s designers on the latest 2021 catalogue. Many of our new products from this year are the fruit of his creative process.
We’ve spoken to him to find out more about his career, his international projects and his creation process. We’ve been able to discover a little bit more about his characteristic design that goes beyond sensitivity, sustainability with marked industrial design.
Frank, tell us something briefly about your professional career.
I trained as a glass blower and did a course in industrial design in Darmstadt, Germany. I then worked as an industrial product designer for a couple of years. Then I established, together with a partner, the design studio “Orange Design” where we designed lots of products for Koziol and street furniture for Erlau, amongst other designs. In 1999 I founded my own studio “fp.formgebung” where I have worked since then.
In which sectors do you work?
I work principally in the world of furniture. I design furniture for exteriors and contract orders, lighting, products for the home and garden and, of course, knobs and handles for furniture and wall hooks.
Can you tell us about one job which you are especially proud of?
For me, the design that I made for a grill for the garden from forged iron really stands out. I had the idea years ago and had designed and developed it previously and finally I launched it together with a friend under the brand name Yron®. Personally it’s a project which I always remember fondly.
How and why did you start to collaborate with Viefe®?
I visited the Viefe® stand at Interzum. You invited me to present some designs and it seemed as if they worked. For me it was a whole new world, but I enjoyed working in the field of knobs and handles with a manufacturer like Viefe® who really care about design.
So, is it your first time in the world of knobs and handles? How was the experience?
My first job as an employed designer was at a company that produced knobs and handles so all the knowledge I gained there allowed me to establish a solid base which is still with me today. I like knobs, handles and wall hooks as I consider that these small accessories are the interface between the user and the object, making them touch-sensitive is as important as making them optical even though we are talking about only a small product. And last, but not least, all these accessories must function correctly.
What steps do you follow at the moment of designing the product?
In general, I start the design process with conceptual work on paper, brainstorming ideas and then pre-selecting. I draw and present, construct geometries with CAD, make models and 3D prints, I visualize shapes and surfaces, I try out materials. It’s all part of the process. I investigate other competitive products, other designs and methods of manufacture. Sometimes I need to repeat some parts of the process to find the ideal shape. With a small product such as knobs, handles or wall hooks, one millimetre more or less can make a huge difference.
What inspires you? Nature, music and good designs.
A material… Wood, if it’s used correctly it’s the ideal material to construct with.
A shape… curves.
A colour… Sky blue.
A finish… grainy.
The perfect handle is that which… one which it is even better to touch and use rather than just look at.
An interior design style… spaces that one has really made the most of and which are lived in with personal and individual style, not the most daring interior designs which can be seen at the moment on pieces of fashionable furniture.
Which is your favourite part of the house? The balcony.
From all the designs you have made for Viefe®, which are you happiest with?
With the “Floid” collection. These knobs, handles and wall hooks are members of a family with common accessories, but continue to be individual products with their own personality. By using the minimum amount of material possible they are products whose design is reduced to the maximum, resulting in a pleasant product in all senses of the word.