ADDRESS Interview with Propellor.

Define your craft / product / brand in 3 sentences or less. Propellor designs and builds modern lighting fixtures, chandeliers and illuminated sculptural installations from our studio in Vancouver. Our emphasis is on creating strikingly unique designs using inherently beautiful materials. We work in wood, metal, glass, and a variety of other materials; always honing our craft to make finely detailed pieces.

Describe your creative process. At the centre of our process is collaboration – collaboration between the three of us as designers and collaboration with our clients. Working together takes us places creatively that we’d likely never find alone. It’s all about the chemistry of combining our individual skills and perspectives to a given problem. On the easy days our process includes a lot of laughter and feels like play. On the difficult days it comes down to the hard work of iterating and reiterating ideas until the eureka moments come. Either way, working with friends makes the creative process a pleasure.

Where do you find inspiration when experiencing a creative block? The Japanese have this term, Shinrin-yoku, which means ‘forest bathing’ – a belief in the physiological and phycological value of being in nature. We head to the forest as often as we can to hike, cycle and camp. These trips never fail to clear our heads of the multitude of trivial concerns that crowd out creativity. Nature is a touchstone that we turn to constantly in our work as both subject matter as well as source of design solutions. In-between the trips to the woods, we charge our creative batteries daily by searching out new ideas and materials in podcasts, thrift stores, museums, geeky industry blogs and the less travelled corners of our city.

What advice would you give to young designers / makers / artists / creatives aspiring to make it in their field? Stop second guessing yourself and make what you most want to make. There is a lot of competition these days but the world is hungry for idiosyncratic points of view. You will be rewarded for making unique work, it may take a while, but eventually people will take notice if you make the things that only you can make.

What’s your dream project? There are three of us, so there are a number of dream projects in our sketchbooks. I think that we would all agree though that having a chance to combine our lighting, furniture and sculpture in one project would be pretty ideal. We’d love to work with a client on a commercial space or home where we could integrate all three strands of our work.

What art / design trends are you excited about? There is so much going on right now. It’s a good time to be a designer/maker. Our culture is increasingly interested in hand-made objects that are invested with the creative energy and craft of a designer that you can put a face to. At the same time there is a digital revolution just around the corner with technologies like 3D printing rapidly evolving. There are interesting new possibilities waiting to be discovered in the combination of this powerful digital manufacturing tech with great design and traditional craftsmanship.