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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Design Trawler Unmasked - First Interview

Celebrating the second birthday of DesignTrawler.com, Editor in Chief and international ambassador of the Man Cave shares some personal perspectives about design and the Design Trawler story. Cover blown, expect Design Trawler to now attend launches, previews and openings in full disguise. Read the full interview and what Design Trawler really thinks of David Guetta and superhero bedsheets below.

What's DesignTrawler.com all about?

Design Trawler is a magazine style blog featuring short and witty articles, on the subject of product and interior design. Written with a particular focus on the male 20-30 year old reader, Design Trawler articles equip readers with simple design perspectives and considerations for a modern day first home (the “Man Cave”).

Defined as “an optimal living environment for today's multifaceted male human”, Design Trawler’s Man Cave theme rebuts the conventional associations that male defined interior design revolves solely around a pool table, beer fridge and 50 inch television.  

Who is it written for? Who reads it?

The brief for Design Trawler is to make design interesting, relevant and accessible to a typical male college graduate and/or early career professional - Fundamentally one that does not work in the creative sector. I am frustrated with the perception that design seems to exist as a closed club for creative industry insiders. 

What prompted you to create Design Trawler?

The process for Design Trawler started with I graduated from business school and started my first job as an investment banker in London. I purchased my first apartment and began sourcing furniture and designing the interior. I wanted everything in the apartment to earn its place by the strength of its design.

Unfortunately, I felt that existing interior design journalism was heavily geared towards an older or predominantly female readership. Similarly, pure design writing seemed to exist in a sphere comparable with couture fashion and was irrelevant and inaccessible to me. As a young man, I had no point of reference. I decided to create my own point of reference with Design Trawler.

I was soon able to take advantage of the frequent travel that work afforded me. Unrelated business trips abroad became scouting opportunities; trawling markets, malls and galleries for the best toaster, door handle or hall decoration – All the time sharing my finds with colleagues in finance, law and marketing; all eager to know where and how to obtain such objects. 

What did you hope to achieve?

While young male professionals research and invest in high-end wardrobes and watches, the same can not be said for design. There is no Mad Men style television series championing Philippe Starck Juicers. Nor any designers, dead or alive, able to draw a crowd of first year lawyers to a muddy field like David Guetta.

And yet, young male professionals continue to live in rented accommodation, sitting on disposable furniture, wearing muddied designer shirts. The intent of Design Trawler is to make design desirable to young professionals. To give the Dyson Air Multiplier the same bragging rights as a new chronograph.

How does Design Trawler earn its keep in the world?

Articles on Design Trawler don’t jostle with the mainstream design press to “earn their keep in the world”. Nor should they. They don’t represent ‘high design’ or scholarly perspectives for industry insiders to umm and ahh about. Fostering an appreciation of design through accessible journalism, I hope to challenge the perception of design and interior design in particular.

In much the same way that men’s lifestyle magazines successfully distil the irrelevance of what’s happening on the catwalk in Milan to a simple “don’t wear brown shoes on a Tuesday”, Design Trawler encourages a new generation of otherwise design agnostic consumers to think twice about superhero bed sheets.

Relevant now more than ever before, the global financial crisis presents a real danger of leaving a generation of young adults with no choice but to rent or live with parents for many years. Without the opportunity, or encouragement, to define their own environment, young adults can not be expected to engage with design.

Quite simply, Design Trawler exists to introduce the importance of design to the future patrons of design.
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