The interview was in English:
When did you first become interested in designing airplane trolleys?
I originally had the idea to redesign old airline trolleys while I was on vacation in Spain in 2001. I visited a friend in his home and discovered that he had a defunct airline trolley, which he was using as a mobile wine rack. While sharing a good bottle of red wine or two, the idea to redesign this authentic and handy, but unimpressive, trolley into a beautiful piece of modern furniture for your home was born.
Did you go to school for design?
I have never attended a design school. I worked rather as a creative in advertising for over ten years, where I was constantly on the lookout for new ideas. In this industry I learnt a lot about product design and marketing and was thus already well-equipped when the opportunity came up to start my own business redesigning trolleys.
What are the most common challenges you face when working on a project like this?
The biggest challenge I face in this industry is getting the word out about our product. A redesigned airline trolley is not a typical piece of furniture that people think about buying for their home, and this means that I have to put a lot of extra effort into promoting what we do. The international market, into which we are currently expanding, is especially difficult and presents additional challenges such as finding investors and cooperating with other retailers through whom we can reach more customers and designers.
What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
I am very proud of the collaboration we established last year with the luxury Italian glass mosaic brand Bisazza to produce the BISAZZA MOSAICO luxury trolley. I love being able to cooperate with different designers to produce a totally unique product. Another highlight was famous German designer Michael Michalsky using Skypak airline trolleys to serve refreshments at his Michalsky StyleNite during the Berlin Fashion Week last year. It’s always very satisfying to see such a positive reception for my concepts.
How would you describe your signature style?
Personally, I’m really into the idea of reusing and recycling old items that are no longer considered useful and transforming them into something else. I like taking things with different origins and coming up with innovative ways to combine them into something new. I’m especially fond of old wooden antiques and enjoy finding creative ways to reuse them as practical and modern pieces of furniture.
What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work?
My ultimate goal with Skypak is to establish a successful brand associated with durable, practical, luxury furniture. I love collaborating with other designers on new projects and am passionate about bringing this simple yet extraordinarily functional concept to the international market.
What is your design philosophy?
To combine design and functionality, and to generate new life from outdated objects. Innovation is very important, so we collaborate closely with other designers in order to create space for a constant stream of new ideas.
When working on a project, how do you balance what the client thinks is best versus what your experience and expertise tells you would work best with his/her needs?
Actually this hasn’t really been a problem for me. The collaborations I have done with other designers have been very successful and our customers are actually able to customize a trolley themselves, so there is little space for conflicting ideas.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and creative ways of thinking. I believe in opening your senses and experiencing what is around you in order to create products which are genuinely useful and desirable to others. Aside from that, I am always inspired by a good run through the woods!
Are you concerned about the environment? If so, what role do “green” designs play in your work?
The original conception for Skypak was actually to work with secondhand airline trolleys and combine this weathered spirit of travel with elegant designs, however; used trolleys come in a poor, battered condition which means that we are unable to re-cover the exterior with one of our designs. The large majority of the customers therefore prefer to have an unmarked version with the paneling of their choice for their personal use. At the moment I’m planning some future trolley designs involving used materials as a move towards sustainability but I won’t go into detail about that just yet!
If you are keen to find out more about our designs, come and visit our shop.