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Design, Craft, and Assemble

Described as a “cosmopolitan craft designer”, Tomas Alonso’s influences stem from the pioneers of Modernism. Jeez, we already like this guy. After studies at The Royal College of Art and ten years worth of professional work in Italy, the U.S., and Australia, he made it full circle back to London. His views and pursuit of handmade design goods create something unique.Tomas strives to design and create pieces that coexist with the preexisting things that surround us. Flexibility is another key component when he creates, so that the end result can live within different spaces while being used in different ways.

“Design is a constructive activity that involves setting out an objective, a plan of action conceived after careful consideration of a situation, finding the means to carry it through and finally assessing its consequences. Sometimes it is rather difficult to define ones practice as a designer in our contemporary society with such an excessive saturation of objects. But I´d like to think that a cleverly thought out product still has a right to exist if produced in the right way. I guess that my commitment to design will go on as long as I feel that the work I produce has some kind of legitimacy in the world that surrounds it. My objective is to produce objects that make it to people’s homes and that eventually become part of their surroundings, they live for many years performing their function and hopefully ending up taking a place in the lives of the people that use them.”

“The basic steps of the process are always similar; as a designer you approach an unknown situation, you spend some time making yourself familiar with it, then you start weighting the possibilities and testing solutions, and finally you produce a result in the form of, either a set of instructions or the actual outcome. However, each project is a new world in itself and depending on the context - what is it, who for, where from, how is it done, where for, etc - the process of development is different and it makes you get involved with so many different types of problems, situations, people, techniques, contexts… It is because of this that some people say designers are "jacks of all trades but masters of none", personally I find this one of the most interesting factors in our profession. I think our brains work a little bit like sponges; they are continuously absorbing things and situations around us, which get stored somewhere and are ready to be squeezed out on demand during the course of a new project.”

“Another great source of inspiration for me is to visit workshops and factories, from small artisan workshops to big production plans with specialized equipment. The relationship between a finished object and the way it is produced is completely intrinsic and in most cases determines the product, if you fully understand how something is made, you also fully understand the potential it has.”

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