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    Ben Barber

    Ben Barber

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    I was born in Vancouver, BC Canada. Lived here for most of my life!

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    I had lots of memories as a child looking at my grandmother’s watercolour paintings, she would always gift portraits to us, and adorned her home with them. While I never saw myself growing up as an artist it was something I was exposed to. After high-school I was a little lost as to what career path to go down so I decided to take a year off and travel. While on a trip in London I visited the Tate Modern and felt a great connection to the pieces I saw. Seeing more modern work expanded my view on what art could be. I came home and enrolled in a local art school. Which opened the door for me to study in New York at the Pratt Institute. During that time I’ve learnt a creative career path is exactly where I wanted to be.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    Pretty much! After I my BFA I got an internship at a furniture design studio which is what introduced me to the industry. After my internship I started working in the film industry and slowly transitioned into focusing on my own studio practice.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    I found I could appease my love for art/creativity, but also the more structured side of myself that likes engineering and architecture. Furniture design blends the two

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    It tends to focus in on a form and work out from there. It can begin with a simple shape and through the design process certain materials and further shapes can come into play. For instance the Ida table is a very paired down hemispherical form. After the form has been worked on I have to being to focus on the fabrication processes. These can then come back to influence further tweaks to the form. Other times it may start first with a material I want to work with, and its boundaries can help decide the form.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    I like to work relatively scheduled. It keeps me on track and prevents me from losing too much focus. Generally, the day will start on the computer. This can range from emails, design work, admin, etc. Once completed I like to have the afternoon be more production focused.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    I like to work with various metals because they have very little baggage. We created it, its non-organic material, so you can do whatever you like with it and not have to consider the geographical timeline. You can create the shapes you want and apply the finished you prefer. Of course, each alloy can have its little quirks but for the most part you can dictate how you want it to look. Once finished it’s extremely durable and requires very little maintenance. Stone on the other hand is the complete opposite. Everything about its appearance and uses is dictated by where it came from, and there is a inherent nod to time. Stone can’t be created overnight. It’s this contrast that makes it the perfect material to pair with metal.

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    I was once told that a lot of my work appears very simple on the surface, but to get that form there are a lot of complicated structures/processes in place to make it come together.

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    Be yourself, and never stop working towards your goals. Try not to get too caught up in others successes. Avoid comparing your career path with others because every single one is different. Just because someone got successful within a year does not mean it’s the only day. If you put the time in, it will come.

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?

    Initially I would lean towards minimalism, but I don’t feel it’s quite right. The forms might be quite refined but some have a finish with is expressive and rough. Perhaps it’s lies more in a futurist materialism realm?

    11. What designers have influenced you ?

    So many to name, a lot of my initial influences came from sculptors. People like Noguchi, Richard Serra, Anish Kapoor, Barbara Hepworth, Olafur Eliasson

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    I think we are in an incredible era of designers. I appreciate anyone pushing boundaries of what is art and what’s furniture. Too many to name!

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    Kwangho Lee, Max Lamb, Vincenzo De Cotiis, Alma Allen, Brian Thoreen, Hector Esrawe to name a few

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    Refined expression of form and material.

    Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
    (The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

    good friends, good food and good wine

    2. What is your greatest fear?

    not putting my everything into my work

    3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

    I can be overly critical. it’s a double edge sword

    4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

    would rather not speak on others!

    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    Anyone doing their best to inspire others

    6. What is your greatest extravagance?

    Wine and food

    7. What is your current state of mind?

    calm and focused when reflecting on my path, but concerned and empathic to the world.

    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


    9. What is the quality you most like in a man ?

    10. What is the quality you most like in a woman ?

    11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

    “Cynicism is easy, optimism is hard”

    12. Which talent would you most like to have?

    I think any talent can be achieved through dedication. So there are none I would like to have which I don’t already

    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    Hard to say, every negative has some inherent positive within

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    That has yet to be realized!

    15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

    a fat house cat

    16. Where would you most like to live?

    South of France sure would be nice

    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    Our family home

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    a feeling of no purpose or drive

    19. What is your favorite occupation?


    20. What is your most marked characteristic?

    probably my bluntness

    21. What do you most value in your friends?


    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    Gilles Deleuze

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    Luke Skywalker

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    None off the top of my head

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?

    Any one who has achieved greatness within their profession. Lewis Hamilton would be one example.

    26. What are your favorite names?

    27. What is it that you most dislike?

    28. What is your greatest regret?

    29. How would you like to die?

    30. What is your motto?

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