Leo Aerts – Alinea
1. Where were you born and where are you from ?
I am from Belgium and was born in Herentals, a small town near Antwerp.
2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?
Back in 1975 I visited the Art Nouveau Museum Horta in Brussels which arouse my curiosity and passion for architecture, art and design. To this day I still find this a refined and inspiring architectural building, where details, characterful materials and functionality are intertwined.
3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?
Yes, I was lucky enough to discover my passion at a very young age. I’ve been designing since 1983, right after I finished my studies in interior architecture.
4. What led you to the design creation ?
Designing has always been part of my passion and profession. While working as an interior architect, I often received requests to design custom furniture/solutions for our clients’ projects. The design of furniture and objects did not stop with the delivery of the projects and became a hobby that got out of hand. This translated into my own label ‘Alinea Design Objects’ in 1995.
5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?
I find my creativity and inspiration in different beauties such as nature.
To bring these ideas to life, some fundamental aspects are considered: durability and functionality.
6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?
I’m a morning person so my day starts pretty early. From then on my days are very different. As we are a small company, I am in close contact myself with clients and suppliers who I regularly visit. When I’m in the office I am most happy when I can design with pencil and paper undisturbed.
7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?
I like working with natural and characterful materials such as wood, glass and natural stone as with the Angelo M table collection. I attach great importance to sustainability, which means that the choice of materials is extremely important in my designs. I want customers to enjoy my timeless designs for a long time to come, hence the choice of materials that retain their charm and value.
8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?
In all my designs I strive for a balance between functionality, timeless aesthetics and with a technical twist. To find this balance, a thorough knowledge of the materials used is necessary
9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?
There is a wide range of art and design in the world. To stand out and succeed, a certain knowledge of the market is necessary in order to surpass the existing offer.
10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?
I consider my designs as essentially minimal and timeless.
11. What designers have influenced you ?
Mies van der Rohe, both his architectural buildings and furniture designs. A beautiful example of timelessness.
12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?
Designers who dare to deviate from trends to create something unique
13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?
I greatly appreciate the works of Donald Judd, leading artist of minimalism in the mid-20th century.
I am also an admirer of Issey Miyake’s fashion designs. I recognize the timelessness of my furniture and objects designs in his fashion.
14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?
Timeless with a high-quality finish for long-lasting use.
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?
When your body and mind are in balance
2. What is your greatest fear?
To run out of time
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
7. What is your current state of mind?
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?
Sometimes in life, one has to take a chance
12. Which talent would you most like to have?
13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be more patient.
14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My design objects that last for minimum the next 100 years.
15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
16. Where would you most like to live?
Belgium, where I live now.
17. What is your most treasured possession?
18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
When not seeing your possibilities/perspectives
19. What is your favorite occupation?
20. What is your most marked characteristic?
To never give up
21. What do you most value in your friends?
22. Who are your favorite writers?
23. Who is your hero of fiction?
24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
25. Who are your heroes in real life?
Again my children
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?
While working / designing
30. What is your motto?
Find your talents and use them wisely