Today we interview Product designer and short course tutor, Alexander Hinnerskov, about his work in the Short Courses exhibition as well as his wider practice and inspirations.
What is your full name and what short courses do you teach?
My name is Alexander Hinnerskov and I teach Product Design for 16 to 18 Year Olds which is offered as a week-long course as well as Product Design for 16 to 18 Year Olds (Weekend). I also teach a 6-week online course, Introduction to Product Design (Online).
How did you come to work in your field/discipline?
I always knew I wanted to make things from a very early age. I used to spend lots of time in my grandfather’s tool shed making all sorts of toys, gadgets and odd objects. I used to want to be an inventor and then an architect until I discovered product design.
Tell us about your work.
I have worked many years in industry and as a freelancer with the design of home accessories, furniture, lighting and interiors. This has been for a wide variety of clients in both London and Copenhagen, where I am now based.
Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?
I get my inspiration from contemporary art, technology and life around me. How people use things not just on a functional level, but the emotional connections people can have with objects is fascinating. Looking at what my peers are doing keeps me challenged and hungry for more.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a product which looks at people’s need to care for and have plants as well as flowers in the home. Research suggests that by doing so people become more present in the moment and disconnect from technology (i.e. phones).
Tell us about the work you submitted, being featured in the Central Saint Martins Short Courses exhibition.
It is a selection of my current work in progress titled “A Product Designer’s Wunderkammer”. On show is a unit with four shelves displaying four projects within the areas of home accessories, tableware, storage and packaging. It is a behind-the-scene look at my process including references to my inspiration and models showing the development of an object. It gives you an insight into the may skills used when designing products.
Which piece of creative work, in any discipline, do you think everyone should see and why?
Everyone should visit the Victoria and Albert Museum. Understanding the culture and history of objects is so important and appreciating that whatever you create is an iteration of the past.
What is the best bit of advice you have ever received?
My drawing teacher, Jannik, used to tell me ‘kill your darlings’. It’s about not getting too attached to the work you are doing which lets you move on to the next project. It sounds destructive, but It means being objective and having an ability to progress. Also, the uncompromising creative rigour of Patrik and Ian of Fredrikson Stallard is something that has stuck with me since working with them. Sometimes the best advice is seeing how it is done.
What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?
Produce work! As much as you can. Doesn’t matter if it is good or bad. Just make stuff. The more you make the better you will become at it. Put your phone down. Step away from your laptop. Go and make some stuff!
If you like what you see, why not take a look at one of Alexander’s courses? There are currently upcoming dates on his Product Design for 16 to 18 Year Olds, Product Design for 16 to 18 Year Olds (Weekend) and Introduction to Product Design (Online).