Paul Cocksedge is a critically acclaimed product designer specialising in lighting technology that blurs the boundaries between art and design. A student under Ron Arad at the Royal College of Art, he founded Paul Cocksedge Studio upon graduation in 2004.
He is in conversation with ELLE Decoration editor, Michelle Ogundehin, at the design lecture ʻPoetry in Lightʼ on Friday 16 March at 3pm.
How do you describe what you do?
I’m constantly looking for newness and ways to communicate it. I work a lot with light, but it is not a specialism per se, just another material chosen because it’s right for a concept. Design is a very sporadic entity for me – a bit like my mind, really.
What design projects are you currently working on?
We’re designing furniture pieces, which we’ve been working on for over two years, also jewellery, and there are a number of interior design projects. Perhaps the most imminently exciting news is the Paul Cocksedge online shop launching this spring. It’s a way of putting something accessible out there, without compromising the poetry, of course.
How do you draw inspiration for a project?
There are a lot of things I collect as stimuli: books, pictures, objects and I take on average 1.5 GB worth of photos a month. From that the good things bubble up.
Which comes first in a design, technology or art?
It varies. Sometimes the material tells you what to do, other times I imagine something and search for that material. Although materials are important, they’re not a reason to do something. It’s always about the worth of an idea – new material without an idea quickly dates. There are exceptions, but I like ideas.
What is your end goal when designing?
A lot of work starts with me being naively amazed with something, in quite a scientific way – there’s a eureka moment when I marvel at a discovery. Then the design comes as a way of packaging that discovery to communicate it to others.
What do you do to relax?
Talking and socialising like anyone. I do like some alone time, but not an awful lot. I love travelling, moving around and interaction with new people. Even in restaurants I find myself engaging with people I don’t know, much to the irritation of my companions.
Conversation in Design Ticket Information:
Booking Hotline 020 7352 1900 www.dcch.co.uk Design Lecture: £15