Designer Martijn Frank Dirks from Studiomfd, a firm based in Amsterdam has a mission of helping others to pursue their dreams by translating the unique character of their brand and company into perfect personalised designs
Q: Why did you get into Interior Design?
A: After my BA graduation in industrial design I was annoyed by the slow process of industrial products entering the market (no 3D printing in 1999) and found a job at an architectural firm. There I got most of the interior design projects and that’s how it all started. I worked for various interior design agencies afterwards, finished a MA in Retail Design and started my own multidisciplinary design studio.
Q: How did you start up your career?
A: I did an internship at Marcel Wanders in Amsterdam and experienced the city’s great business climate. So I went to live there myself because of that. After working at various agencies I stared my own studio and slowly got in touch with well known Amsterdam based brands and companies. Their trust gained trust with new clients, also international ones.
Q: Where does your inspiration come from?
A: Travel and Leisure! It doesn't really matter where you go. Just keep your eyes and ears wide open and absorb. This way I’ve built a fruitful library in my head. Many of our designs were inspired by things I’ve seen and experienced in the past. They can be anything.
Q: Can you tell us about a significant accomplishment or project that you regard as notable?
A: I can't really choose one because each project is completely different. but you know what I love the most? The variety of close relationships with people that come along with doing interior projects.
Q: Where would you like to see your company in 5 years from now?
A: The aim is to grow internationally, to be working even more abroad than we do now. One of my biggest dreams is to open a New York studio one day and to live their for a few years, I have no rush, any time is fine with me, but 5 years from now? Yes Please!
Q: What project(s) are you working on at the moment?
A: Retail designs, residential designs, office designs, the book, a small building…work varies, always and thats what I love about it.
Q: How do you think an Interior Designer should dress?
A: If new creative design is what you carry out, make an effort to dress fashionable, both distinctive as creative and above all personal. Of course dress special when you have a meeting with clients, yet you don’t need to wear a suit or tie.
Q: If you could design anything, what would it be?
A: A successful and appealing retail formula selling a variety of third world products and by doing so let the makers benefit from the sale.
Q: What type of restaurant would you choose to go to for dinner?
A: I love those restaurants that don’t look too designed, but in fact are well thought through and serve awesome food for an affordable price. Busy places wherein you still can have a good conversation with the people at your table or the one next to you.
Q: Can you give us a statement about Design
A: I love and hate it at the same time that everything is so designed these days. Its also the best and most fun thing to do on one hand, on the other hand it comes with great responsibility for our planet and society which can be hard sometimes… The freedom attached to it is great of course
Q: If you could describe your designs related to food, what would it be and why?
A: Both bitter as sweet. You just read why at my previous answer I guess.
Q: What do you think of the design trends in the future?
A: Production is influencing design again, not the other way around like before. New production ways and new technology demand new design strategies. Also personal involvement by product users is only likely to grow in near future.
Q: Who is your favourite Designer and why?
A: Gerrit Rietveld above all. Personally I am a great fan of his simplicity, the way his designs deal with space and the area of his time. However our work does not really reflect my love for these things I guess.
Q: In which country would you like to have your project in?
A: Literally any country is fine with me. I love to travel and to experience new cultures, but let’s say India?
Q: What element of a design is the most important thing to you?
A: Forms speak louder than words! Shapes are everything. Their proportion and relation with each other and with space. Just like Rietveld knew so well, so he might have inspired me design wise any way. Then the function of shapes of course and the way they look and feel. Another important element is detailing, details are everything, they can kill or make your design.
Q: What is your favourite cocktail?
A: Easy, non alcoholic. I don’t drink it, alcohol doesn't work for me anymore. And did you know cocktail shakers love to make non alcoholic cocktails?