Q&A: Kianoosh Kavoosi

With simplicity and meticulous design detailing the two non-negotiables in her work, furniture designer Kianoosh Kavoosi’s pieces are influenced by contemporary western design and traditional Iranian culture.

Name: Kianoosh Kavoosi
Occupation: Designer
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Company: Kianoosh Design

What sparked your interest in the design industry?
As a child in Iran I always enjoyed making and building things. But in Iran at that time, design wasn’t really an option for me. My first career was in teaching. It was only when I migrated to Perth and began a product design course at Central Institute of Technology, working with the staff, experiencing their enthusiasm and passion about design that I knew I had found my passion. During the course I had work selected to exhibit at several national industry trade events. While winning several design awards was reassuring, it has never been the final goal.

What is unique about the way you work?
My design focus is on longevity of product life. I want the products to be used and enjoyed for a long time. I try to create my own product aesthetic; my own design language. The inspiration for the designs is diverse, and come from childhood memories, the natural environment, a response to a memory or time or place. I like simple designs as it is honest and bare – there is nowhere for the designer to hide, and I like this challenge.

Favourite material?
I enjoy combining different materials in my design work, such as Corian, rose gum, steel and American Oak. If I were to choose my favourite, then it would be wood, mainly because I am able to do the fabricating process myself.

What has been your biggest career moment?
Winning the 2015 Australian Furniture Association (AFA) “Creative Vision” award for the Orbit table was a big moment. I didn’t think I had a chance to win to be honest, as the judges didn’t spend much time talking to me or looking at the table. So I was shocked at the presentation event when they announced my name!
Winning the AFA award meant the ORBIT TABLE would be exhibited at the 2015 London Design Festival as part of the Australian Pavilion at “Tent”.

What are your top influencers?
It was my mum who sowed the seed when I was young by playing with us kids, working with materials, making and building things. She was really good at handcrafts.
When I started studying design in Perth, it was the lecturers at Central Institute of Technology – Peter Kitely the Industrial Design course coordinator who taught me how to design and to believe in my work, and Richard Dann my workshop supervisor, who taught me about materials, construction and making.

Your ultimate collaboration?
Moroso! While in London I went to the Moroso showroom and met one of the Moroso representatives. It was interesting to understand their work method, business model and approach. It was about letting the designer create and be creative, while they work alongside them and help turn the ideas into a product. It’s about trust and belief in the partnership.
As far as individuals, it would have to be Ron Arad. While in London I attended his talk about his work and practice. The way he thinks, the process of design, the story in the design, the origin of the ideas, and how he finds design opportunities in everything is really interesting.
The mix of cultural references and imagery in Doshi Levien’s work is also really interesting, and something I understand and relate to.

 

Kianoosh Design
kianooshdesign.com