Today we got an interview with one of the best in the field in California: Ball- Nogues studio.
Ball-Nogues Studio is an integrated design and fabrication practice operating in a territory between architecture, art, and industrial design, led by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues. Their work is informed by the exploration of craft. Essential to each project is the “design” of the production process itself, with the aim of creating environments that enhance sensation, generate spectacle and invite physical engagement.
This was Benjamin’s answers to our questions. Find everything about the studio below:
How and why did you get into the design Industry?
I studied at the Southern California Institute of Architecture.
I don’t think of design as a single industry; we work across a few different industries – design, architecture, public art, events. Each one of these has a different story about getting in.
While in architecture school I worked for several architects and production designers: people who had verydifferent working methods. This made me want jump across boundaries – do different things. Before Ball-Nogues, I had a job designing medical facilities for an architect during the day, but in the evenings and on weekends, I was obsessively developing an installation entitled Maximilian’s Schell . Since the opening of Maximilian’s Schell in 2005 – we haven’t stopped working. That project generated a lot of momentum. After Maximilian’s Schell, there were a lot of inquiries about potential projects. I quit my day job that summer. I haven’t had time to look back.
Why did I get into it? I was interested in designing and making things at a young age. I came easily to mein college, so I figured it was better to do something I was good at than worry about making money.
How would you describe your design style? How varied are your designs?
We don’t approach our work from a standpoint of style. Its not part of our thinking, so, there isn’t really conscious effort to impart one. One thing I can say that does run through our work is an expression of tectonics, the components – we aestheticize how the parts go together. You could call that a style but I don’t see our work continuing along that trajectory. Once it becomes easy to label a stylist tendency in the work, however, its time to move on.
Do you have a signature touch with your designs?
God, I hope not.
What do you love about being a designer?
Every month I have a new job.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Production processes; sometimes these come from art, building construction, transitional crafts, even backyard tinkerers inspire me. I don’t care where it comes from, we are looking to adapt or invent processes that can be employed to make things that are approximately the scale of a building. We imagine how to make something then we explore how far we can take it and what form it can take.
What are some of your most popular designs? Tell us a bit about some of your designs and what you love about them. What’s your favorite and why?
I don’t like to dwell on past projects – you’re only as good as your last project . . . . .
Is there anything exciting that you are working on at the moment that you can tell us about?
We are making a public artwork on the corner of a building on major street in Los Angeles; it suggests a kind of halo or aura. It is meant to suggest to the viewer some metaphysical presence emanating from this banal corner of typical mixed-use LA building. Its a bit sardonic . . .
What is your philosophy on design and life?
Always looking . . .
What are your design dreams/goals?
My dream is to have an interesting life, maybe design will help me find it.
Describe yourself in three words.
Going, going, gone . . .