I don’t operate within the framework of a design philosophy but to identify a driving force in my work I looked back at projects over the years, and to more recent ones, and realised that they first and foremost reflected the function of the product, whether it be visual identity graphics, yacht interiors or architecture.
The aesthetic qualities were there but they materialized, almost by osmosis, when the functional prerequisites were first addressed.
From about age six I made model boats – later messing around in boats, building, sailing and racing them. When one deals with the aerodynamics of sailing and yacht racing you soon realize that anything that is not purely functional or essential to efficiency and high performance must be eliminated.
As with nature, yachts teach you that real beauty of form is born out of pure function and this was an early lesson and a guiding principle in my approach to design. Essentially this is what separates design from the visual arts and what also makes it harder, and to me ultimately more rewarding and relevant. It is this approach that has allowed me to make a seamless transition into various design disciplines and to be constantly challenged by new and varied tasks – creating innovative solutions that are driven by rational decision-making but executed with an intuitive essence that is often hard to define.
Bret de Thier