Hussein Chalayan Interview by Design Museum
Here is an interesting read with an interview with one of this generations leading designers, Hussein Chalayan. Design Museum provide us with a further insight to Hussein Chalayan discussing many topics of his work from his background and growing up in Cyprus to working on multiple mediums.
Q. In January 2009, you an exhibition of your work opened at the Design Museum. What would you like this exhibition to achieve?
A. This is the first time we have had such an extensive exhibition in London. We have had exposure at other museums and galleries but largely overseas. What the visitor sees in this show is how different worlds relate to each other, how everything is interconnected. My work is a reaction to things that happen in the world – history, anthropology, science, technology – it represents a merging of all these worlds which is what makes the work unique. I enjoy creating bridges between different worlds and disciplines. Visitors should not come with fixed expectations, this is not just a fashion exhibition but a tray of ideas. They will be exposed to clothing, then a film, then an installation and so on.
People are not sure where to place my work – this exhibition presents an opportunity to readdress this. It is interesting when a school of architecture use Hussein Chalayan work as a basis for student projects – choosing garments based on geography, identity and culture and asking the students to create an environment based on these clothes. But academia is spreading beyond people who teach, more members of the public are appreciating the processes and research behind design.
Q. Your work crosses so many different boundaries – art, architecture, fashion, film. How would you define your design philosophy?
A. My work is about ideas. If I had to define my philosophy in just a few words, it would be about an exploration, a journey, storytelling – it is a combination of these things with suggestions and proposals at the same time. It is a quest into certain areas and proposing a way of looking at something. I am very much an ideas person which my team help me to realise. I am not a one-man show. When you are someone trying to create an idea, you don’t always have the means to make it practical first time round – the perpetual struggle of making a prototype and then making it real.
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