Designer of the month - Mihkel Masso
From the beginning of April, Mihkel Masso belongs to the 5-member club of Estonian designers, who have been awarded with the RedDot design award. Masso earned it with the electrical sauna heater Drop, which proved its design excellence in the most important competition for product design.
What are you up to at the moment?
I’m doing my masters degree in Denmark – studying people’s habits and customs in their home environment, to see if existing design solutions justify themselves or how to make life more interesting and better. But you will hear more about it soon! Because of that, there are not that many other projects at the table right now. Some projects are still in the phase of looking for the best prototyping and production opportunities. I’m also working on my own design bureau Joon DB.
What are your five favourite design objects and why?
I try to surround myself with practical things with emotional relevance. In random order, here are my top favourite things, which enrich my life either obliviously or by bringing attention to itself: Eames DSW. Optimal. There isn’t much furniture that excites me, but this chair is a masterpiece and its logic and purposefulness of material use has led to a thrilling result. Cafe Racer. Emotional design, life-style product. Pure engineering that can create both visual and empirical pleasure. MacBook. User-friendly. Aesthetically enjoyable form with anonymous design and a way of thinking that goes beyond logical trails meant for the user. It is an integral part of my everyday work and private life that I often enjoy without noticing. French TGV, metro of Copenhagen. Practical. Landmark of industrial revolution and design – railway with modern systems creates unnoticeable but highly practical solutions and lets its user to feel like a captain of a spaceship at night. Music playback devices. The moment, when we can re-listen to enjoyable music, deserves to be noticed.
Night club HOOV
What is good design?
I think there isn’t a single rule. I measure the quality of industrial or product design based on the relationship between an object and its user, optimality of the product throughout its life cycle. I am glad that design can realize itself more and more through crowd-funding platforms, 3D printing and so on, outside of the limitations set by the indrustry, entrepreneurs and the market. In this way design can be independant and free from the rehearsed mechanisms of consumerism and is able to reach real innovation. Good design is innovative, in an ecological way, functional way or in user experience.
Which designer would you like to be for one day?
Elon Musk – it would be interesting to see the world through the eyes of one of the most futuristic designer and clever entrepreneur of our times.Night club HETK, with Johan Tali
How do you evaluate Estonian design scene?
I’m familiar with Estonian design as much I have visited different design initiatives and events, but I hope there is more, hidden. I feel that in Estonia people often design for the sake of designing, rarely any substantial problems are solved through design. Author design is interesting, but for us as a country with technological and manufacturing capabilities, would be wiser to use design much more as an innovator.Maarjamõisa installation, with Sille Pihlak and Siim Tuksam