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hurrengoa
curro claret:the nomad designer    I  Carl Alberto Consolo, Miriam Dominguez, Maria Arranz It's always seemed to us that industrial design, large financial investments and technological development were things that you needed. But after looking at some of your work and projects we've realised that a wider field is affected. How far does industrial design's influence go?

As far as people want it to go... And in any case, it goes further that people think. I think that attitude, wanting to do things and believing in them is particularly important. Design is valuable for many things. Even though the market and society are almost always the parameters used, does money always have to be the decisive factor? Small countries and groups with very little money sometimes produce extraordinarily good design. And what's more, what they do is often more efficient than what we produce, maybe even more sustainable, too.

Industrial design places a lot of importance on functionality, aesthetics and prime materials. On the other hand, your work gives the impression it rests on several other pillars. There's always a lot of irony and a social demand (about immigration, the ecology, etc), is industrial design never neutral? Does that attitude towards society add value?

Design, the discipline of combining different and often contradictory directions, is a wide field. I don't believe there's any such thing as a completely neutral design. Even if the creator doesn't realise it, the setting always affects the work in some way. Luckily, designers are increasingly open to accepting and bringing together the social themes we have mentioned. It may add value, but to my mind the concept's a bit forced, and I think other parts of the project are just as important.

When reading about you, it stands out that you have worked in many different countries. Why do you like working in different places?

It's nice to go away and get "outside" from time to time. I feel the need to do that. Perhaps I was a migratory bird in some other life. I feel fulfilled when I have the chance to work in different countries. Mostly they're conferences and workshops. It's my personal choice, I feel the need to see find out how things are done in other countries. I am both a designer and a teacher, and that's probably what pushes me in that direction. And I also think that very often we can't combine what we are with what we do. I believe in shared conversations and exchanges as a way of moving forwards. This sort of idea, in a more developed and sophisticated way, of course, is called collective intelligence.

You give talks, often to children, and we got in touch with you through a workshop which you held at Kunsthal, in Irun. Is teaching important for you? What sort of response do you normally get?

Children's response is always a mystery. You never know how they are going to react. Sometimes it's really hard to get through to them. And on other occasions you're surprised by how quickly the understand things. They have different ways of doing and seeing things. They're much more expressive. They have less prejudices. I know this sounds like a bit of a cliché... I think that for our work, design, many of these factors (but not all of them, and neither are these all of them) are highly appropriate and very important. There are many open questions about certain values in life and ways of behaving (above all with regard to a new way of living, fairer, more responsible and in harmony with the world) to which they seem to be more receptive and happier to accept than adults are. Sometimes it's a bit frustrating to see that we adults really aren't prepared to change certain things, even though we know that it will benefit us and that there are important reasons to make these changes. Once I read, I don't know where, that the definition of being young is having the ability to change your ideas.

What is the current situation with regard to copyright and industrial protection? Is there anything similar to creative commons or copyleft in the world of industrial design?

Many people are talking about this, and I think something big will have to happen in this area soon. I heard things about this but I don't know what I can tell you about it. I don't think it's an easy subject because there are a lot of thefts, lots of Asian companies, and also Spanish companies, who copy hundreds of products. And nobody's been able to do anything about it so far. With regard to copyleft, I definitely think it could be an important step forward. There are many limitations to the idea of private property and I think it has been and still is very harmful in many senses.