Mate Meszaros

Good in Furniture Design.

About Mate Meszaros

  • Winner of Furniture Design Award.
  • Specialized in Furniture Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Furniture
Tatamu Folding Stool

Tatamu Folding Stool

Furniture Design


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Interview with Mate Meszaros

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
We both studied different forms of art before becoming architects, although before enrolling university we both choose a more “rational” form of art pursuing our studies as architects further. During our university years our major interest were architecture and furniture design.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
We are Tokyo-based architects, furniture designers. At Tatamu we would like to bring a flexible and sustainable alternative to people whose space is limited and moving places frequently. Small apartments, narrow offices, tiny shops; urban space is a vanishing, precious commodity. By 2050 two thirds of the earth’s population will live in cities. We have to fit increasingly more activities in a shrinking physical space. The main inspiration behind Tatamu are mobile and creative people like us, whose ideas are bigger than their room. We also found that moving in and out of tiny city apartments often involves the disposal of old furniture, since transportation is very costly; we need light, deployable, reusable furniture that is a joy to use.
What is "design" for you?
Design is always a process of providing different solutions to needs or insights.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
As architects and furniture designers we design buildings from urban scale to pavilions, usually paying the utmost attention to detail until the last door handle. We prefer projects that have the most impact on lives of people in need. Social housing or cultural spaces would be a good example with all the furniture included.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
The very first iPod; in the history of industrial design that product had the biggest positive impact on peoples life so far probably.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
As architects and furniture designers we usually have private clients, the closest thing we designed for an actual company might be a scenery for a small artist theatre in Budapest.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
Materiality is always at the core of any design idea we work on, each project is unique and requires a different solution. We are constantly on the look for new platforms and technologies to support our products.
When do you feel the most creative?
Inspiration can come any time during the day not necessarily during working hours, being under the shower or during a drink with friends.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
During any of our projects we focus on delivering our idea in its clearest form, while we pay utmost attention to every detail as well.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
Seeing the users interacting with any of our finished design is empowering.
What makes a design successful?
A successful design answers people’s specific needs at an affordable price.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
After the very first look at a design one’s have a generic feeling about the object. After more detailed inspection, of usability, materiality and aesthetics usually this first impression proves right.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
As designers we have the possibility to significantly improve the quality of life for every layer of society while protecting the environment with sustainable, but affordable solutions.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
We always look forward to see different visions from different designers. Probably newly arising technologies will have a major impact on the field.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
We designed experimental furniture for a traditional Japanese fabric manufacturer, these pieces were exhibited at their 100 years old factory to show the contrast between new and old. As winners we are looking forward to the A’ Design Award Exhibition this year.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
We have learned to live, work and socialize in tiny, vibrant, multi-functional spaces; our dream is to distill Tokyo urban lifestyle into everyday, functional and beautiful furniture. Furniture that adapts to, reacts to and interacts with our increasingly mobile lives.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
We aim not have a certain “style” categorizing our design, not to limit ourselves from exploring new fields and ideas. Our approach to design starts with finding an interesting, unique problem that we aim to solve by a simple, elegant solution.
How do you work with companies?
Each company is unique, requiring a different kind of presentation and communication. We hope to think that being flexible, listening to their specific needs is one of our great advantages.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Giving more opportunities to young, undiscovered designers can be of great benefit for both parties. Assigning projects to winners of public, anonymous competitions could have a positive impact on the quality of designs.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
In general we like to work with a lot of physical models or 3D printed pieces besides sketches before we would have a detailed 3d model of the furniture we work on. In our experience this process helps us exploring the full potential of our ideas, not having a feeling of being "done" too soon.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
Our homes are full of prototypes of previous projects, transforming our apartments to a playground for designers.
Can you describe a day in your life?
We don’t really have a usual daily routine, for a period of weeks we can wake up early thinking about new ideas from the morning, while on other weeks we work until the morning.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
Several overnight days don’t really pay off in the end, time management is key.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
Usually we use Rhino, V-ray and Grasshopper with the Adobe software for furniture design, for architectural projects we also work with Revit. Besides sketching of course we started to explore the advantages of 3D printing.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
It always depends on the specific project, usually ranging from a couple of months to a couple of years.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
We always design our furniture together and we are always looking for different craftsmen and other creative thinkers to cooperate.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
Our main point of interest recently is to improve the lives of people living in limited spaces, around this topic we are developing different ideas.
How can people contact you?
We just launched our new website: http://tatamustudio.com Keep in touch at: info@tatamustudio.com

Extended Interview with Mate Meszaros

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
We both studied different forms of art before becoming architects, although before enrolling university we both choose a more “rational” form of art pursuing our studies as architects further. During our university years our major interest were architecture and furniture design.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
Creating something from the very beginning to the end, after completion seeing the users interact with it really makes work become a profession.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
As architects and furniture designers we design buildings from urban scale to pavilions, usually paying the utmost attention to detail until the last door handle. We prefer projects that have the most impact on lives of people in need. Social housing or cultural spaces would be a good example with all the furniture included.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
As young designers ourselves we can answer this question a later time.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
A good design can still be arbitrary, while every last detail of a great design serves a purpose.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Good design significantly improves the quality of life for every layer of society. Good design should also be affordable to it’s main audience, so definitely worth the investment.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
Not being afraid of making radical changes at any stage of the project.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
The very first iPod; in the history of industrial design that product had the biggest positive impact on peoples life so far probably.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
We are interested in flexibility, to let our designs change with the needs of people. I think we are looking for this aspect throughout all of our design pieces.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
Learn something new every day and always widen your perspective.
If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
Life always have unexpected turns so we could have become anything from a professional water polo player to an astronaut.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
Design is always a process of providing different solutions to needs or insights.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
As young designers we are still looking forward to reach “these heights”.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
Being challenged every day is probably the most important part of being a designer so constant obstacles are actually something you could always learn from.
How do you think designers should present their work?
Besides communicating the main idea of our firm, each project should be represented at the highest level possible, in a unique way adapting to the projects main message.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
Our main point of interest recently is to improve the lives of people living in limited spaces, around this topic we are developing different ideas.
How does design help create a better society?
To have the most positive impact on peoples life, we aim to give the most simplistic answer to their specific needs at an affordable price.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
The Tatamu stool taught us a lot about cooperating closely with the manufacturers. It's impressive folding method always brings excitement of peoples faces.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
It would be great if good designs could reach a wider audience, reaching people really in need of improvement.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
We always look forward to see different visions from different designers. Probably newly arising technologies will have a major impact on the field.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
It always depends on the specific project, usually ranging from a couple of months to a couple of years.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
Every project starts with an extensive research phase to allow a deep understanding of the topic.
What is your life motto as a designer?
Several overnight days don't really pay off in the end, time management is key.
What is the role of technology when you design?
We are always open to try new methods that technology offers to support us.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
Usually we use Rhino, V-ray and Grasshopper with the Adobe software for furniture design, for architectural projects we also work with Revit. Besides sketching of course we started to explore the advantages of 3D printing.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
Materiality is at the core of our projects, choosing the right material brings out the essence of our ideas.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
We always design our furniture together and we are always looking for different craftsmen and other creative thinkers to cooperate.
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
The insights of different manufacturers are always valuable, in terms of ideas we usually learn from and influence each other.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
Reading about completely unrelated topics could result major breakthroughs in our projects, parallels can be drawn between many seemingly distinct fields.
How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
We have over 10 years of experience combined in the architecture and furniture design field. Each unique project teaches us something new, widening our perspective leading to new ideas.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
We both live in the always moving city of Tokyo, every person, place, food and color we encounter during our days inspire us to come up with new ideas reacting to this constantly changing environment.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
Happy to talk about our products and ideas any time, so get in touch.

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