Fernando Valdez

Specialized in Architecture Design.

Fernando Valdez

About Fernando Valdez

  • Winner of the A' Design Award.
  • Specialized in Architecture Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Architecture
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Interview with Fernando Valdez

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?
I always wanted to be involved with the arts, every type of art, and do a career where creativity was one of the fundamental things in it. For most of my life I wasn’t interested with design, it was until college that I discovered that I wanted to get involved in it.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Valdez Arquitectos is a studio focused on being daring, creative and going against established ideals. We like our design to innovate and do projects that evoke emotions.
What is "design" for you?
Design is wherever your imagination can take you. It is the tool we have to bring new ideas to life.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
I love designing commercial or residential buildings, Im interested with the fact that cities keep growing, so the need for more buildings keeps getting higher while we search for the design that brings the best quality of life for the user.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
My favorite design is one that we made for a funeral home, this is because we tried to detach the typical archetype of a funeral home, being cold and overwhelming to a more warm and positive environment where reflection is our main focus.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
The first project that I made was when I was back in college in 2012. I was comissioned to design a residential building composed of 6 floors.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
We don't really have one favorite material or piece of technology for our projects, we are always trying to incorporate what we feel is right for every unique project we are comissioned to do.
When do you feel the most creative?
At night I consider to be when my creativity is at it's top.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
We always start analyzing different ways in which the building can function, then we move on with the experimentation of plasticity of the volume that contains the program, revealing then the final façades.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
I’m usually nervous at the beginning when I don’t have yet a clear path the project is taking but once we get started and things start to look the way we want I get more confident that we are on the right path.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
When a design is finished I'm always proud of the outcome, some projects take a lot of time to accomplish and sometimes it's hard to overcome the creative slumps that come and go.
What makes a design successful?
I think the feeling it conveys to the user, if you could transmit and make the user feel happy with the product I think that is success.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
The feeling it gives me, the idea behind it and the final result how it is presented in the space.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
With design, we can provoke people to care more about our environment, see our reality in a new light and respect the design around them.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
I think artificial intelligence will go a long way and it will help us to design better by providing different ideas and methodolgies.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I feed my imagination with every other facet of art that I can get access to, like when I look at a painting and I try to decipher the meaning behind it or by reading, thats an activity I enjoy a lot.
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?
I don't have a specific style of design per se, I just create what's appropriate for each unique case that comes up.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I live in the city of Puebla, in Mexico. A country known for its richness in culture and traditions, here you can find tons of color and solid materials, these which I try to incorporate into our projects. I feel like the pros that come from living here is that the heritage of artists or architects like Luis Barragán leaves us with a richness of art in its many forms that influence our style as Mexicans. While the cons are that we are not so advanced technology-wise and some materials which are booming in the industry are harder to obtain here.
How do you work with companies?
We are very open with our clients, so we have a good relationship with them. We always intend to deliver the best design as we can achieve for them.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Have a good relationship with the designer, since making a design work involves a lot of going back and forth, so it can get a bit complicated during the process so having a good relationship and open communications is my best advice. For selecting a good designer, I think you should choose one that aligns with your values and challenges you to think outside the box.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
My design process always started by doing research on the site we are working on, after that we look for inspiration in other arts or areas, that could be a painting, a food plate, fashion, anything that can spark an idea to where we want to go next. After that we start sketching and from there we can take it anywhere until we find a result we love.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
A lamp, bartending equipment, design books, a sculpture and paintings I have.
Can you describe a day in your life?
I start my morning by working out, after some coffee and breakfast I get to the office where I spend all day, sometime I have meetings at clients offices that I go to, but most days we work at the studio developing new projects and ideas. At night I get some time to read and watch shows in Italian, currently I’m studying it.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
I think is important to have a human perception of the world, to develop this human touch in everything you do, and be involved with the arts as much as you can, visit museums, look at architecture, follow fashion, basically everything that involves design.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Positive: You are always working on a project that has a potential to make a change in society, and designs that have meaning. Some negatives would be that people will always have their opinions of your designs, not everyone is going to like your work, but for me that makes it more interesting and challenging.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
Innovate, always try to innovate in whatever design we are working on.
What skills are most important for a designer?
Being always informed, drawing, reading and getting to know different people from different arts.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
I never let go from my pencils, as soon as a spark of inspiration comes to me I drawit on a piece of paper, sometimes we also like experimenting with volumetric models so we can discover interesting shapes and textures.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
I don’t like giving me a certain time to design, I try to manage my time so I have enough time to complete the project but I don’t usually use the clock as working on an schedule.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
Depending on the project it can go from 6 months to a couple of years.
What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
How do you design that, people want to know the idea or the inspiration behind the project.
What was your most important job experience?
Failure, the project I consider we fail have been the greatest experience.
Who are some of your clients?
My clients are all private that decide to invest in a project for personal or commercial use.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
There isn’t a thing that I like most I enjoy designing buildings, houses, commercial use, cultural use, I think each one brings new challenges and new ideas we can develop.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
I like to continue growing taking my designs outside of Mexico and then figure out a new career in design that is not related to architecture.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
I work as a team with everyone in my office, I believe design is a team effort.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
We are working on a private salon for a client of ours for his house, it’s an space dedicated for gatherings and social reunions, but we took this project that could be very basic because there is no so much room to what you can do with it, and we made it into this sculpture like volume, and we played the interior so it resembles a cave, so I’m really excited to see how we end this project.
How can people contact you?
They can contact me through our web page: www.valdezarquitectos.com Instagram: valdez.arquitectos Facebook: Valdez Arquitectos.
Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
I think we are fine. It has been a great experience and we hope to be on more A´ Design contests soon.

Extended Interview with Fernando Valdez

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?
I studied architecture in Tec de Monterrey, in Puebla, I didn’t really became involve with design until university before that I like good design in different areas but never really tried to do things or was involved in something regarding design, and then in the middle of the career designing my first projects for school fell in love with design, not just architectural design but all kinds of design.
How did you become a designer?
I always wanted to create, to do things you first imagine and time later you see them realize, that is my motivation.
What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
I choose to become one, I always been interested in the arts and the fields surrounding design it can be architecture, fashion, art, movies.
Which emotions do you feel when designing?
We design everything in the office from houses to corporate or residential buildings or renovations, I will like to design more cultural buildings like museums, I think it would be an interested challenge.
What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?
I think is important to have a human perception of the world, have a human touch in everything you do, and be involve with the arts as much as you can, visit museums, see architecture, follow fashion, basically everything that involves design.
What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?
I think the difference between them Is the final message they give to their design, and the work they put at the end on the details and the message they try to bring to their product.
What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?
A really good design for me is something that makes you feel, it generates an emotion on you, and creates a feeling of something new.
You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
I believe everyone should try to invest in good design because at the end we get to live with it, we see it, we feel it, we interact with it, so investing in it I think is a value we give to our lives.
What is your day to day look like?
I would love to design a museum I think is really interesting the shape of the building and the meaning you can bring to the design, and for who, would be for anyone that asks for it.
How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?
We work a lot on the meaning of the project, we try to give a story to the design and we get inspire by other arts, so I think that helps us go places that we wouldn’t go if we stick only to architecture.
How do you decide if your design is ready?
I always get inspired by Alexander McQueen, I love his work and everything he did and the way he presented his shows and the message that he gave.
What is your biggest design work?
I love the designs of Es Devlin and Neri Oxman, I believe they do some new work in their fields that are so human and so interested that is hard to keep your eyes from looking at them, and are designs that bring emotions on you.
Who is your favourite designer?
We did a funeral home so time ago that it was something so different that it was so out there, the interpretation we gave to it delivered a message of peace, the façade and materials we choose made it great.
Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?
I always try to keep learning, by any means necessary that could be books, visit museums, see architecture, take a course, always trying to keep growing.
Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?
I would love to be a movie director or movie producer. I love cinema and the creativity it brings to the screen.
What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?
Design is where ever your imagination can take you. It is the tool we have to bring new things into life.
What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?
My family is my biggest supporter they always believed in me, and also the people I work with my team, they have had my back since day one.

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