Fernando Valdez

Professional in Architecture Design.

About Fernando Valdez

  • Winner of Architecture 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 involve with the arts, and do a career where creativity was of the fundamental things in it, for most my life I wasn’t involve with design, it was until university that I started 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, anti-establishment. We like to create new things and do projects that make you feel emotions, what we are trying to do is make a statement with everything we do.
What is "design" for you?
Design is where ever your imagination can take you. It is the tool we have to bring new things into life.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
I love designing buildings that are residential or commercial, I believe as cities keep growing the need for more buildings keeps getting higher so it is something I’m always interested.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
We once design a funeral home that I love because of the message the design sent, even that the space is cold because of the meaning it has, the design made it a place of deep reflection and warmth, also the façade had a meaning and the volumes it presented were very nice.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
The first project was a building of 6 floors, a residential building, it was back in 2012.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
I don’t really have one material I like to use all kinds of material, and platform and technology I use what I believed is right for the project we are developing, we can use one thing for one project and another one for a different one.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
The shape and the volumes that forms the façade and I also look at the floor plan that is resolved in a fashionable way.
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?
I’m happy and proud once the design its realized some project take a lot of time so when you finally see it realized is a nice feeling.
What makes a design successful?
I think the feeling it gives 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 bring society to care more about their environment, to see things with a new perspective and the respect the work of design they found around them, it’s like when you see art, you get this feelings, so I think that if we can do that with the designs we make we will have a better society with a more human side.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I get inspiration from anywhere or every art, it could be movies, art, how a chef does a plate, a concert, basically anything I find meaning in it. I feed my creativity by going to see art, movies, architecture and reading a lot. And that also works for my inspirations.
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 Mexico in the city of Puebla, I think my country is rich in culture, there is a lot of color and solid materials in Mexico’s culture that I tried to use in my projects, as pros I think we have a rich culture of art that it can help us get a better feeling in design as cons I believe we are not there yet technology wise and some design and materials are not here yet, so that can a problem.
How do you work with companies?
We work for private companies with most of our projects, so we have a good relationship with them. The way we work is always trying to deliver what is expected of us.
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, making a design work involves a lot of back and forth, so it can get a bit complicated during the process so a good relationship and open communications is my best advice. For selecting a good designer select one that you like his work and that makes you feel confident in the project you are about to do together.
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 star 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 tools, books about design, 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 must days we work at the studio developing new projects. At night I get some time to read and watch shows in Italian, language that I’m studying.
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, 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.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Positive is that you are always working with project that can deliver change into society, and works that have meaning. Some negatives is that people will always talk and have their opinions in your designs, not everyone is going to like your work, but for me that makes it more interesting.
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 inform, drawing, reading and getting to know people of 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 get inspiration from anywhere I find it, it might be a book a magazine, a fashion show on youtube, a video on the tv, there really isn’t a limit from where you can get inspire.
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 bringing my designs to places 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.

Extended Interview with Fernando Valdez

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
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.
What motivates you to design in general, why 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.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
I choose to become one, I always been interested in the arts and the fields surrounding design it can be architecture, fashion, art, movies.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
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 should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
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 distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
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 makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
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.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
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 would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
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.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
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.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
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 are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
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.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
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.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
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.
If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
I would love to be a movie director or movie producer. I love cinema and the creativity it brings to the screen.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
Design is where ever your imagination can take you. It is the tool we have to bring new things into life.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
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.
What helped you to become a great designer?
Keeping faith in what we were doing, on the design we wanted to present and the path we wanted to follow.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
Getting people to like my work, sometimes the things we do were very different of what people expect, or like so it has been a challenge to get people to like what we do.
How do you think designers should present their work?
I think every designer has the creativity to present their work as they like, I don’t think it should be just one way, that’s where creativity comes in.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
Right now we are working on some project that we got inspire from fashion, so it’s something that is coming along nice, and in the future we will like to keep pushing the boundaries in architecture, involving other arts in the process to create new things and designs that bring together different arts.
What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
To do design that becomes as a brand, that the design we make becomes recognize all over, by the style we create.
What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
To keep bringing new ideas into the design we make and to keep challenging ourselves with our work.
How does design help create a better society?
With design we can bring society to care more about their environment, to see things with a new perspective and the respect the work of design they found around them, it’s like when you see art, you get this feelings, so I think that if we can do that with the designs we make we will have a better society with a more human side.
What are you currently working on that you are especially excited 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.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
The last year we have work on some project that I’m very happy with, they represent everything we want to do and the message we want to send you could say they are our project that give the idea of who we are as an architecture office.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
I would love to see more recognition by other institutions not related to the design industries I think is important that the design get more recognition due to that it is something present all the time on our lives.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
I think we will keep seeing new ideas and going more into the ecologic side of things, evolving with the new mentalities we have of the world of taking care of our world, design should go with that also.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
It depends on the scale of the project but it could go from 6 months to a couple of years depending on the project.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
We started with talking to the client to see where the project has to go, but on the design side we always started by looking into other arts to see where they can take us, if we can get inspired by something and talking with the team ideas.
What is your life motto as a designer?
It’s a quote by Alexander McQueen that I loved ‘give me time and I’ll give you a revolution.
What is the role of technology when you design?
Technology helps us create what we have on the mind, by using computer programs that can helps us see the design more clearly and see the whole process, I believed technology is a big tool for designers right now.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
I believed these 3 concepts make the final design, each of them helps the design has its final look, and the final product. Without them we can get things more abstract.
What do you wish people to ask about your design?
What is the idea behind it and what where you trying to said with this design.
When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
I love seeing great design, it makes me happy to see new things out there and I always think what new design that person will bring next.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
I believed design is a team effort, I do believe in co-design and that a team effort makes the design better.
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
My dad was one great influence in my work, he was the one that taught me and helped me in my first works.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
I read a lot, of everything but a book that has had effect on my design is Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton.
How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
I try to keep up with trends going on, and I also read, and watch documentaries to get a feeling of what we are living.
Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
I would love to meet Leonardo Da Vinci I think he is one of the most interesting people in history, all the areas that he studied and work in, and also Alexander McQueen is one person I would love to talk to.
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
I don’t consider myself famous, I’m grateful and honor of the recognition we had so far.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
My favorite color is black and purple, a place I love is New York City, my season is winter, food I love pasta and tacos. Thing are books and brand I love is apple, all the innovations they develop in the world is amazing.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
Our whole process a bit funny when we start because we do research in everything from art, to chef’s plates, to dancers so it can be strange for new people when they join the office.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
I motivate myself it day by knowing at the end of the day the design will take new shapes and forms, and will keep going down new paths, so that is enough motivation for me.
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
No it was never obvious, as a child I wasn’t that much creative or good at drawing, so it was a surprise for my family how things turn out.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
A thousand years from now I hope we have a new kind of renaissance getting back to the human side and a new era awakes in design.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
I hope they keep liking our work, and we will continue to keep bringing new ideas and new feelings into everything we do.

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