Ben Alvarez is from Guild Nines, a design studio and engineer of stunning furniture, based in Michigan. The company strives for perfection, but is humble enough to describe their work as a nine (hence their name), always striving to surpass previous works. They utilise the best materials, finishes and processes to create outstanding pieces of furniture. They also work with the most skilled and talented artisans in the field to fabricate leading pieces. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Ben Alvarez.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
I’m happy to find, resolve and achieve an overall 2% innovation. As Bruce Lee said, the best style is no style. I really enjoy that I’m able to move outside of what I tend to do (modern).
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
I maneuver myself into my creative 3D zone and let it rip. Decades of being a 3D thinker (mechanically and aesthetically) have allowed me to skip a lot of sketching. However, I like connecting to the design while drawing the lines, and going at what might be a more moderate tempo.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
When I was making wristwatches, I worked regularly with a couple of Russian Jews near Madison Square Garden in New York City that formerly worked in a Russian military weapons compound. They were incredibly talented, innovative, and gifted. They produced jewelry for the likes of Tiffany & Co. and did a lot of work in gold, which is very nice to work in. Looking back now, I often wonder where that could have gone.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
At this point, the ‘thing’ I’m inspired by is the commitment and vision of many modern masters – but I don’t look for inspiration from other peoples’ objects or creations. I look to the attitudes and commitment in people that leads to their own expressiveness.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
I naturally have intertwined interests that I have worked very hard to maximize in a long and varied road. So really, I couldn’t be anywhere else. My best advice: Don’t follow in my footsteps – Learn from my mistakes, and learn from my successes.
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