Reader Highlight: Filippos Filippidis

FilipposFilippos Filippidis is an Architect at Foster and Partners

Tell us a little bit about your back story! Where are you from and where are you going?

I am originally from Athens and have been living between London and NYC the past 13 years. I am a trained architect,computational designer and amateur musician. At the moment I am working for Foster and Partners in London while also continuing my own design and research agenda. Eventually I see myself starting a studio of my own to explore design projects in a multitude of scales.

I would’ve guessed you’re Greek. Thank you for confirming that. 🙂 How did you learn about PolyPlane and do you have a favorite product, video or element of the site?

I’m pretty sure I learned about Polyplane while doing exhaustive google searches on how to model complex geometries while still at university. My favourite part was the surfacing series.

What was the moment in your life that determined that you wanted to design and create?

I come from a DIY family of makers / engineers / architects and artists so from an early age to design and create came naturally.

That seems to be a common thread lately in these interviews. Our friend Heidi also came from a family that supported a creative upbringing. How is your design process unique to you?

I am a strong advocator of systems theory and so I am always interested in interdisciplinary research. I place big importance in the inter-relationships of a system and how one behaviour can affect or alter another. This is carried on into my design process by diligent research in various fields to test possible mutations that can be brought into the design.

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Theory is critical! I’m glad you mentioned that. The ‘why” will always carry more meaning that the “how” in a system. How does your relationship to design influence the way you live and perceive the world around you?

They are directly related and as mentioned above for me relationships are key. There is (almost) always a context in which you examine a specific case. It is never an isolated event. Hence to evaluate the conditions in which these interactions occur are definitely as important. A saying I like is “there is no independence in nature” which makes sense when you start noticing the inter-relationships.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into designing and doesn’t know where to start?

To jump right into it. Sketch, model, read, go digital, analog, the possibilities are endless. Design is all about an iterative feedback loop, ever changing, ever evolving, gathering new information at every step while solving issues along the way. It can be daunting at first but just like anything it needs time.

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Yeah, it can be discouraging at times when we don’t get the expected result when we are experimenting. But then again, it can also be empowering when we create more questions than we answer! What, if any, critical role does 3D modeling play into the actual design process of your project(s)?

It has come to play a big role in my design process. it is an integrated design tool which helps evolve the design, explore endless variations and add larger levels of complexity inherent to any given project.

Very cool. Do you have a favorite recent project? If so, can you share some images from it?

Of course. At the moment my favourite recent project is called ‘Weave’ which is still a research project in which i have started exploring the notion of weaving to produce various forms. The images depict a weave that has been created to approximate a human form.

Weave

Whoa neat! I’d love to have about 20 of those suspended all over my house. If you had to start all over again in your education as far as using a 3D modeling software, is there anything you’d do different?

I would focus right from the start to understand how these tools work and are created. At first 3D modelling software for me was a representation tool which helped to express a concept and design idea while at the moment as mentioned previously is an integrated part of the toolbox. In order to be used to the fullest you need to look under the hood, know how to customise and ‘break’ the tools you use.

So with that how do you go about getting your idea out of your head and into the computer; do you draw first or jump right into modeling?

It’s never fixed to be honest. Sometimes when I have something clear in my head I will jump right into the computer while other times you can find me buried under a stack of tracing paper..After the first ‘sketch’, be it digital or analog , i will always play between the two. So in the end one tends to inform the other in many ways.

Your rings are awesome! What would you say is the biggest influence on your designs?

Thank you! I’m not sure what is the biggest influence but natural systems definitely play a big part in the way I try to think and approach design.

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Where can people see more of your work?

My website is www.continuous-inputs.com which showcases the projects I worked on and also features my ongoing research and interests revolving around design, technology and science.

Thanks so much for taking the time to participate! (not really a question…just a thank you!)

Thank you so much for your interest in my work and for providing the foundations upon which my 3D modelling skills developed.

That means so much to me! You’re awesome. 

Are you a professional 3D artist or designer? I’d love to talk with you about your work! Reach out to me here and maybe you, too, will be featured in the ProTalk!