1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
Brian Roberson is an architect, designer and musician that believes each building, space, product or piece of furniture that he designs has the opportunity to push boundaries and deserves the chance to tell a story. He has juried several design award programs, lectured on the creative processes of music and architecture and has been recognized internationally for the work that bDot is producing.
2To you, what makes a “good” design?
“Good” is an interesting word. There are a number of characteristics that make a design successful, as all created things (art, architecture, jazz, sculpture) are not successful simply from the act of trying. And there are also numerous levels of success. While trying is an important step in an individual’s discovery of themselves, the work (art, music, architecture) has to reach beyond the program, the function, the key signature, the preconceptions to a place where it begins to engage itself. Both relationally and spatially. It is at what level this occurs that I believe determines the level of success. Then the next question is who or what is it that makes this determination.
3Tell us about your design process.
One of the things that I love most about our studio is that we have no distinct, spelled out process in which all designs are solved. Which, by the way, has taken years to develop and hone. We have nonnegotiable, big picture parameters that place loose boundaries on our approach, but before any tangible work is done on a project, we use words, equations & thoughts, to develop and set in place the “design” of the process in which we are going to solve the task at hand. Each process is custom to each project.
4Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 MUSE Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Winning the MUSE Award is a very rewarding and humbling experience. It is moments like this that both encourage and push our studio to remain relevant in the international conversation of design.
5Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 MUSE Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
The Bad Idea was a labor of love for our studio. The heart of the project is about the journey of an artist or designer and their struggle with the design process and sorting through the many thoughts, sketches, musical notes or words in search of the one that holds the greatest promise, the greatest impact. But as a design unfolds, many thoughts and ideas are discarded, deleted or burned. What is often times overlooked is that while the “bad” idea might not be used in the application in which it was born, it might, nonetheless, hold a power to transform life, space, a viewpoint, or the mind. It is the potential power of these discarded ideas that led us to create The Bad Idea.
6If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Start and never stop asking questions about yourself. You are the only one of you that exists, and you have something to offer the world that cannot come from anyone else. While understanding what the world is doing in design is important, do not make it a practice to search design publications looking for an idea to copy. Be you. Challenge you. Develop you. Change the world.
7Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Artistically speaking, it would be my mom. While she was a preschool teacher and home maker, her day was filled with creative moments, and I was so blessed to be surrounded by them. From her singing around the house, to her poetry and storytelling, from her playing the piano to her easel and art, these moments shaped the way I see the world. It was later in life that I realized the influence she had on me. I wish I had the chance to let her know.