Interview with Matthew Arquette from United Kingdom

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Matthew Arquette

Matthew Arquette was always enamored by furniture design for several decades and had the privilege of spending 20 years to embark on creative journey that reinforced his love for design.

Interview with the 2022 MUSE Design Awards Winner – Matthew Arquette

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
Furniture design is a passion that has coursed through me for several decades now. After earning my Bachelor of Arts in Furniture Design, I’ve had the privilege of spending over 20 years enjoying an incredibly nourishing creative journey that has dissolved my idea of artistic limitations and reinforced my love for design. I’m beyond grateful by the extraordinary projects I’ve been graced with working on and the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. Today, I have the flexibility to play a part in an array of enticing projects. It is a thrilling time in history to create, and I look forward to doing just that.
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
Being a conscious member of humanity and an active consumer has always kept me eager to better myself and our planet. My core vision of continually learning, observing, contributing, and experimenting has been unwavering and acts as a guide to who I am and what I create. Being completely enthralled by the fascinations of this world is what keeps me inspired to no end. It’s very important to me to explore ecological and environmental alternatives to come up with solutions that challenge existing methods and materials within the furniture design space.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
From concept to implementation, navigating through a seemingly endless spectrum of client requirements over the past 20 years has given me the experience, time, and challenges I needed to continue homing in on my creativity and approach to new projects. More than elevating the world of furniture, I seek to contribute to the future of creative direction. This not only makes my goals unnecessarily ambitious, but things that I can truly love delving into.
4What does “design” mean to you?
Design to me is an ongoing process of exploration and experimentation. It's a balance between creativity and practicality, between the concept and the implementation. It's a way of looking at the world around us and finding ways to improve products and services. Design can bring about incredible changes and improvements to the way we live our lives, but it's also about creating something that looks aesthetically pleasing and helps us to feel connected to one another. Design is a way to express ourselves and our values, and to make a statement about who we are and what we stand for.
5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?
My favorite kind of design is environmental design, which focuses on creating and preserving natural and man-made surroundings for a better quality of life. This kind of design combines elements of both architecture and landscape, finding creative ways to shape the environment around us. I find environmental design to be particularly rewarding because it allows me to find innovative solutions to everyday problems while also reducing our impact on the planet. I also enjoy exploring the world of alternative modern design, which blurs the lines between traditional and contemporary aesthetics. By combining clean lines and sleek materials with vibrant colors and eclectic textures, alternative modern design allows me to experiment with creating impactful and visually stimulating spaces. Ultimately, my favorite kind of design is one that allows me to express my creativity while also having a positive impact on society.
6To you, what makes a “good” design?
To me, a good design is one that is aesthetically pleasing, functional, and timeless. It should be able to be adapted to changing environments and needs, while still maintaining its core essence. It should also strive to solve a problem, whether it be an environmental, practical, or aesthetic one. A good design should also be able to tell a story and evoke emotion. Ultimately, a good design is something that can be appreciated by the end user and the designer alike.
7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.
My design style is modern and minimalistic. I strive to create clean, simple lines and shapes while adding a touch of personality. I focus on the basics and add accents that are both subtle and eye-catching. My style emphasizes functionality above all else, but I also aim to make spaces look elegant and inviting. I often use a combination of light and dark colors, as well as natural materials like wood and stone, to bring a sense of balance and harmony to my designs. I believe in creating spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, but also comfortable and live-able. I'm always looking for ways to innovate and make my designs more energy-efficient and sustainable. Overall, my design philosophy is to create timeless and inviting spaces that are both functional and beautiful.
8Tell us about your design process.
My design process starts with understanding the core objectives of the project and what the end goal is. I like to brainstorm ideas and sketch out concepts, then refine them to create something that works for the project. I also take into account the environment and relevant regulations that need to be met, as well as any potential limitations that may arise. I use this information as the foundation for my design, and then start to bring in elements of color, texture, and form to make it come alive. Once I have a design that meets all the objectives, I continue to refine and fine-tune it before finalizing.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

Yes, my country and its cultural heritage has a strong influence on my design process. Growing up in Britain, I have been exposed to a wide range of cultural influences, from traditional English styles to more contemporary and modern practices. This has enabled me to develop a design process that is both creative and innovative, while also taking into account the rich cultural background of the region. Through my design process, I aim to create works that are respectful of traditional cultural practices while also being able to capture the essence of new and modern ideas.

Additionally, my country's cultural heritage has allowed me to understand the importance of sustainability and environmental protection in design, which I strive to incorporate into my work. Overall, I think my country and its cultural heritage has had a significant impact on my design process, allowing me to explore different ideas while also staying true to my roots.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2022 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Winning the 2022 MUSE Design Award is an incredible honor that I am immensely proud of. Not only does it validate the hard work and dedication, but it also serves as a reminder that thoughtful and sustainable design can have a positive impact on society. Being recognized for creating is a tremendous milestone and encourages me to continue pushing boundaries and creating innovative designs. I am humbled by the recognition and will use this award as an inspiration to continue creating meaningful and inspiring designs that have a lasting impact.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
I entered my work, Sleep Wave into the 2022 MUSE Design Awards because of its innovative approach to furniture design. Sleep Wave is a minimalist, eco-friendly piece of furniture designed with the environment in mind. It is made entirely of Lucite, a highly durable and recyclable material, and takes the shape of gently lapping waves, inviting users to rest and rejuvenate. I wanted to create something that is both beautiful and sustainable, and I am proud to have achieved this with Sleep Wave. The use of Lucite and the minimalist design allows for personal creativity and individualism to be expressed through the piece. I am honored to have won the 2022 MUSE Design Awards, and I am excited to see how Sleep Wave will continue to influence the design industry and inspire sustainable furniture solutions.
12What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The biggest challenge of this project was creating a design that was both aesthetically pleasing and ecologically responsible. I had to find a way to combine the beauty of the ocean into the design, while ensuring that the production process was as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. I had to consider the materials I was using, and find ways to create a product that was not only beautiful, but also recyclable and re-usable. It took a lot of creativity and ingenuity to make sure the design was unique, while still adhering to the principles of sustainability. In the end, I am proud to say that I was able to create something that is both aesthetically pleasing and ecologically responsible.
13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning an award has been incredibly inspiring and has provided me with the confidence to continue to push the boundaries of my practice. It has given me the opportunity to explore new ideas and to work more effectively, efficiently and innovatively. It has also allowed me to build relationships with other creatives in the industry and to share my work with a wider audience. I have been able to use the award as a platform to showcase my work and to demonstrate my commitment to creating imaginative and meaningful works of art. Winning an award has also been instrumental in helping me to develop my career and to ensure that my creative practice is constantly evolving.
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
As a furniture designer, I have a great appreciation for the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into creating the perfect piece. I love the challenge of finding the perfect combination of materials, textures, and colors to create a piece that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. I also love the opportunity to work with clients and create something truly unique for them that reflects their personal style. Finally, I find it incredibly rewarding to be able to have a positive impact on our environment by creating pieces that are eco-friendly and sustainable. From sourcing recycled materials to choosing finishes that are low VOC, I am proud to be a part of the furniture industry and its commitment to creating furniture that is both beautiful and eco-friendly.
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?
As a furniture designer from the United Kingdom, I take pride in the diverse array of cultural influences that have shaped my design process. My country has a rich history of craftsmanship, with roots in traditional English styles and more modern practices. I aim to draw on this heritage and create pieces that are both innovative and respectful of the cultural background of the region. I also strive to capture the essence of new and modern ideas while staying true to my roots. Additionally, the UK’s design industry is unique in its focus on sustainability and environmental protection. This is something I value highly and try to incorporate into my work. The UK has a diverse range of styles, from classic English designs to more contemporary and modern works. This variety allows me to be creative in my designs and explore different ideas. Ultimately, my country’s culture, heritage and focus on sustainability have had a great influence on my design process and have helped me create truly unique works.
16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?
As a furniture designer, I see the design industry continuing to evolve and grow over the next 5-10 years. With the rise of technology, I anticipate that more and more products will be digitally designed and created, with the potential for virtual reality and 3D printing to revolutionize the industry. Additionally, I believe that the importance of diversity will continue to grow as people strive to create designs that are inclusive and accessible to everyone. By embracing different cultures, gender identities, and abilities, designers will be able to create products that are more reflective of the population. Additionally, I think the industry will continue to focus on sustainability and environmental protection, with green practices becoming increasingly popular. Overall, I expect the design industry to continue to evolve and become more diverse and sustainable over the next 5-10 years.
17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
If you are an aspiring student or MUSE Design Awards submitter entering the design industry, my advice would be to stay true to yourself and your own style. It is important to remember that every designer has a unique approach to their work, so it is important to find your own voice and develop a design process that works for you. Additionally, it is important to stay up to date with the latest industry trends and technologies in order to ensure that you are creating the best work possible. Lastly, take the time to research and find inspiration from the works of established designers, as this will help to broaden your perspective and develop your creative ideas. Overall, being prepared and staying true to yourself are key elements to success in the design industry.
18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
If someone is looking to improve their skills in the design industry, there are a variety of resources they can use to do so. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to stay up to date with the latest industry trends and technologies. Reading blogs, magazines, and other online resources can help to keep one informed about the latest developments in the field. Additionally, attending industry events and conferences can be a great way to network with other professionals and learn from their experiences. Attending workshops, seminars, and courses can also be a great way to receive guidance from more experienced professionals and learn new skills. Additionally, seeking out mentorships or apprenticeships is a great way to gain hands-on experience in the field and learn from industry veterans. Finally, keeping an open mind and embracing new ideas and technologies can help designers stay ahead of the competition.
19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
I have a fear of being forgotten. I worry that when I'm gone, no one will remember me and all the things I have done or accomplished. It's a fear that has driven me to make sure that I leave a mark in this world and that my legacy will be remembered. I don't want to just be a blip in the annals of history and I strive to make sure that I leave a positive impact on the world.
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My mother has been my biggest source of inspiration throughout my life. She has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and has been my cheerleader every step of the way. She has taught me the importance of hard work and perseverance, and has been a constant source of support and guidance. Additionally, she has also inspired me to be kind and compassionate towards others, and to always strive for excellence. Through her example of selfless love and dedication, my mother has shown me the true power of unconditional love and support. She has been an integral part of my journey and I am forever grateful for her love and guidance.
21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
My key to success is hard work and dedication. Life is full of challenges, and it is easy to give up when things get tough. However, I believe that if you stay focused on your goals and put in the necessary effort, you will eventually reach your desired outcomes. Additionally, it is important to remain open-minded and adapt to changing circumstances. It is not always easy to do, but being flexible and willing to learn can open up new opportunities that you may not have known existed. Finally, it is essential to never forget the power of optimism and the importance of having a positive attitude. Life is too short to be bogged down by negativity and doubt, so no matter what challenges come your way, remain confident in yourself and your abilities. With a little hard work, dedication, and a positive outlook, anything can be achieved.
22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
I would like to add that I am passionate about design and dedicated to creating quality work that truly captures and celebrates my country's cultural heritage. I am continuously learning and experimenting with different design techniques and am eager to explore new opportunities to expand my skillset. I believe that design is an ever-evolving craft and am excited to continue to grow and develop with it.

Winning Entries

Sleep Wave ~ | 2022


Inspired by the ecology of our oceans Sleep Wave ~ represents a tide of change - taking furniture into environmental …
(Read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Matthew Arquette

Matthew Arquette was always enamored by furniture design for several decades and had the privilege of spending 20 years to embark on creative journey that reinforced his love for design.

Read more about this article with Xinyi Wu from China, the Silver Winner of the 2022 MUSE Design Awards.