20Q: Jens Martin Skibsted

Bicycles, electric cars and airships for fat cats are some of the things Jens Martin Skibsted would still like to do. Or live in a kitsch sci-fi poster.
Posted 1 Nov 11 By Design Indaba Industrial Design Interviews / Q&A Comments

1. What makes you laugh out loud?

Absurd situations, megalomania and real life version of Peter Sellers. Eg my friend Jeppe.

2. If you had to live inside a work of art, which would it be and why?

Probably in some kitsch sci-fi new age poster. Looks pleasant and a good way to secure my lineage.

3. What is the best piece of design you've seen recently?

That could be Burt Rutan's spaceship. Beautiful because the vision and purpose is so clear. It is optimistic and will take us a small step towards terraforming parts of space.

4. What is your favourite book?

Don't know. I almost don't read fiction anymore. Gilles Deleuze's Milles Plateaux always fascinated me, but I never understood it. Malcolm Gladwell is entertaining. I like sci-fi. There are so many incl. mine.

5. To which faults do you feel the most indulgent?

Anger and candy.

6. What is the question you ask yourself the most?

How can I contribute in a memorable way.

7. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

I think hooking up with radical innovators is challenging, because you don't know if and when they cross back into sanity. Some would include me in that category, but I wasn't making the reference.

8. What would you save from your burning house?

My family.

9. How do you deal with failure?

I get angry, depressed, reflective and stubborn - then I get back at it, from a different angle.

10. Do you have a creative muse?


11. What's your favourite gadget?

Probably my PDA.

12. Who in the world, dead or alive, would you most like to have lunch with?


13. Which qualities do you most admire in others?

Patience, faith, perseverence, and deep knowledge/craft.

14. What's one thing that you haven't done that you would still really like to do?

Too much. I would like to create electric cars and bikes for the developping world and airships and trains for fat cats.

Maybe a Nollywood movie about a green revolution...

15. How do you know when a piece of design is complete?

When the idea is clear, when it makes your heart beat and no fluff can be removed.

16. Can creativity save the world?

No. Creativity in concord can help tremendously.

17. What do you do on Sundays?

Walk, hang with the family, watch a movie, eat pizza.

18. Summer or winter?

I get a bit winter depressive. Scandinavian summers are great and full of light. People are happy, open, naked and eat fish. Winters here seem schizoid: people are grumpy, indoors and eat porc.

19. What's the best creative advice you've ever received?

Believe in your vision - work hard towards it.

20. How do you feel about answering random questions like these?

I don't have favourites - so these type of question are difficult.

Watch the Talk with Jens Martin Skibsted