20Q: Tucker Viemeister

Tucker Viemeister likes to laugh with the people at Rockwell Group's Lab because design is a happy experience.
Tucker Viemeister.
Tucker Viemeister.

Curiosity, talent and kindness is what makes Tucker Veimeister's world go around. It’s also probably the reason for his international acclaim, and some 32 utility patents that his work has resulted in. The best part is that he is also just a really fun guy who recycles ideas, wants to have a drink with Lady Gaga and thinks being a DJ in a club could be fun.

1. What items would you put into a time capsule? I love time capsules because people always put the weirdest things in them! (Lots of them get lost - since the people who bury them are long gone!) Here's what I would not put in it: iPad or Android, that kind of technology will be so obsolete that no one will even be nostalgic about it! How about an Airstream trailer full of everyday things? Clothes, food, toys, etc?

2.  If you were told that you had to live inside a work of art, which would you choose?
It needs to be big enough and in a nice place, how about Mies's Barcelona Pavilion? Or it might be fun to live in a painting, like behind the Mona Lisa would be a trip. Better yet in a movie, say Kubrick's 2001 or Fellini's 8 1/2, or Beach Party Bingo! A playground would be fun, a Noguci one or an Imagination Playground full of kids and loose parts… Wait! I work in a playground (Rockwell Group) now!

3. What would you like to have written in your obituary?
"He tried as hard as he could, now it's your turn."

4. How do you define creative success?
Being creative is easy, but to be successful something should be better and beautiful. Measure success by how "kind" it is, kindness is both easy and tough to achieve. The best designs create a kind experience with the user.

5. What makes you laugh out loud? Funny stuff. Surprisingly good ideas and hanging out with the Lab people always make me happy.

6.  Are there certain characteristics that all creatives possess? Curiosity, talent and especially kindness (see no 4).

7. Do you have (m)any unrealised projects? Yes.

8. What is the question you ask yourself the most?
How am I going to do all this stuff (see no 6)???

9. What is something that you have learnt in the past five years?
Life is shorter than you think (so I better hurry back to South Africa!).

10. In your subjective view, what makes a piece of design good?
If it makes both the designer and the user happy (see no 4).

11. What one thing that you have not done would you really like to do?
First of all, there are plenty of things that I have done that I'd like to
do again!  It would be fun to DJ at a hot night club or play in a rock band or race in a stock car race.

12. What are you the most grateful for? Having great kids and being the son of great parents (see no 4, again).

13. What's your happiest childhood memory?
Getting hot doughnuts at midnight and eating them with my girl friend.

14. What do you do on Sundays? Every Sunday is different: read the paper, ride my bike to Central Park, fix some broken appliance, come home from the beach, write nutty answers to 20 questions, etc (see no 6).

15. Who in the world, dead or alive, would you most like to have a drink with?
Lady Gaga.

16.  Do you have a creative/business muse?
I did; Tibor Kalman (no 4, with a lot of pepper).

17. What's the best design advice you've ever received?
My teacher at Pratt, Rowena Reed Kostellow told us: "If you can't make it
more beautiful, what's the point?"

18. What has been your favourite project to date?
I've worked on tons of cool projects: potato peelers, sunglasses, cars and
scooters, Las Vegas casinos and hotel lobbies. The most exciting ones are
the ones I'm doing now (which of course are secret!).

19. Do you recycle? Yes: cans and ideas (I used no 4 a lot, right?).

20. Can design save the world?
What else can? Design is the application of intelligence, the translation of technology into useful things. Designers create better things, we think ahead and then make new things. Without progress we'll go backwards! Design is fun to do and good for you!


Watch the Talk with Tucker Viemeister