Hungarian designers Attila F Kovacs and Zsuzsa Megyesi joined forces in 2009 to create the rather brilliant A+Z Design, they’ll be launching their completely charming new Pillhead lamps at Tent London in a couple of weeks, but first, they’ve popped by to talk passion for design, never taking a day off and Zsuzsa’s irrepressible love of flamenco.
When did you know that you wanted to design? (Atilla) When I received a nice serviette from my uncle from LA with a hyper-modern living room image on it. I was amazed, and asked my mother, ‘who does such a great thing?’ and she said the architect and the designer, so I decided to be architect and designer at age of 12. (Z) First as little child in my grandfather’s carpenter’s workshop, second when I met Attila.
What are you most proud of in your work? (A) To create something unique which has never existed before, like I did with the Hungarian House of Terror museum facade [see it after the leap], to create a shield, an overhanging roof with cut out letters to project the word TERROR on to the facade by the sun. When the sun hits it just right, the cutout in the metal overhang casts a sobering reminder of the building’s history upon its facade. Design is like an invention. (Z) That our products always have a narrative behind them, and that they speak both to your eyes and your soul.
What kind of material do you think has great possibilities? (A) I like aluminium. If you anodized it it has a deepness on the surface. It used to be called ‘Clay Silver’ and in our history in Fifties in my childhood it was called ‘Hungarian Silver’, it can be strong or soft, flexible and it has a light weight. (Z) I prefer warm materials. I see great potential in new materials such as newspaper, liquid wood and recycled textile.
Which product would you redesign if you could? (A) Citroen SM/CX (Z) Lexon Tykho Rubber Radio.
Which designer has inspired your work? (A) Prouve, Eames (both of them), Breuer (we come from the same home town, Pecs), Opron (designer of Citroen SM/CX) (Z) Eames, Nelson, Saarinen, Eva Zeisel, Stuart Haygarth.
What are you looking forward to about being at Tent? It is a gateway from a former Eastern country to show your capability and talent to the world, and it is a great fun to spread all around the world with the help of the Tent PR and PR- Girl. If we can do some business that’s fine, but passion is first, and also we are looking for a manufacturer. It’s great to inspire and get inspired by like minded people.
What’s your next grand plan? (A) I’m invited to take a part of the next Berlin Bienale , because of the design of the House of Terror Museum. And we’re doing a new museum design in Budapest about the Gipsy and the Pop culture of Hungary.
What do you get up when not being a brilliant, cutting-edge designer? Describe your perfect day off… (A) This is the most difficult question to answer, I’m siting here in front of my laptop and trying to answer but, well, it’s hard, first of all I’m workaholic, so my day off… I don’t know , I realize just now that I haven’t had a day off in the last 20 years. I like movies, playing cards with my wife, traveling, driving a car from the Sixties, enjoying the company of our friends. I enjoy my profession so much that my whole life is a complete a day off . (Z) Indulge myself in the irresistible and most challenging world of flamenco music and dance.