Nicholas Bijan Pourfard, 30, is a lighting and furniture designer based in San Diego, California. He is a self-taught woodworker/machinist and spent the last ten years as a luthier running a boutique guitar company.
I believe my first experience designing was building some skateboard ramps for my friends and I to use. There was so much more involved than just building them well. I'm constantly adding pieces and sections. I was very concerned with the speed and flow off of every piece and where that should ideally take you next. Everything had to be modular for me, so we could become even more creative with our skating and ideas.
I love adjustability in design and this has been a good focus for me. I really don't find much interest in designing things that don't invite you to touch them or at least have some elements of the building process being pushed further than I'm used to.
When I try to create new things, I find it extremely difficult. Most of my ideas come to me at night when I am not paying attention. I usually start with a very small detail within the piece. When I think about it, I usually get a better idea of what it could be. I may not produce anything for up to a year as I continue to think about the initial concepts.
I do feel that being an Iranian-American I have always been inspired by the shapes and designs of the middle-east. I have been drawing a lot of symbols and furniture that reflect my culture, however, I have not had the time to fully explore these fully yet. I am ready to dive deeper into this and I have even sourced a lot of earth from Iran that I believe can be used within the designs and art I create. A more literal way of connecting to the land.
I am inspired by the people in my community who push to connect and amplify our local design scene. I think being around these like-minded people helps me understand that we can do more with less if we work together. San Diego may not be as booming as Los Angeles, however we are a border town with Tijuana, Mexico and I believe that makes us a hybrid city that is rich in culture and ideas.
Pure. Straightforward. Inviting
I love Eilieen Gray and Gerrit Rietveld. I feel like their work was definitely where I started in my head. Now I feel I have left those styles a bit, but I still love them so much.
I hate to say it but the NOTES app on my iPhone! I use it to draw everything.
I try to flip through some of my books. I feel like if I can't directly find inspiration within them, it helps me relax enough to find it soon after.
I am getting ready to start sharing some new work involving cold-bending wood and using the wood's memory and want to snap back as a tensioned joint within the designs. It is probably the most spontaneous work I have ever produced. I do feel like it has more to do with feeling while I am building it rather than pre-meditated drawings and design.