We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Sunny Jackson ("SJ").
Sunny Jackson is an artist and designer who is guided by a lifelong study of nature and its elements. At all times, at the core of her work, is a tribute to the raw and unadulterated beauty of the Earth’s materials and the impressive effects of time, pressure, erosion, fire and light. All of her work pays homage to the duality of nature; the dark and the light, decay and growth; balanced and complimentary opposites within a greater whole.
Sunny Jackson Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Sunny Jackson.
Designer Interview of Sunny Jackson:
DI: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
SJ : 02.For as long as I can remember, I envisioned myself a designer. When I was 5, it was all about toys, and how to make new toys that didn't exist yet. When I got older, I liked drawing and designing clothes, and after that phase, it was all about architecture and dream homes. I eventually landed on landscape architecture in college. Even after college, I was always interested in designing better systems for the problems I faced in my work. I patented an outdoor seating furniture piece with artificial grass on top in an effort to cut down on how hot the outdoor seating would become in a place like Phoenix, Arizona where it is not uncommon for temperatures to be over 37 C. I am now interested in combining sculpture and lighting and love the junction of these two disciplines. I have always been designing. I have no idea what I'll be up to in 20 years from now, but I have no doubt I'll still be designing.
DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SJ : Sunny Jackson studios is a small design studio which has two main production zones, that of the wood shop and that of the lighting studio. All the heavy, dusty and manual woodwork is completed in the woodshop by a very talented team of artisans who know their trade inside and out. The electrical, lighting and delicate crystal work is all completed in another studio. Again, all by hand, and all by artisans.
DI: What is "design" for you?
SJ : At its most basic level, design is finding solutions to problems. On a more complex level, design is one of the main disciplines, alongside science and technology, for our advancement as a species. It is the result of seeking answers that have not been sought or questioned previously.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SJ : Wood sculpture, lighting, water features and outdoor gardens
DI: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SJ : A residential garden with swimming pool, garden, fireplace, and water feature. I won an award for it, which surprised me as it was my first solo project and also the first time that my design had been built in which I was able to see it move from paper to ground. I loved that aspect of design - the moment it becomes real.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
SJ : When I am by myself with no distractions.
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SJ : I focus a lot on the void. It's not an obvious aspect to the art that I make, but it is because of the void that the lighting is able to find its platform. The shape of the void is important in how light bounces off a concave or sloped surface to create the whole. It is something that I focused on in my water features as well - how to use light to fill the void. It makes for extremely interesting art.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SJ : I feel excited, I feel empowered, I feel perfect.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SJ : Oh it is one of the best parts of being a designer/artist. It's a powerful feeling to know that your ideas can come to life like this.
DI: What makes a design successful?
SJ : I think the part that makes a design successful is when it is enjoyed by those for whom it was designed. The moment it becomes useful and enjoyed by others is when it becomes successful.
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SJ : Did the design solve a problem? If yes, then did the designer go above and beyond to consider the deeper levels at which the design could be improved? Finally, did the designer understand the psychological needs of its end user?
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SJ : As designers, we have an immensely important role to society in order to shine a light on issues that need attention; And then to go beyond that step and offer thoughtful solutions.
DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
SJ : The future of design will largely be about solving the catastrophic effects of human impact on the environment. How to live and coincide with nature. That is where designers will be putting all of their focus.
DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SJ : n/a
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SJ : In one word. Nature. I know it sounds cliche, and perhaps a little obvious, but mother nature has always been my source of energy and my source of inspiration. She is perfect in every way and has a plethora of designs to expand upon.
DI: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
SJ : I would call it Modern Organic. I take the basic elemental materials from nature and ascribe a contemporary twist with an aesthetic and functional outcome.