Nik Steven: creativity and versatility in design.
by Sara S.
As you know, we love that you get to know first-hand who is part of this great community of design lovers that is Faberin. One of the values of our platform is its social component and the people who are part of it. That’s why we bring a new chapter to add to Faberin‘s story. The protagonist, this time, is the product designer, whose portfolio is already part of our platform: Nik Steven.
But who’s Nik Steven?
If we had to define it with a single word it would be ‘energy‘. Since, this English designer wastes it wherever he goes. He is continually creating, thinking and improving his surroundings with what he has in his hand. In addition, its versatility has enabled it to work in numerous fields of design, from the restoration of a 16th century convent to the decoration of a Swiss hotel, through the design of numerous pieces, which it later creates.
Nik is a real “globetrotter” and although he lives in Tarragona with his wife. Previously he lived in Spain, has lived in Malta, France, Italy, Poland and Switzerland. Undoubtedly, its cultural richness and professional versatility make it an endless source of inspiration.
We leave you with a brief interview, which we did to Nik, where he tells us how he is and what is behind his designs.
Designer Nik Steven.
How would you define yourself?
I am a volcano, full of ideas that flow faster than I can make them come true.
What about your designs?
A combination of art and design.
What experience do you have in this world?
I started my life making short films. I designed and built all the accessories for my productions.
I’ve always been good with the brush. My next experience was designing the sets for a children’s theatre production in Switzerland in 1984. After that, I was hired to do the interior design of a children’s hotel in Davos and then to build a playground. To survive in Switzerland I needed money, so I made jewellery using the lost wax casting technique and was able to build my clientele. Later, I began to do bigger things, and using the same technique I made bronze sculpture. However, foundries were expensive, so I decided to build my own foundry and do it all myself. I understood then that redesigning everyday objects such as kitchen utensils was not only a lot of fun, but also more economically rewarding, so I chose the path of design rather than artistic sculpture.
Nik working in your foundry.
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How were your beginnings?
My breakthrough came while I was living in Malta. My wife and I renovated an old farmhouse. I made the building crazy. I had a large glass dome at the top in the form of a grenade and a pool that I built in the form of splashing water.
I met Pascal Billaud, the then international correspondent for Marie-Claire Maison magazine. He made me understand that living on a small island was limited for my career and so my wife and I decided to move to France with our two daughters. In France, I built a new bronze foundry from old oil drums and began to make top-of-the-range tableware which I exhibited at the Maison et Objet in Paris.
What inspires you?
I am very inspired by the techniques of the industrial revolution, the ancient Etruscans and the Romans. James Bond and visionaries like Isambard Kingdom Brunel make my blood boil.
Do you have any references in the design world?
Nynke Tynagel and Job Smeets are my gods and also Michael Aram whom I know personally.
'Crystal dome' by Nik Steven in Malta.
What has been the path in your professional career?
I’ve followed a precarious path and I’ve taken a lot of risks as a player. I’ve always been driven by a desire to know what’s around the next corner, without looking at the dangers.
What are the values of your designs?
First of all, I choose drama combined with beauty and fun. Functionality is often the ultimate in my approach to design. I forgive myself there when sometimes you have to suffer for beauty.
What is your favorite material?
I love cast aluminium and bronze, but I also like working with wood.
'Chain smoker' ashtray by Nik Steven.
‘Desiree’ by Nik Steven at Faberin.
Desiree, an original designer chair, made of sheet metal that simulates the silhouette of a woman and projects her feminine shadow, is now available in the list of unique products that are part of Faberin.
Nik tells us how his creation process was, and what is behind this chair that will be made in our platform by the artisan Angel Valero from Cartagena.
How did the design idea for ‘Desiree’ come about?
The idea was born out of necessity. In short, we need some chairs for our new kitchen table. I thought it would be fun to have a lot of women sitting around. I like women, that’s how Desiree was born.
What inspired you in his creation?
When I was 16, I made a dress for my mother and chose a pink silk with big spots. I enjoyed the process of cutting the material with scissors. Now I do the same thing with the sheet metal. The cut of the veneer with knife cutters is very similar and the holes in the veneer have become the spotted dress. I especially enjoy seeing the shadows of my chair on the floor. People don’t often think of the shadow an object will cast. Looking back, I could have easily worked on fashion. If someone asked me to design a collection, I’d probably say yes.
How long did it take you to get to the final design?
I’m very fast. If an idea takes too long, then it will die. The best ideas come at night when I sleep in bed. I design my product and solve all technical problems before I wake up. In the morning, I drink a cup of coffee and then go to my workshop and build the prototype.
Desiree' by Nik Steven and his silhouette.
We conclude this interview with two important questions that will help us understand what drives Nik Steven to design:
What does designing mean to you?
Designing for me is creating things you’ve never seen before. I need beauty around me and to feel at home.
What do you still have to do in the world of design? Any dreams?
As long as I remain an active volcano, I will seek to make the hundreds of designs that I have in my personal collection of drawing books and, of course, anything else that people ask me to do.
Nik Steven, you know the advantages of designing exclusive products at Faberin. If, like him, you are passionate about designing and projecting your ideas into reality and turning them into products for sale, don’t hesitate to join Faberin. Show your talent to the world!
Words by Sara S.