Overnight success over twenty years in the making, William Smart, founder and creative director of
I recently had the great pleasure of chatting to William for the launch of our video interview series dubbed Sofa Sessions – in partnership with the Australian furniture design brand
“I’m quite attracted to things that blur lines – things that are hybrids, that cross over, that can do more than their calling was. So the brief might say – do this, and I always think – how can we do more than that, how can we take it to the next level?” — William Smart
The two of us covered a lot of ground during our Sofa Session – his creative drivers and ideology, the challenges, the lessons, but what was perhaps most inspiring was hearing William’s thoughts on how he defines and actively pursues greatness in his work.
“I feel like the design is to be discovered,” says William. “I’m certainly not that person who sits down and thinks – the building’s got to be round, here are five reasons why, and it all falls into place. I draw option after option, and I learn from each one, then throw it in the bin and start again.”
William talked about Smart Design Studio designing buildings from the inside – their approach to bringing light into the space, then bending light and sculpting air between four walls to generate a beautiful interior, and from there exteriors of buildings take shape.
“Good design has a sense of rigour, functionality and purpose, it knows what it’s doing, what it’s saying and how it works – and there’s also a sense of poetry. And I think without that ingredient of poetry it can be good or very good, but greatness for me is that little moment when I feel goosebumpy or I feel a bit excited, or I feel jealousy.” — William Smart
With countless pearls of wisdom from William to be devoured, I couldn’t be prouder our inaugural Sofa Session is such a goodie. But don’t fret – our chat wasn’t all highbrow design talk. I’m sure you’ll learn a thing or two about William too – from his extravagances to weaknesses, favourite movie, and uncool habits. What can I say, the man is an enigma!
This Sofa Session was made possible through the generous support of
Details from the set:
[Photography by Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace. Video by
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