Designer Spotlight: Goncalo Campos

This weeks Designer Spotlight focuses on Goncalo Campos, a Portuguese product designer and traveler, inspired by the process of transformation, materials and rich life experiences.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? Where are you located?

So I was, born in Portugal, but for the last 6 years I’ve been traveling, living and working from many different places like Lisbon, Venice, Paris, or Porto, but most recently London. I consider the freedom that my practice as a product designer allows, to be extremely precious. I can design, produce products by myself, I can do it for another company, I am able to travel and meet all sorts of people and get to learn so much about people’s ways of life. All these very rich experiences keep me ever more curious and motivated to keep experimenting and learning about all that surrounds us, and what still is to come.

What’s the story behind your designs? What inspires you?

When I design, I always give priority to what the material and the processes used to transform it allow. A great example of that is the Comion collection I designed trying to use the least material possible, while still having a strong and impressive shape. Something that no other process besides 3D printing would permit.

Focusing on the material also allows me to create a narrative. With the Sticks collection, a simple series of cylinders gain texture, suggesting the grain of wood that will always be different since it’s randomly generated by the printing process. So interestingly, what starts as a simple geometric arrangement ends up suggesting nature, effectively using a high end technological process to generate this natural and unpredictable finish.

What brought you to 3D printing with Shapeways?

I’ve been using Shapeways since 2009, and back then what attracted me was precisely the opportunity to use a new technique, that allowed me to test and go beyond in this search for new and exciting projects. The fact that I can manage alone, the whole process, from conception to market, is also very interesting and liberating allowing everyone to experiment and discover their own process.

How did you learn how to design in 3D?

I learned designing in 3D because those skills are necessary for my practice as a product designer. I had been using those skills for some years before I discovered 3D printing, and so it was very easy and logical to apply that knowledge designing products for Shapeways.

How do you promote your work?

Usually I promote my work through a list of contacts that’s been growing over the years. Contacts with Magazines, Blogs, shops that I reach out to whenever I design a new product.

Who are your favorite designers or artists? Who in the Shapeways community has served as an inspiration to you?

Two very notable designers in Shapeways that I really look up to are Nervous Systems and Theo Jansen. They both found a way to use the Shapeways in a manner that deals with the process restraints, and advantages, creating very impressive products that would never be possible if it wasn’t for 3D printing.

If you weren’t limited by current technologies, what would you want to make using 3D printing?

I honestly can’t think about anything that 3D printing or current technologies can’t make (other than time machines, teleporters, and the like). It’s really incredible that now practically anyone in the world has the opportunity to create products in a wide range of materials with very little constraints. This offers a great liberation from the standard “off the shelf” options, but also the possibility to discover, tinker and create never before seen items.

Check out all of the amazing products by Gonçalo in his Shapeways Shop or his website, and if you’d like to be featured, email aimee@shapeways.com.