Interview with Alexander Lotersztain

Passionate is the word that springs to mind when thinking of Brisbane-based designer Alexander Lotersztain. His passion for the environment, for the role of design in life, for unique products, for educating kids on the power of design, for making design accessible to everyone. This passion drives his design and is palpable in the products he turns out, the ever-popular events with his creative talent behind them and the design partnerships he seeks out.

A popular and deserving winner of the inaugural Smart State Design Fellowship as part of the Queensland Premier’s Design Awards, Alexander is not one to rest on his laurels. Since being awarded the fellowship, Alexander has taken on an international design commission with corporate giant Nestle, been recognized by Wallpaper magazine in its pick of Australian design, and has been commissioned to design a signature residential project. The fellowship funded travel to the United States last year for Alexander to research business possibilities in that market and allowed participation a number of design fairs. Alexander also used the fellowship funding to undertake a number of lectures on design throughout Queensland.

Perhaps one of the most rewarding milestones for the designer thus far however is yet to come in March this year. In recognition of his design work, Alexander has been invited by the Gallery of Australian Design to hold a solo exhibition. The ten-year retrospective will feature a range of Alexander’s work from his early pieces to limited editions of his current products. The first Queensland designer to hold a solo exhibition at the Canberra gallery, Alexander seems both humbled and energized by the upcoming show.

The busy designer recently took a few moments to reflect on Queensland design and his Fellowship:

What does the title Smart State Design Fellow mean to you?

It feels like recognition that I have managed to contribute to the design and cultural fabric of the state, something I am proud of and look forward to continuing to do.

Can you provide a glimpse into your work as a designer since winning this award?

It has been a year of great involvement with the Queensland Government in the area of design. Through my role on the Smart State Design Council I have been able to participate in some exciting planning and ideas for the future of design in Queensland. A real highlight for me has been taking part in school visits both here and interstate and talking to kids as well as teachers about the power of creativity and design thinking.

In terms of studio work it has been business as usual, with very steady growth as we see Australia going through a bit of a design revolution. It’s very encouraging and not surprising to see Queensland leading the way in Australian design.

Has winning this award impacted on your practice as a designer?

It has encouraged me to keep doing what I am doing, to stay passionate and to have fun with my work.

What do you think the current state of design in Queensland is?

The state of design in Queensland is for me a Smart State, a state that incorporates design thinking and action comprehensively throughout all areas: managerially, culturally, economically and socially.

I believe design is the single most important tool that we have today for positive action, and I am glad to see that the Queensland Government is taking design seriously.

What are the positives of being a designer based in Queensland?

The energy, the fairness and the positive attitude!

Your greatest influence/inspiration?

Observation.

Your next project?

A few new ranges of products for derlot editions manufactured in Queensland, a collaborative project in partnership with Nestle Headquarters in Switzerland and Husque based here in Brisbane, and the art direction for a signature multi-residential project in New South Wales.

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