Welcome to our interview series, Tastemaker Roundtable, an intimate conversation with global tastemakers. These are a select few of the people I meet when I am travelling that drive the energy and creativity of their cities. I will be spending time with them in order to get a “behind the scenes” perspective on what motivates their work, what makes them tick, and ultimately what inspires them.
Our second edition is Budapest and we spent time with tastemakers:
Kata Bánhalmi, Head of Communications at Design Terminal
Regina Papp, Chief Editor at We Love Budapest
David Raday, Designer at Hello Wood
The essence of being an influencer/tastemaker is creativity. How would you describe your creative process?
KB: People, words, time, innovation, tasks, team, emotion, will, vision, debate, pressure, connections, goals, visuality, system, silence. These are the stepping stones of my creative process: I need each and every one of them at the right time, in the right measure – of course, the perfect proportions are often only obvious in retrospect. It begins with the feeling, whether you have a specific goal in mind that you are driven to breathe life into something new.
DR: At Hello Wood we have many internal projects and the ideas usually come from a life experience, or something usually related to our previous projects, clients, problems. The three company designers then discuss the ideas and decide whether it’s worth starting. When it’s a yes we write down key things and then we start building 3D models and after that 1:1 prototypes. When working for a client, our process depends on the brief. We handle every project in a different way as we are an innovative design lab. We try to only take those projects that are inspiring to us.
RP: I think creativity is all about getting inspiration, and the eager need to create something new from nothing, or to change things that you think you can do better. “Creative process” sounds really artificial, in real life, in a great environment with impulsive people and a huge amount of energy, the whole thing just happens without you even noticing it.
If you can share one piece of advice with your younger self, what would it be?
KB: Whoa, I’ve got a list a mile long – but I’d definitely underline two main messages: less pride, less fear!
DR: Focus on one thing at a time and realize your ideas – don’t let them stay ideas only.
RP: Different is good. Don’t moderate yourself!
What is essential to being a creative in Budapest? How does your city inspire your work?
KB: Creativity has strong traditions in Budapest: the city is vibrant and in constant evolution, each day bringing new growth, increasing diversity and intense development. This is the rhythm, the mindset that all of us in this city have to assume: the openness to recognize opportunities for progress and the clarity to define our own individual roles. It isn’t, of course, always smooth sailing from the birth of an idea all the way to a successful project or a business with international ambitions: this is where Design Terminal steps in to help local entrepreneurs.
DR: First of all, Hungary is a small country, meaning small market, very often tiny budgets. That obligates the designers to use their creativity, to come up with cost effective solutions, solving existing problems. Budapest is growing, developing very fast. People started to believe in their small businesses and new, interesting businesses open every week. This is very inspiring.
RP: Wow, that’s a tough one, because my main inspiration is the city itself, and when we launched the site our main goal was to tell everyone on the planet how crazy-unique Budapest is. The Hungarian capital is full of pioneers, and the city’s modern face was pretty much built by them in the recent past. Budapest is growing from one day to another, and now if you come here to visit you can see that the essence of the city is all about this creative energy by visionary individuals. And what I love the most about it is the fact that now anyone can be a part of it, so I really feel that we are in the middle of “making history”.
“Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel. How do you deal with failure?
KB: Terribly. But the most empowering moments come when you’re scraping yourself up from the floor – and for this, I’m incredibly grateful to that floor. 🙂
DR: I don’t believe in failure. I think there are problems and problems can be solved in some way or another. Failure is just a sign of a problem that needs a solution.
RP: In my culture failure has a negative connotation, but luckily I had the chance to see other countries, where failing and moving on is an everyday thing, so I try not to beat myself up every time I don’t succeed. But! Every failure needs a conclusion, and next time you cannot make the same mistake – that’s my deal at least.
If you weren’t doing what you are right now, and can switch to anything, what would it be?
KB: Anything? Hmm… I’d help people recognize what it is they’re best at, I’d push them to embrace this feeling, and then I’d walk them over to my own personal competence market, where we’d figure out together how and in pursuit of what goal to best leverage their individual skills.
DR: I would be a musician.
RP: Never ever thought about it really. In another life I’d love to be a French rapper…
Finish the sentence “The most important thing a creative can have is ________”
KB: An amazing team and some serious self-criticism.
DR: A good team.