Gal Tevet from Opus DV answers some Questions

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Gal you are involved in many creative areas particularly as an Architect, Designer and Musician how did this happen?
I guess the three planes have been present since childhood, and evolved in parallel along the years until joining into one ouvre (an Opus) during my mature professional activity. I think the big challenge is to create a real awareness in the act of design, be it in an architectural context or in a musical one. My activity in music had begun in childhood, and allowed me to evolve into a jazz pianist by the age of 17 till now. Architecture begun in Architecture school, which I graduated from in 1993. Design, I believe, is an in-between activity, an overall one which I have been doing all along (composing music, planning spaces, translating and joining entities). Furniture design bagan later, as part of my architectural projects, and 5 years ago when I founded OpusDV.

So Why did you found the design company ‘OpusDV’ ?

OpusDV concepts began a long time ago, during my architecture practice. After completing urban design projects, residential projects, private houses, I realised I felt a need to design much more on a human scale to get as close as I could to the needs of people, to complement the total design notion I had developed along the years.

I had the good fortune to partner with a Portuguese industrial entrepreneur in 2002, this allowed us to implement these concepts, using the wonderful and vast industrial capacities that wher now available, this became the international brand called OpusDV. The collections ranges from Wood furniture, through Sofas, Carpets, Porcelaine and Cork accessories… The company, in which I am also Creative Director, manufactures all the pieces in Portugal, and our services can be found in Europe, the Middle East, and soon I hope, in the US and the east.

Gal do you have a style? can you describe it ?
Style for me has always been an abstract notion. I would describe what I do as developing a language. The developpment of a language, is certainly an attempt to create a signature, that I hope can be sensed in every project and every piece. The most interesting thing is what happens when a few pieces of different programs are joined togther in a space. Then, the language has a stronger effect, as a dialogue is created between them… ambience is an after effect of language, that can be felt, and in our case, used. Function and form are completely unified in OpusDV creations. One gives birth to the other. I do attempt, to warm up my minimalist tendency, so reduction is enhanced by texture and material, in a way that people do not sense a cold breeze when using a minimalist ambience, but rather – a warm reduction to bare necessity.

Gal do you believe furniture is able to improve wellbeing of the environment? Do you consider of feel your work will be timeless?
Well of course. As an architect, I am completely obsessed with the well being of people, in every sense (use, versatility, personalization… even affordability). I am very much inspired by the great master architects that have designed furniture in the beginning of the 20th century – Gropius, Mies Van De Rohe, Breuer, Corbusier… they all implemented architectural concepts in their pieces, and it seems that has led them to a certain timelessness, being independent of style, and much more connected with the human condition. Only time will tell if my pieces are timeless. I only know my motivation is common to the above masters. I also think that I am trying to enable people that have OpusDV pices in their spaces, a large degree of freedom – in use, in location, in size, in finishes, in all sorts of adaptations possible in OpusDV that are not possible in other design brands that treat furniture more as objects, and less as architectural tools for space definition and use by the inhabitants of that space.

Gal do you have a process that you follow ?
Its all about processes in my view. Design for me begins with a programme, and a language adapted to that programme. The final sketch, is a choice from maybe a hundred sketches, always eliminating the non reductive, the unclear, the non communicative. The sketch is then turned into a working drawing, more exact, including specific detailing that allows the sketch to be built. As you can see, my processes are very architectural, I have lectured about them in Architecture Schools for many years now, hoping students will implement open methods in their work… with many good results .
Contrary to architecture, the final furniture prototype can be repeated with small changes if needed (in architecture we build the building only twice – once on paper, and then in reality). So here, the sketches sometimes continue in material form, till the evolution is complete and the product is approved by a big team of people. I believe my method is very post modern, in the sense that there is a structure to the process, but it is very non-linear, a bit associative, but very analytic. I hope it is sensed in the final product also, I also check that before a piece is launched.

More Info on Gal Tevet, Architect:www.opusdv.com

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