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Spotlight: Up Close & Personal With Industrial Designer George Gibbens

George Gibbens has been described as a mindful innovator. As an industrial designer residing in Cape Town, his work intersects with many domains from furniture, high-end goods, technology, architecture and manufacturing. We asked George about his work life, inspirations, and latest collaborations. 

Who is George Gibbens? Tell us about your background.

My name is George Gibbens. I am an industrial designer based in Cape Town. I create new products or from time to time collaborate with brands and companies on projects.

What is the focus of your brand?

As a designer, you are your biggest critic and you automatically question the work in your past. I’m constantly striving to improve the level of quality with each project which is what I want to continue to do as well as explore new categories and industries that I’ve never worked in before.

What sort of training have you completed in order to operate in this field?

I studied industrial design at various institutions in South Africa during which I worked as an apprentice at design agencies and furniture makers.

What personally inspires you in your working life?

Creating products that I feel, must exist. Designing is my biggest passion and doing what you love is a great privilege. It’s a good reason to get up in the morning.

What are some considerations when designing products?

I tend to focus more on the problem itself than the product. This allows me to see the cause of the problem and work to address that, instead of only the symptom.

Planning a new product can sometimes be a nightmare. Can you tell us some of the common struggles?

The biggest challenge is to stop designing and start shipping the product. I am guilty of this. Design is infinite, it can go on and on unless you finally decide to put down your pencil. There is always something that can be improved or refined further, however, at some point you have to let it go.

What is your favourite must-have product at the moment?

The Apple Airpods Pro. It’s an amazing product in terms of hardware. They did a great job on the ergonomics and software, with noise cancellation and easy switching.

Any exciting projects or collaborations you are involved in?

There are quite a few collaborations in which I’m involved at the moment. Unfortunately, they must remain under wraps until they are ready. So, you’ll have to keep an eye on my website and social channels for updates.

Which designer inspires you?

Raymond Loewy for the sheer number of categories he transcended while remaining effective and doing good work.

The perfect place in your home to indulge?

Outside on the patio.

I know very few of us are travelling right now, but if you could where would you go?

New York! Do I even need to explain?

What’s your personal motto?

Question everything.

A place you visited to unwind in Africa?

In and around Cape Town. I especially love to visit the wine farms, however, I also like spending time on the family farm in the North West from time to time.

Any awards the company has won?

I’ve won a few awards over the years. The most notable being the first Red Dot Award I received this year which I was very thrilled about. It has been a goal of mine for a while now.

Find out more about George and his creations online at George Gibbens.

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