Current projects: Developing the new collection for Wrong for Hay. This is a massive, full-time project. And then I also work on another project called The Wrong Shop.
Mission: To develop good design at a good price
When did you decide that you wanted to be a designer? I don't know if I am a designer. I got interested in design 15 years ago when I was manufacturing products for clients. So I was involved in the process of making, and that created an interest for me in design.
Education: I studied fine arts and sculpture at the Norwich School of Art.
First design job: Bronze-casting door handles for clients, with the manufacturing company I founded in 1996.
Who is your design hero? I don't have a design hero. Many things and many people inspire, influence and excite me, but to put that down to one person is impossible for me.
Describe your workspace: It's a very beautiful Queen Anne building in Central London where we have a showroom and offices.
Other than the computer, what is your most important tool? My iPhone. I make an enormous amount of telephone calls, but I also use it as a tool. For instance, I travel a lot, and the currency converter saves an awful lot of stress.What is the best part of your job? No one day is ever the same, and I get to work with great people in a great environment doing fun things.
What is the worst part of your job? Being too busy
What time do you get up and go to bed? I get up at 6:15 a.m. and normally I go to bed at about midnight.
How do you procrastinate? Daydreaming. There are so many things in my head at one time that I get very easily distracted from one thing to the other.
What is the most important quality in a designer? Flexibility. And realism—in terms of understanding the business of design, not just the pure idea of the object.
What is the most widespread misunderstanding about design or designers? How small the design world is. Designers often believe the design world is much bigger than it actually is.
What is your most prized design possession? That's a difficult question. I have a very old chair in our kitchen that is quite a special. Some people say it's a Prouvé chair; some people don't believe it is. But it's quite an old, special chair. I guess that's probably the most prized design object I have.
What is exciting you in design right now? The definition of the new middle market. Post financial crisis, the middle market was essentially dissolved, leaving only the very low end or the very high end—Ikea or the very expensive Italian brands. The middle market disappeared, but now it's being redefined.
If you could redesign anything, what would you choose? Keys. They're clunky. They're bulky. They're super annoying. There must be some better method of security. I haven't got the answer, but I would love the find an alternative to this.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years? What I'm doing now. I'm very happy with it. In ten years time I hope it just grows bigger and bigger.
Lastly, who's more fun to have a drink with: architects, industrial designers or graphic designers? I wouldn't pick any of them to have a drink with. [Laughs] If I had to choose, I'd say industrial designers. I've probably got more in common with them than with a graphic designer or an architect.
Mason Currey is a former Core77 editor and the author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. Previously, he was the executive editor of Print and the managing editor of Metropolis. His freelance writing has appeared in the New York Times and Slate, among other publications. He lives in Los Angeles.