By Sona Chavda
My meeting with Adnan was coupled with french wine, warm bread, olives and pomme frites all from the amazing Marc, restaurant this week (conveniently apart of Downtown Dining Week). I’ve spent time talking with Adnan and have really learned a lot from his ability to design, sculpt and create. Here you will see an in-depth look into the work of this Arthiteckt [art-it-ect].
1) How long have you been designing?
AE: Started in 2005, it’s been an ongoing process of research and development. Stopped for about a year and half, I wanted to give up on it but it wouldn’t leave me, it kept knocking back. It’s a good thing I had a break it helped me realize this is what I really wanted to do.
2) What’s your inspiration right now?
AE: Architecture and automotives. That’s always been where the basis of where everything came from. Now it’s bridges, buildings, steel, rawness, trains, skyscrapers, even here [at the Marc] the brick and concrete. I love all that. Oh and the New Audi RS4.
3) How did you come up with certain design concepts? (i.e the plexi or mounting system you came up with).
AE: The plexi material came from my background in automotives. I used to work at a race car shop and a lot of the materials that were used were fiberglass, plexi glass, carbon fiber & aluminum. Plexi was to me, the easiest material to work with. I want to get into aluminum and carbon fiber, more higher end materials , it’s more complex. The mounting systems again came from automotives and just visually seeing it in buildings that’s where the architecture came in. TV shows like Mega Factories, the development process from the Formula One team, I was glued to the TV. The techniques inspired me. It’s way a product is presented.
4) When designing what makes things beautiful to you?
AE: Colours. Really just the final product, when I’m designing something The complexity and detail it’s worth it in the end.
5) Have you collaborated with other designers or artists? And if not, would you?
AE: I would definitely love to, there are a few out there that I’d like to work with. There are a couple of graffiti artists in the UK that are doing some cool stuff. Maybe with some of the work that they do, I could take them through the 3D process and maybe elaborate on what they’ve done. In terms of businesses, mostly architects, there are a few that I would want to work with. I want someone who has the same visual aspects where my work will fit in.
I found out the name of the company that developed the Art Gallery of Alberta, and I thought, this is me! The aluminum the industrial feel to it, and the glass and the hardware. I thought to myself I need to work with these guys!
6) How does your cultural background influence your work?
AE: Being Muslim, a lot of their architecture like their Mosques in the Middle East, I’ve never been there but in seeing photos – it influences my work. A lot of their work is hand-made. Using geometric shapes, that’s where the math comes in. I want to get more abstract – that and I guess when I do the Islamic [work] that will be a big influence.
7) Where do you want to see your art?
AE: I would like to see it in the Art Gallery. I’d like to have a showcase of my Arthiteckture series because the Art Gallery represents my work that I do. Very industrial, with the pulley systems, cables and the hardware, it blends in perfectly. I’d like to see it in high-end homes, progressive/forward thinking homes. I’d love to work with brands in the automotive business such as Volkswagen AG more specifically Audi, and Lamborghini. I’d like to do some branding or a marketing campaign. My own clothing line Someone who is open to thinking outside the traditional realm of design. I want the freedom thought to do what I want.
[the architect of the Art Gallery of Alberta is Randall Stout]
8) Who are your role models?
AE: For me, I’m self taught in terms of how I actually developed everything, so anybody who is willing to be patient and take the time to understand and develop anything I respect – I don’t like the education process, I like people thinking outside the box, without formal training. I like graffiti artists as well. it then comes back to automotive in that industry I love the technology – which is inspirational.
9) Where do you see yourself find 5 years?
AE: I hope to have my own lounge/gallery as one where I can design and build everything myself showcasing my skill set, along with my own full studio setup connected in the back With a big garage door in the back. 🙂 Actually working with some of the companies we have been talking about such as Audi, but I would also like to travel the world, I’d like to be able to showcase my work outside. A lot of the things I want to do are in the Middle East, they are building these grand billion+ dollar hotels beyond anything you’d ever see in North America. Anywhere progressive and innovative in design concepts.
10) Most designers or artists love all their work in it’s own way, but what piece speaks to you the most?
AE: The cable piece that I did, it’s called Vorusprung 1881, it’s the first piece that I made for myself. A lot of the work I’ve done is consulting with clients, but this was for me. The beginning piece for my Arthiteckture series. That speaks to me because it’s got that abstract complexity in it but it also has element of the cables and the industrial theme.
11) What are you working on right now?
AE: I’m consulting with a few clients right now on some Islamic art, and potentially working with a law firm that wants a piece for their lobby area. And I’m also designing more pieces for the Arthiteckture series, coming up with concepts, ideas, how I’m going to build it. More of just ideas, concepts and strategic planning right now.
12) Aside from your art, you do renovation work for homes?
AE: I’m starting to do home decor. I do custom mirrors, and I did a desk and laid it all in plexi glass. Also i did a fireplaces in a very high gloss plexi. I’d like to get into that some more but only when the client requests it. But now I want to focus on one thing. I’m still trying to develop more installation systems, like the cables. I want to make that the art, rather than make the artwork the art. I’d like to get into more sculptures, and maybe incorporate some sort of abstract art and plexi in there. I have a friend that has these high-end metals, and I weld…so it actually ties into the automotive world, especially using carbon fibre and exotic materials for some large-scale sculptures.
13) In 20 years, when you’ve established yourself as a designer, would you ever see yourself teaching?
AE: Yes I’d love to, especially in the form of inspiring people. When I went to school, I was taking business and all I was taught was to work in a bank…it was never to go outside and do your own thing, and something that you love. It made me believe that anything is possible.
People tend to be afraid to draw and open up, I just went for it. And it made me
believe that I could do anything, that anything was possible. There are no limitations.
You can follow Adnan’s work on his website: Adnan Elladen
Follow on Twitter: @AdnanElladen