Conor McDonald

Professional in Furniture Design.

About Conor McDonald

Conor McDonald Creative is a full service consulting and design firm, with expertise in industrial design, interior architecture, manufacturing methods, materials, and design program management. design projects are rarely resolute and often daunting. the complicated series of steps, each contingent on the outcome of the previous, can be easily taken off course. drawing on experience and an extensive knowledge of materials and manufacturing techniques, Conor McDonald Creative simplifies even the most complex projects, defining a clear path toward manufacture and market.

  • Winner of Furniture Design Award.
  • Specialized in Furniture Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Furniture
Una Side table

Una Side table

Furniture Design


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Interview with Conor McDonald

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
i’ve known that I would be a designer since elementary school. i’ve always been intrigued by how things looked and worked. this interest led me to pursue an education in industrial design at risd and has afforded me the opportunity to be a contributing factor in a wide range of successful design endeavors.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
with emphasis on my background and skills as the central focus, conor mcdonald creative is a design consultancy with expertise in industrial design, interior architecture, manufacturing methods and design program management.
What is "design" for you?
for me, design is the creative process of consideration as it is applied to problem solving.


What kinds of works do you like designing most?
any sort of work where i feel the application of my process will result in a new and interesting outcome.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
i don’t have a favorite, but the platner chair is something that i look at with great appreciation. the piece is modern but not stark, easy in form and completely radical in its technique.


What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
i don’t have favorites. i try to not be bound by a specific material and consider the efficient use of a varying range of materials central to my design process.


Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
i try to begin each project by recognizing its “stickiest” detail and attacking it head on. with this approach, the process gets easier as you go rather than being knocked off course at the last second. 


What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
a frantic need to complete the design in an efficient and highly considered way.


When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
whether or not the design successfully serves the function it was intended to.

From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
to insure that design remains a driver of both cultural and financial growth.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
i see the design field starting to realign itself, moving back to creating high quality work rather than trying to make ironic objects.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
my design is the outcome of my experiences. i’ve been fortunate to travel extensively and work in varied environments, broadening my knowledge of manufacturing techniques. each opportunity has given me a better idea of how things happen and how the process can be used. this exposure is the basis for my work.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
my style is the outcome of my experiences, i filter everything i encounter and apply the gained knowledge to each challenge.
How do you work with companies?
in the capacity of a creative consultant, touching on product, marketing, manufacturing and engineering, with emphasis on addressing their design needs.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
i think there is a tendency for companies to work only with designers who have experience in the field directly related to their project. i’m not sure that this notion is healthy. i think that a fresh perspective can be often be advantageous.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
design is truly a constant presence of my every day. in those moments when others daydream, i designdream.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
consider the business of design with the same critical thinking that you apply to your design process. marketing an idea can be as difficult or more difficult than formalizing an idea.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
the positive is that you get to live a full and satisfying life that incorporates design theory into your daily ritual. the negative is that it’s a very non linear way of making a living.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
design isn’t about rules. everybody could do it if there were rules.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
i’m never without some means to sketch. i tend to first develop designs using more traditional drafting tools, then go through a series of physical and digital modeling.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
i never stop designing or thinking about design. when it’s as all consuming as this, the issue isn’t having time to think about the design, the issue is the time required to keep several designs on track, at once.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
it depends on the complexity of the project and my knowledge of its intended market.
What was your most important job experience?
working manual labor for my parents’ company as a child. it’s very easy to become jaded as a designer until you remember what it was like to stack hay bales for days on end.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
any sort of work where i feel the application of my process will result in a new and interesting outcome.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
i am currently invested in several different projects; some in furniture, some in illustration and others in medical devices, moving everything forward as much as possible.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
i design alone, but work with numerous craftsmen to realize and prototype ideas.

Extended Interview with Conor McDonald

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
i’ve known that I would be a designer since elementary school. i’ve always been intrigued by how things looked and worked. this interest led me to pursue an education in industrial design at risd and has afforded me the opportunity to be a contributing factor in a wide range of successful design endeavors.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
with emphasis on my background and skills as the central focus, conor mcdonald creative is a design consultancy with expertise in industrial design, interior architecture, manufacturing methods and design program management.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
for me, design is the creative process of consideration as it is applied to problem solving.


What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
any sort of work where i feel the application of my process will result in a new and interesting outcome.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
i don’t have a favorite, but the platner chair is something that i look at with great appreciation. the piece is modern but not stark, easy in form and completely radical in its technique.


What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
i don’t have favorites. i try to not be bound by a specific material and consider the efficient use of a varying range of materials central to my design process.


What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
i try to begin each project by recognizing its “stickiest” detail and attacking it head on. with this approach, the process gets easier as you go rather than being knocked off course at the last second. 


What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
a frantic need to complete the design in an efficient and highly considered way.


What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
whether or not the design successfully serves the function it was intended to.

What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
to insure that design remains a driver of both cultural and financial growth.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
i see the design field starting to realign itself, moving back to creating high quality work rather than trying to make ironic objects.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
my design is the outcome of my experiences. i’ve been fortunate to travel extensively and work in varied environments, broadening my knowledge of manufacturing techniques. each opportunity has given me a better idea of how things happen and how the process can be used. this exposure is the basis for my work.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
my style is the outcome of my experiences, i filter everything i encounter and apply the gained knowledge to each challenge.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
in the capacity of a creative consultant, touching on product, marketing, manufacturing and engineering, with emphasis on addressing their design needs.
How do you think designers should present their work?
i think there is a tendency for companies to work only with designers who have experience in the field directly related to their project. i’m not sure that this notion is healthy. i think that a fresh perspective can be often be advantageous.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
design is truly a constant presence of my every day. in those moments when others daydream, i designdream.
How does design help create a better society?
consider the business of design with the same critical thinking that you apply to your design process. marketing an idea can be as difficult or more difficult than formalizing an idea.
What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
the positive is that you get to live a full and satisfying life that incorporates design theory into your daily ritual. the negative is that it’s a very non linear way of making a living.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
design isn’t about rules. everybody could do it if there were rules.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
i’m never without some means to sketch. i tend to first develop designs using more traditional drafting tools, then go through a series of physical and digital modeling.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
i never stop designing or thinking about design. when it’s as all consuming as this, the issue isn’t having time to think about the design, the issue is the time required to keep several designs on track, at once.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
it depends on the complexity of the project and my knowledge of its intended market.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
working manual labor for my parents’ company as a child. it’s very easy to become jaded as a designer until you remember what it was like to stack hay bales for days on end.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
any sort of work where i feel the application of my process will result in a new and interesting outcome.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
i am currently invested in several different projects; some in furniture, some in illustration and others in medical devices, moving everything forward as much as possible.
What do you wish people to ask about your design?
i design alone, but work with numerous craftsmen to realize and prototype ideas.

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