OFFSET 2013: HVASS&HANNIBAL interview

We're at OFFSET 2013 all weekend. One of Saturday's highlights was Copenhagen-based, multi-disciplinary arts and design studio HVASS&HANNIBAL – aka Nan Na Hvass and Sofie Hannibal. We caught up with them after their talk ...

Computer Arts: Have you had a chance to catch anyone else speak?
HVASS&HANNIBAL:
We've seen three talks, so far – and they were all very different: Natasha Jen, Faile and Oliviero Toscani. They all went in entirely different directions.

CA: You spoke about embracing panic and how to use it to your advantage …
H&H:
It makes you work harder, I guess – a fear of being caught without having anything. Panic makes you alert. All your senses are awake. You're open to all possible solutions.

CA: You mentioned you sometimes find it difficult to let go of a project, that you could continue adding and tweaking elements forever. How do decide when something's complete?
H&H:
Sometimes, of course, there's a deadline. So you have to have it done. Other times, the client will decide it for us. But, I guess we also have to decide when it feels right. It's not something we always have to discuss in words; sometimes you can just feel it. We're never finished before deadline. So if a client gives us extra time, we're always trying to change things, right at the very end, that other people probably can't see at all. Record labels often give you a deadline and then say, 'You can have two more weeks.' Then we think: 'Now it has to been even better!'

CA: Why are events like OFFSET important, and what do you get from them as a speaker and a spectator?
H&H:
We both have boyfriends and husbands in bands, and they always get to go on tour, to all of these different engagements and meet lots of people. So it's cool to meet lots of other designers. It's good to meet people you admire, people you've only seen online and don't even know whether it's a man or a women.

CA: Our new tagline is design matters. Why does design matter to you?
H&H: Good design matters; not all design matters.

Check out more from HVASS&HANNIBAL, and full coverage of OFFSET 2013, in our next issue.