LDF13: Alex Mueller Interview

Every year at the London Design Festival there is one new designer who appears to be everywhere, one young person who bursts onto the scene with such gusto that they cannot be ignored – the ‘man of the match’ if you like. This year, that man was Alexander Mueller.


He was exhibiting in Milan and at Clerkenwell Design Week before he’d even graduated. He says: “My tutor at the CASS School of Design, William Warren, organized a group stand with Designersblock in Milan. Exhibiting at one of the most important trade fairs in the world was a great experience and a good preparation for Clerkenwell Design Week, which came out of my own initiative. I thought that doing a trade show by myself would be a great way to showcase my work, as well as forcing me to work hard throughout the academic year. Moreover, I wanted to get myself out there and not wait until graduating before starting to do trade shows. I think in today’s climate, students need to be very proactive. There are more students graduating within the creative industries then there are jobs, so by demonstrating a proactive approach, hard work, and passion, one can gain an advantage. I believe that nothing will come to you unless you work for it.”


He won the Heal’s Discovers competition, a search for new design talent, with his Fold Table which will now be stocked in Heal’s high street stores. “It feels great. It’s my first venture into retail and the whole competition with Heal’s was a massive learning curve. I enjoyed every minute of it and need to say thank you again to Heal’s and to The Cass. It’s an amazing feeling just seeing my table in their store, which is filled with exciting new designs,” says Alex.


He was chosen by his University, The Cass, the be part of their stand at designjunction. He says: “It was my first time showing during LDF and I am super happy with the way everything happened. I am just grateful to the people who selected my work to be shown. Being part of the top 40 graduates representing the best of The Cass’ 2013 graduates feels great. It gave me a sense of achievement and added to my motivation. I want to be part of LDF again next year, hopefully with my own stand.”


And he was one of the nine graduates I selected for BRINK. He said: “I was really honored to be chosen to show my work on the stand. Showing at any exhibition is always a great experience, but knowing that I was selected as one of the top graduates in the UK made it extra special.”


I was keen to find out more about what makes him tick – here’s what we spoke about…

Alex, you seem incredibly driven. Where does that come from?

I am driven by my passion for what I do. I am very motivated because I’m doing something that I love and I want to succeed in. Sounds a bit cheesy but it’s true!


What inspires your designs?

I draw inspiration from everything around me. I think London is a vital source of my inspiration. Moving to London just opened my eyes and allowed me to get inspired by people I meet, the architecture in the city, galleries and museums… Lately I am quite fascinated with geometry


Tell me about your working space – is it nice and tidy or organised chaos?!

Usually my working space is quite methodical and orderly. When I am in the workshop I always arrange everything neatly, as I can’t really work in chaos. I have my sketchbook and pencil case on one side and my square and Kirsch Chisels on the other. They are always out, even if they’re not in use. At home I share my table with my partner – sometimes I have to move, as I just take over too much space. Usually everything is very organized, unless my cats start playing with my tools!


What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?

I don’t think I am at a stage in my career where I’m qualified to give advice to other people, but my Grandmother always said that working hard and being on time are crucial in anything you do. So I think that’s the advice I would give.


What are you most proud of?

I’m not a very proud person, but I do feel great every time I finish a piece.

Alex Mueller LDF13

Our trip to the London Design Festival was supported by

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.