Alex Dreyer

I met Alex while working at Habitat where he was one of the lead designers and created a number of iconic products. Since then he went on to found CIRCULAR in 2009. Having previously headed the Shanghai design center for British retailer Habitat, he decided it was time to put his design, retail and sourcing expertise to good use and offer consultancy services to other brands doing business in Asia.

If they were to make a toy action figure of you, what would your accessory be?
A Chinese electric mosquito racket! In case you are not familiar with them - they look like plastic toy-versions of a tennis racket, except they have metal wire in the place of strings and a battery in the handle. They are very handy around the house for zapping bugs, and would make a great weapon for a toy action figure. A friend of mine once stuck his finger into one - let's just say he isn't likely to do it again!

To what degree have you actually controlled the course your design life has taken?
If you had told me during my university years that I would be recruited by Tom Dixon to work for Habitat in London and later go on to run my own business in Shanghai working with retail brands around the world - well - I would have said you are coocoo! I don't think we can plan our lives, all we can do is set some short, medium and long term goals, work towards them and see where life takes us.

What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I walk around the apartment when I brush my teeth.

What product or event inspired you to be a designer?
I stumbled upon Industrial Design by accident. It's only when I discovered early Italian design classics like the Brionvega TVs, Gaetano Pesce furniture and Olivetti products that I got really hooked!

If you could go back in time and become the designer of any existing item, what would you choose?
Velcro! It's a brilliant idea and as a bonus I would be minted!