David Bassetti

A Conversation with European Product Design Awards Winner David Bassetti: The Creator of Positive Air Pressure Respirator

What do you see as the strengths of your winning project and what does this award mean to you personally?

It seems to me that it was a better-fitting mask that is re-useable. Personally, it means that the idea has been recognized as a very good one.

What was most important for you when planning the project and what were the biggest challenges you faced?

Being in Spain at the time was difficult to do anything as we were in full lockdown, so I had to order all the parts online and as it was medical equipment it was especially hard.

What is your guiding design principle?

For this project it was fit, then function. Most masks today don’t fit well but people don’t seem to care, which I find a bit crazy.

Positive Air Pressure Respirator (PAPR)
Photo credit: David Bassetti
Positive Air Pressure Respirator (PAPR)
Photo credit: David Bassetti

Where do you get motivation and inspiration for your work?

Years in the medical industry.

How/when did you discover that you wanted to work in design?

When I was 17, I did a lot of windsurfing and broke a lot of masks. I wanted to make a better one that wouldn’t snap. So engineering and product design was my chosen career.

Is there a product that you wished you had designed?

No, I have done a few patents and I prefer to make something new and untried/tested.

How do you think your own culture and environment have shaped your personal and professional creative vision?

Covid shaped this project. Being in Spain and watching everyone make their own masks was depressing to see. Hopelessly unsupported by the government and up to their own devices.

Can you tell us about a project which has been your greatest achievement?

Manufacturing the desktop systems that convert a PET plastic bottle into a 3d printed part.

Which designer in your field do you most admire and why?

Jonothan Ive (but he’s not in my field exactly).

How do you feel product design has evolved over the past years and how do you see it evolving in the future?

Product design should be less driven by profit and wholly derived from the Circular Economy. The Automobile should never have been produced as it’s only 30% efficient. It’s designed to consume petroleum, what a disaster product.

Positive Air Pressure Respirator (PAPR)
Photo credit: David Bassetti
Positive Air Pressure Respirator (PAPR)
Photo credit: David Bassetti

What do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities in your industry now?

Redefining what is good design for the betterment of humanity and our planet.

How do you decide to take on certain projects?

To make a difference to current circular economy principles. Today I’m designing a shampoo bottle to be 100% reusable for forming processes after it’s finished its life in the salon. It will never go to the lie of today’s recycling but kept and reformed many times for the benefit of many people. Real cradle-to-grave stuff… it’s why I take on work nowadays.

What would be your dream design project?

I’m doing it.

What’s your creative process and what creative software do you use?

Creative people.

What kind of questions do you ask before beginning a design project? What piece of information is of utmost value?

The cradle-to-grave analysis… and how it benefits humanity with its use of energy and materials.

What kind of culture or structure needs to exist to foster successful team collaboration?

Products should not equal profit.

Can you tell us about a time when a client disliked your work?

I have been fired from a large printing company because I stated that they only wanted to print more paper.

How do you deal with feedback?

Well, I think… if it’s positive or negative I take it on board.

What are you working on, what is in the pipeline for you?

The recycling 3d printer systems. Completely off the grid for use by everyone to clean this planet.