The Lie Detector Test: Julia Lohmann

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words Justin McGuirk

JM What is your name?
JL Julia Lohmann. > Truth

JM How old are you?
JL I'm 29. > Truth

JM What do you do?  
JL I'm a designer. > Truth

JM You teach at the RCA - what do you think are its weaknesses?
JL I think maybe it knows too much that it is great. But I think it still has a very self-reflective quality. > Excitement

JM Do you think anyone has ever stolen one of your designs?
JL No - it's sometimes frustrating because you see something that was in your sketchbook that somebody else did. > Inaccurate

JM Have you ever stolen or borrowed someone else's idea without acknowledging it?
JL I hope not. > Truth

JM What's the most you've ever been paid for a design?
JL I can't think. I'm not lying (laughs). > Truth/Excitement

JM Have you ever lied to get the job done?
JL It's a very fine line, because where does lying start? You have to sometimes be more confident than you really are - or pretend you don't know something that you already know - there is a bit of negotiating, but it's not lying as such. > Subject not sure

JM Do you think you're a designer or an artist?
JL (silence) It probably says hesitating now on the screen! Um, I don't know. > Truth/High stress

JM Did the cows used to make your cow benches really die of natural causes?
JL Oh, no they didn't. No. Maybe I should have lied then? > Truth

JM Did you have the cows killed?
JL No I didn't. They were killed for their meat, primarily. > Truth

JM Do you think that highlighting the animal's presence in the work makes it more ethical?
JL Yeah I think so. But at the end of the day it's still a piece of an animal that you're using. I'm quoting my own doings as much as other people's. > Truth/High stress

JM What's the most disgusting thing you've ever done for your work?
JL Cleaning out horse gut, easily. > Truth

JM Who do you think is the most overrated designer?
JL You should have this machine read my mind! I don't want to say. > Truth

JM Is there a designer you don't like?
JL There are some who I think are really full of themselves. But that's a trait I dislike in people anyway. > Subject not sure

JM Who is the most difficult client you've ever worked for?
JL Ah - you're asking me things! I don't know - I don't really have one. A lot of my work is self-initiated.  > High stress

JM Is it difficult to work with your partner?
JL No it's not. Sometimes it's difficult to go from work to life, and not bring the work into everything. > Truth

Portrait by Maja Flink

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