Monday, November 24, 2008

Interview Notes

I interviewed my mom’s cousin Victor Robertson who is a designer/ inventor.

I asked him 5 of the following questions that focused on design communication and his different approaches and methods.

1. When you are given a project to work on how do you tackle the problem so that you are able to come up with a successful concept in the end?

One of the things that I have learned in this profession (and something you will soon learn when you get a career) is that companies are passionate about their work but at the end of the day their main goal is to make money as well as make an impact on the industry somehow. As a result, I approach the problem in a way that expresses my creative input but will also be beneficial to them in terms of profit. Sometimes this is done by toning down my outrageous ideas and design products that are more practical.

2. When it comes time to presenting your concept to the company or client, how do you go about doing this?

First I do a little research (depending on time and the project will determine how in depth I will go with research) to kind of see what kind of similar products are out there and how to make them better. Then I do some quick thumbnails just to get my ideas on paper, then do more developed sketches with specific functions, forms, etc. Then I try to figure out a clever way of showing how this product will interact with the person.

3. I am constantly in the process of updating my portfolio, do you have any suggestions for me on how I can show my work effectively to get the job that I want?

Well, one thing that I always tell people is to show your products in a way that they completely speak for themselves. As you may already know, designers have a very short attention span so I feel like any way to get your point across with little explanation necessary is a great approach. Another thing you can focus on is the overall layout of your portfolio: effective fonts, simplicity is a big one, and showing different portfolios to different clients according to their specialty (they don’t have to be completely different portfolios but maybe have some that have certain projects in comparison to others).

4. You’ve seen the design industry grow over many years, how has the industry progressed when it comes to the way ideas are made and presented.

Well I have noticed that companies are hiring more and more young people which is great because it brings in a fresh new perspective each time someone new is hired. As a result, our ideas are more dynamic and we will have a wide range of ideas.

5. Is it frustrating when no one seems to grasp your ideas?

Yes it can be, especially when you feel like you have something substantial. However, it is my job to be able to understand why someone doesn’t understand an idea. Also, a lot of times people don’t understand something simply because they can’t relate to it. Therefore, I try my best to present concepts in different contexts so that we’re all on the same page.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Reviewing Earlier Goals

I looked back at what my goals were earlier in the quarter and they mainly focused on producing better thought out projects and designing something more practical and production worthy as opposed to just making something that looks cool; also to have a thorough process for my project for my portfolio.

I would say that I am at a point in the quarter where I am proud at the progress I have made. Specifically with my HP project, I have really focused on what the consumers' needs are and how this electronic is going to make their lives better. I am still concerned on the aesthetics but I really want a successful design where form and function go hand and hand. I feel like I am well on my way, and at this point I am hoping to deliver a model that will communicate effectively to the panel.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Individual Strengths

I feel like my individual strengths as a designer center around the fact that I'm always developing concepts that are very different than many other peoples' ideas (for example the people in my studio). I feel like being a designer gives me freedom to produce whatever crazy ideas are floating through my head; it's almost irresponsible in my opinion to just design to conform or to not step outside of the box sometimes. Another strength I would say is designing for people that are less fortunate; giving people who can't afford certain luxories a chance to interact with innovative and modern products.

I focus on these strengths by finding ways to improve existing products that people aren't thinking of. When I'm ideating, I try to mentally put myself in someone's shoes who have certain obstacles in their everyday life.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Favorite Approach to Design

I approach design in a way that puts functionality over aesthetics. Not too long ago, I was really trying to think of what I want to do with a career like this because, although it would be fun, I don't want to just have a job that only involves making stuff look cool.

More specifically, I am currently designing a desktop computer for a sponsored studio with HP. Our main goal is to end with a product that is sustainable and will thrive in the marketplace. Usually in past products I end up forgetting what my initial goal is. I used to focus primarily on how the product looked as opposed to what it will do for the consumer. I am doing my best to constantly think of my demographic and how this computer will affect their lifestyle (positively as well as negatively).

In addition to this, it's a lot easier to make something look cool than it is to make something that will improve someone's life. I feel like truly successful design will make a drastic impact on someones life.

Successful Illustrator

An illustrator that I found to be amazing is Gus DeGuzman. He is a fashion illustrator and I've recently been looking at his work for inspiration. His style is really unique; he uses realistic proportions but with an abstract twist.

Flash Drive Project

I learned alot about creating interesting/ intrigueing sketch/ render layouts. I also learned that there should be nothing holding me back, unless under strict constraints. Sometimes I play it safe with my designs and I learned that I am capable of creating something cool and production worthy all I have to do convince myself that it can be done.