October 1, 2011
The cofounder of Antenna Design answers a few questions on industrial design.
We design everything from interfaces and products to comprehensive user experience and communications programs.
We’re working on a mobile ordering app, work tools for the office, retail banking strategy, vending kiosks, and railcars.
WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?
To effect change, to make things better.
FIRST STEP ON A PROJECT
It depends on the nature of the project, but approaching the topic as if we don’t know anything about it is often a good start. We then immerse ourselves in the project and try to learn as much as we can from the client, users, and other relevant sources.
LAST STEP ON A PROJECT
Firstly, we have a drink and celebrate. But also I continue observing what we have done, to see how well it does in real life. And some projects give us the chance to evolve the design over time, so there is no absolute “last step.”
HOW DO YOU BREAK A CREATIVE BLOCK?
I walk around the city, go see a show, and generally try to confront myself with something that has nothing to do with the subject that caused me to be stuck—something that creates a disruptive impression, which helps me move forward again.
I studied industrial design at Art Center College of Design, and interactive media at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.
Achille Castiglioni: I admire the joyful quality of his work.
Charles and Ray Eames: they were really designers in the contemporary spirit, with work that crosses multiple media and categories.
Dieter Rams: he was the master of clean, elegant, “just right” product design.
The Seven Samurai
The good old Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair
I can’t concentrate with music. So unless I’m tackling some mindless task, there is none.
MOST USEFUL TOOLS
When the battery runs out on my other tools, there is always pencil and paper.
The New York Times, the Guardian, Technology Review, Design Observer
BEST PLACE TO THINK
In the morning, during my morning run. It clears my mind and allows me to focus without distractions. In the evening, dinner discussions with my partner, where we often solve design problems together that we struggled with during the day.
Franco Albini’s Cicognino side table
On top of Alpine mountain peaks
Craft, and in-depth expertise and skill. You can’t turn anything great into reality without them
LEARNED THE HARD WAY
I learned not to dismiss an opportunity just because it didn’t seem interesting at first glance.
Luckily, there is nothing I feel I need to undo. Some mistakes I have made, I have quickly forgotten. Others were helpful learning experiences.
What I do now, just more on my own terms