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Articles By Architecture Caribbean
Interview with Andres Parada (Product Designer) - Sweden
Article Title : Interview with Andres Parada (Product Designer) - Sweden Author : Architecture Caribbean Email Address : email@example.com Website URL : http://www.architecturecaribbean.com Contact : Country :
Andres Parada is a designer. Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden. Raised in a mixture of Chilean and Swedish culture, with Chilean parents, he moved to the USA in 2004 and began his studies in Industrial Design at Brigham Young University. Andres was kind enough to give some of his most precious time to Architecture Caribbean for an extremely informative interview. Enjoy!
Architecture Caribbean: Hi Andres, thanks again for taking time to spend with us, what skills are needed to be a product designer? Andres Parada: I am still trying to figure it out… But I think it is an ability to wear many hats at the same time. In many cases you are a hybrid of an artist, engineer, researcher, inventor, sculptor, model maker, graphic designer, business analyst, marketing expert and customer. You have to have an understanding of all those fields and be able to work closely with all of them and then add and a big dose of creativity.
AC: How do you come up with your ideas? AP: It all depends but I try to always soak up as much inspiration from around me as I can. I also try to constantly be educating myself about new trends, technologies, lifestyles, problems etc. I also think it is very important for a designer to travel and see other cities, countries, continents and cultures… and to record as much of it as possible through images, words, videos and sketches… As a kid and youngster I traveled quite a bit in Europe and I have great memories of visiting Mount Olympus in Greece, the streets of Barcelona, Big Ben and Madame Tussaudes in London, some phenomenal graffiti murals in Copenhagen and many other remarkable places. I think all those trips still spark ideas and inspiration into my work today.
AC: What drove you to want to follow the creative path, and express that creativity? AP: I have always been an artist. As a kid my favorite activity was to draw, build Lego castles, watch Star Wars and read books like Lord of the Rings and Dune. I got into painting with oil and acrylics in my early teenage years and then into painting murals. I have probably done close to a hundred murals. I never thought that I could make a living through my creativity so I was actually studying political science in the University of Stockholm before I came to the States. Here I discovered Industrial design and I fell in love with it immediately. It was the perfect blend of mixing problem-solving and aesthetics.
AC: How do you approach your projects? How do you begin? AP: It depends so much on what kind of project I am working on and what the scope is of the program… I could not give a short good answer to that.
AC: What thus far has been the best project you have worked on to date? AP: I wish I could tell you but the project is still in progress and I can’t say much about it until it goes to market next year. It involves computers and mobile phones.
AC: What feeds your creativity during the design process; (sketching, building physical models, computer programs) what is your main technique for exploring your designs? AP: I “speak” through all of those mediums and they are all necessary at a certain part of the design process, but my main technique for exploring designs is often through sketching. Mainly because it is a quick, expressive and really effective way of visualizing your ideas to other people.
AC: Tell us about The LOOP. The concept? AP: During the spring of 2009 LG electronics partnered up with Autodesk and held a competition to define the future of personal mobile communication. The Loop was my entry to that competition. The American Medical Association estimates that there are more than 600,000 blind people in the US and over 37 million people in the world. The Loop is a concept phone designed to meet their needs. The Loop is designed to cater to a person’s tactile senses instead of the visual. Since hands are of huge importance to the blind, the intent is to free them up as much as possible. Consequently, there is no need for a screen or a button pad. The Loop is also much more compact than a regular mobile phone and it is designed to clip on to a person’s clothing or to be worn around the neck by attaching it to a strap. The way a user dials is through its dialing scroll, which is much more intuitive for the blind than regular buttons. The ear-piece attaches to the phone while not in use and a call is automatically terminated through this reattachment.
AC: Your sketches are fantastic, what was your inspiration? AP: Thank you… Since it was a concept for a future phone I obviously looked into a lot of future trends within fashion, automobiles and architecture.
AC: What do you read and/ or do for inspiration? AP: I am constantly reading, observing, exploring and searching for new material that inspires me. I also try to constantly build and expand my image library. In my office at home I have a bookshelf with piles of graffiti magazines, comic books, concept art, graphic novels, fine art books, design magazines, and a whole pile of binders with sketches and images that I have collected through the years. As a design student I started to collect images of sketches and designs that inspired me. It is something I have kept up with since…
AC: What advice would you give to students entering the field of product design? AP: Work hard and work a lot. Nothing can make up for good work ethic… Intern as much as you can while you are studying. Learn from your peers. I am so grateful that I had some amazingly talented people around me in my design class. I especially think of Spencer Nugent, John Muhlenkamp and Jason Raleigh that I believe will be some of the greatest names within the field of product design someday. They made me want to push myself even harder. I almost cherish their help and inspiration more than my formal education, despite the fact that my education was really good! Help each other and you will all get further because of it. Also look at web-pages that can inspire and teach you like: coroflot, gnomon workshop, idsketching, designer techniques and others. Lastly; always keep a sketchbook and sketch in it every day.
AC: Any new and exciting projects you would like to share with us?
AP: I recently started a new job at an Innovation firm called Gravitytank… We are doing some really cool stuff that I am very excited about… That is all I can say for now.
AC: What do you think about Architecture Caribbean and its goal to highlight Design, Architecture, and Visual Arts? AP: Great, really great! I think almost all creative fields can inspire each other. As I mentioned earlier… I am greatly inspired by architects, furniture designers, print, fine art, fashion and other fields of design. I think we all can influence and learn from each other.
Architecture Caribbean thanks Andres for such a wonderful, insightful interview. Andres we look forward to chatting with your friends Spencer, John and Jason about their works too. Keep up the good work and keep us informed of your projects, and achievements. You are destined for greatness! We hope you’ve enjoyed our interview with Andres, and if you have any comments, or additional questions for him, don’t hesitate to drop a comment using the form below. See more of Andres' work here >>>