I've always been an artist from an early age. Drawing and painting have been the core of my communication skills to explore ideas visually. Then, becoming a designer was a career decision that made sense to me because it was the perfect combination between and art and technology/mechanics. Also, there was a school that offered the courses and tools I needed to become an outstanding designer which was the Savannah College of Art and Design where I completed my bachelors and masters in industrial and accessory design respectively.
My practice as an independent designer strives to provide companies or brands with an edge and a fresh perspective to their products and services. Also, assisting clients with technical expertise in the development of new styles in footwear as well as bags.
My favorite design is a product by mother nature: a fruit. I always think that the perfect example of great design is a banana. Most people know what a banana looks like because of its iconic aesthetic and color. The packaging which is the skin is biodegradable and functional. You peel it as you eat. It's healthy and you can take it to go!
In the mornings I feel that my mind is the sharpest; however, sometimes I have this rush of energy in the evening that makes me go to work. I've learned to channel that energy and work despite of I feel just to have some structure in my schedule.
We have power to change cultures for the good. Through our designs, we change thought processes. Thoughts become habits. Then, habits turns into cultures and finally cultures are what the world is made of. We need to educate people to consume responsibly and help them make informed decisions.
Despite of design being seen as valuable in the market, there needs to be a design-like approach in education and learning methods in schools. I definitely see potential in education as the next big thing because schools nurture the upcoming wave of professionals.
My last exhibition was at the Gutstein Gallery in Savannah, Georgia. I'd like to be part of gallery series where different artists showcase their interpretation of a subject. Place doesn't matter as long as is accessible to people.
There is a special brainstorming technique that helps me make connections from other fields. This facilitates the generation of far out ideas and triggers other concepts when done in groups. My main source of inspiration is either furniture design or architecture.
I don't have a design style or aesthetic in specific. Most of the time you design for someone else; therefore, you adapt to their visual identity in order to create a product that relates to their brand and customer. I believe in the expression of your ideas and doing anything it takes to get the point across.
I currently reside in Portland, OR. Yes, upbringing and where you where raised affect your designs. It's part of who you are and is part of your knowledge which you use to design. I don't see being raised in Colombia as a limitation, but as a way to approach problems differently. Being in a different environment where I didn't have access to anything I wanted, taught me to be resourceful.
An interview is the worst method to hire a designer. I'd try to meet them in person and bring them to the company for a couple days. This is the most effective way to see how professional someone is. You get to see how they interact with other teammates, take them out for dinner and drinks, give them a small project where they can showcase all their skills and learn how they sell ideas. Make sure not only human resources, but designers and managers are involved in the interviewing process from beginning to end.
I start by learning and fully understanding the goal of the project. This will help me make decisions that are relevant to the project and keep me on track. Then, I start exploring as many solutions as possible by sketching quickly. After having feedback, I move into 3d prototyping and testing how ideas work as close as possible to what you'd see in the market. Make changes after having reviews and execute the best iteration possible. Then, source and prepare all the entities needed to bring the product to market. Finally, market the product! Separately from the commercial aspect of design, I strive to make time to work on ideas that have no brief. It takes creativity to sell a product that has no clear reason of why it exists. It's a good exercise for your brain.
The positive side of being a designer is that you have a voice either in society or at a company to make meaningful decisions. Our knowledge gives us the freedom and power to create solutions that people can benefit from. On the other hand, designers are accountable for the consequences of our actions. I don't see any negatives to being a designers, but as challenges instead. Any profession will have its good side and a not so good side.
Like Nike says, "Just do it." In design, that's the most powerful statement. We should test as many ideas as possible and avoid getting caught in a never ending ideation stage. I would rather spend a $1 million dollars in 100 ideas than to spend $100 million in one idea.
Right now, I have my shoe making tools which includes an assortment of needles, hammers, knives, awls and among other items. Then, I have my drawing/sketching tools which are markers and colored pencils. I've been using a source of inspiration the work of Issey Miyake lately. Currently I'm reading two books: "Ayrton Senna: the whole story" and " Buying In." For software, I use Adobe's creative suite, Rhino 5 for 3D modeling and Grasshopper for parametric design.
Planning on staying independent for now, but open to new career opportunities if they knock on the door. I'd like to have a space and the tools where I can make footwear and accessory prototypes for companies. Additionally, teaching and sharing my experience by holding courses/talks would be of great benefit to those looking to start a career in design.
A footwear collection that I carried out from design to execution in only ten weeks. It's not always about what you deliver, but at the speed you can accomplish something. 7 prototypes in only 10 weeks is working at the speed of light compared to the pace the footwear industry operates at.
Marcell Mrsan has been one of the most influential mentors in my career as a designer and as a person. Also, most of the faculty in my school as well as classmates had a huge impact in my journey to become the designer I am today.
Good design helps us focus on what's meaningful in life which are the relations in our daily lives. Design can improve experiences where the people learn about something new; therefore, it allows them to make informed decisions later on and/or pass it on to someone else. A good example would be a design stand that provides healthy choices for lunch at a school and students are exposed to what they are eating and why is important. Design is all about bringing awareness.
Technology helps me accomplish that extra percentage of work that I can't either do or it would take me extra time. I use technology more towards the end of a project to help me execute a well polished concept.
I do believe in collaboration. There is a book called, "The Power of Two." that talks about how behind every genius mind, there is someone else. Designing is not a one person's job. It's a team effort. That why they say, "team work makes the dream work."
This is how hard details and presentations were emphasized during my academic studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design. For some reason, a professor of mine would always catch the smallest misalignment of pictures in a presentation slide. That bothered him... so it bothers me now too.
Yes. I started drawing and painting from a early age. Then during school, I'd take advantage of any art programs, projects or courses. I tried to be the best drawer in the class. Playing with Lego also contributed to the development of how I understood space and mechanics.