mauricio issa

Specialized in Accessory Design.

mauricio issa

About mauricio issa

  • Winner of 3 A' Design Awards.
  • Specialized in Accessory Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Accessory
  • Pet Supply
The Carry-On Luggage

The Carry-On Luggage

Accessory Design

The Pet Carrier Dog Bag

The Pet Carrier Dog Bag

Pet Supply Design

The Check In Luggage

The Check In Luggage

Accessory Design


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Interview with mauricio issa

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
Since I have memory, I've been interested in building things. I started building balsa wood models with a Dremel Mototool and a glue gun that I got from an uncle, then I started to buy more advanced tools to build breakfast tables, side tables, I even got into custom car sound systems with a friend. all this with no background at all, just for fun. My parents kept feeding that desire and allowed me to do pretty much any mess that i wanted in the garage. Then I came to USA on 2006 on an exchange program and the funny thing is that our school had one of the best wood shops, I learned a lot and made nice wooden projects. My other passion is always been entrepreneurship, so I decided to study Industrial Engineering in of the best business schools in Colombia, Icesi University. They have a double degree program, so when I was in 5th semester of engineering I started in parallel Industrial Design, I knew that it was going to happen since day 1 but I started engineering first because it would take me less time to validate both at the same time. It was a worthy sacrifice.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Arlo Skye is a New York ­based travel brand for the design obsessed. The company focuses on travel goods based on three main pilars, an uncompromising focus on quality, elegance and practical intelligence. People should feel different using the products from the brand. The first product is The Carry-On, but the idea is to extend the range to soft-goods and checked pieces.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
I like mass production products, thing that you can use and are not just for a museum. I really like solutions that make changes in people lives, it doesn't matter if is small or simple, just one simple positive change.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
I love things that fit on the context and work. I really like the A9 from Bang and Oluffsen, it is simply beautifull and the sound is perfect and the Emeco navy chair, because I can trow it from a balcony and it will survive, it is simply indestructible. I absolutely love the serif TV the Bourellec brothers did for Samsung and I also love the Hippo Roller from Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker, I think its a really good solution for the context in which is used for.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
I worked on a new packaging for High End Bed Sheets, for a Colombian Brand while I was at College.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
All kinds of wood, I just love how it blends with everything. I have to say that one of the things i enjoy the most is hand prototyping, 3D print is a big think in my life right now, but I'm really interested in learning about Arduino.
When do you feel the most creative?
When I'm not thinking that I need to be creative. random places. That is why learning about a lot, allows you to have a broader mindset about the things you do.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
I believe the concept and story behind it, are probably the most important things. these are the main pillars for a design solution.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
I love to daydream, it nurtures my process, thoughts, feelings and goals. but as a normal human being my feelings go from joy to anger. It is really hard for me to get mad at something.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
it is hard to describe, I always have a sense of fulfillment and happiness of doing something that somebody likes.
What makes a design successful?
Thinking on it as a whole. Not just an isolated product or service but part of a systemic approach, measuring impacts on different fields.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
the process behind, the concept, the idea, the execution. Sometimes really great designs are underestimated just because they do not look or what people was expecting but the idea works great and the concept is perfect for that idea. That is why I like taking the time to see the idea and process behind.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Sustainable design is possible and we have seen it. We need more designers to push forward thinking towards these ideas inside organizations, Designers CEOs that push sustainability ideas, no matter if the revenue is a little affected. If we do not do that, there will be no world to save pretty soon.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
with the time design is becoming more " in-tangible", which is good because allows us to work within any area of an organization. I think designers will become highly relevant within organizations and we are going to see a lot of CDOs in companies that didn't have the, and CEOs that are designers.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
I presented a project in the Wanted Design 2015, Colombia Design Booth called "Rana" along with a friend, Dario Narvaez.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I like reading about interesting things that have nothing to do with design, you never know where you can find inspiration. Architecture is a great source of inspiration for me, i love learning about the history of the buildings, you can learn a lot about how the context influenced the design in that specific moment. Also, long walks along with music. Looking for what is new to the market, what is trendy, what is not.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
it is basic, changes a little depending on the project but i like simple useful lines with meaning. I'm obsessed with displays, the interaction with the design needs to be seamless
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
Right now I'm based in NYC. Colombia has good design schools although we do not have a huge heritage in design as a Country. I think living and growing there and be able to live and work abroad has made my mindset shift. It made it broader.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Not only looking for cool portfolios and awards but people that actually is a team-player and mixed backgrounds.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
Always start with a brief or a basic idea in a notebook. The notebook is essential because i put there everything that comes to my mind event if is not related to the project. then I do some research for exiting similar ideas or just inspiration and keep sketching in my notebook. after I filtered the ideas, I start developing them in the PC, but always keep sketching ideas to introduce to your process. it is a cycle, so sometimes you go back and start again. Then mock ups and prototypes to validate concepts and ideas. and then more development. The process always vary depending on the project, but this is how pretty much I always approach my personal projetcs.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
Marshall Stanmore Bluetooth speaker, I love the mix of vintage with new technology. My watch, because of what it means to me. My Arlo Skye Carry On in matte black. simply bad ass. Red mini Cubebot. meaining GoPro with accessories, that thing is pretty clever.
Can you describe a day in your life?
it is pretty basic: Gym to sweat the stress - Work - daydream - iced coffee - read on Flipboard - work on personal things at night and cook my meals.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
I'm still on that category but I'd say that, keep learning about whatever you want, never settle because that is the only way to nurture creativity.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
is positive that you can impact people lives, improve them. and is negative that it is still underestimated as a career just to make furniture for rich people.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
keep asking questions, even if you think they are stupid. sometimes those are really importannt and nobody thought about them.
What skills are most important for a designer?
curiosity, empathy, humbleness and team-playerness as a I call it.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
hardware would be - Lenovo laptop Workstation w540, wacom cintiq companion 2, Dremel Moto tool, notebook paper, markers colors and even crayons. I use a lot pinterest, le manoosh and design blogs. read a lot on flipboard about a lot of different stuff. i have books on design thinking, materials, and manufacturing.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
I try to validate ideas quick asking a lot of questions to my self.
Who are some of your clients?
while at Curve ID, worked on projects for All Clad, Colgate, WasauPaper and Perkin Elmer. Now Arlo Skye with the travel goods.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
I like the projects that make someone smile when they see and use them.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
Right now, keep working on what I'm doing right now. We will see what the future has to offer.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
always team, working on a complex project by yourself is pretty much impossible i think. but when is a small personal project, I might do it alone or ask for feedback from friends that I trust a lot designwise.
How can people contact you?
llinkedIn or Facebook with my name. I'm really easy to reach and always open to collaborations of any type.

Extended Interview with mauricio issa

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?
I was born and raised in Colombia, South America. I've been interested my whole life into building things, started with a Dremel making balsa wood models, Airplanes, then I came to USA on 2006 on an exchange program and the funny thing is that our school had one of the best wood shops, I learned a lot and made nice wooden projects.
How did you become a designer?
Since I have memory, I've been interested in building things. I started building balsa wood models with a Dremel Mototool and a glue gun that I got from an uncle, then I started to buy more advanced tools to build breakfast tables, side tables, I even got into custom car sound systems with a friend. all this with no background at all, just for fun. My parents kept feeding that desire and allowed me to do pretty much any mess that i wanted in the garage. My otter passion is always been entrepreneurship, so I decided to study Industrial Engineering in of the best business schools in Colombia, Icesi University. They have a double degree program, so when I was in 5th semester of engineering I started in parallel Industrial Design, I knew that it was going to happen since day 1 but I started engineering first because it would take me less time to validate both at the same time. It was a worthy sacrifice.
What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
I decided, I love materializing things. from basic to complex ideas. My family nurtured it. and the circumstances have played in my favor, allowing me to work and learn from great and talented people.
Which emotions do you feel when designing?
I like mass production products, thing that you can use and are not for a museum. I really like solutions that make changes in people lives, it doesn't matter if is small or simple, just one simple positive change. I would love to get more involved into designing intangible solutions for businesses and systems. Business models and that sort of things. I already started learning, reading, nurturing from other fields.
What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?
wow. I wouldn't say that, legends are made by years and years of great work, I'm still in diapers, design wise, I'd say. I believe is essential and it might sound cliche but " never settle and always keep looking". I think one quality most young designers need is " your babies are not perfect " and accept "critics" positively as a chance to improve. If someone criticizes your "baby" it doesn't mean is bad, it is only an opinion, you can take it or leave it, but is always good to pay attention to it.
What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?
I think there is a paradigm with this question because i think great designers depend on the timing. For example in the 20's and 50's we saw a proliferation of probably the greatest designers of all time, Breuer, Pantone, Eames, making things that were ahead of their time and some stills are. Great designers are always one step ahead of everything, trying new things, new concepts, thinking outside of the "outside box". But now days, you have to add to the making of that new "thing", the impact. How this "system","product","business" is going to impact the world, the feeling and life of the users in a positive or negative way.
What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?
in my humble opinion. it should serve a purpose, be cohesive with the concept, use and user, be what it was intended to be. A really good design is those things that make you say " damn, this people really thought about it, the product, the model, the strategy, the impact from all sides". The product doesn't need to be complex or perfect, but the "whole" is so cohesive, clever and well executed that there is no way you can say a different thing. that is my humble opinion.
You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
Good design makes a positive impact in people and animal life. Companies sometimes forget that "things" material or non-material are intended to be used and whether is human or animal, the interaction should feel right. If through good design practices you can make something even more positive of what you are doing right now, the question should be why not investing on it?
What is your day to day look like?
I would love to get involved in energy solutions, for cities, rural areas, etc. i think we rely so much in only electricity generated by power plants that we forget we need a backup plan. and better if is several backup plans.
How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?
I would love to explore how to use the energy we loose in organic waste every single day. i did a concept for a Colombian competition several years ago, that explored this idea. Just using organic waste to generate gas for power , cooking or heating water . An ancient idea used in rural areas but for cities. Imagine NYC without organic waste.
How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?
just keep learning and surrounding with people that knows and is way better than I am. keep your brain curious as a 5 year old child.
How do you decide if your design is ready?
Eames, Breuer and Dieter Rams great executions and forward thinking about materials and design in general. I really like the iconic work from Oscar Niemayer and Santiano Calatrava. Giugiaro - his mind is on the future, always/ Yves Behar and Scoot Wilson from the new generation - I really like how they see design as a whole. I like their executions in social design and Business models.
What is your biggest design work?
I love things that fit on the context and work. I really like the A9 from bang and oluffsen, it is simply beautifull and the sound is perfect and the emeco navy chair, because i can trow it from a balcony and it will survive, it is simply indestructible. I absolutely love the serif TV the Bourellec brothers did for Samsung and I also love the Hippo Roller from Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker, i think its a really good solution for the context in which is used for.
Who is your favourite designer?
I did a project "Rana" with a friend Dario Narvaez. It is a ring toss game inspired by a Colombian game. Is the kind of things you think don't need intervention, but there is so much potential and concept exploration behind them that we spend almost 2 months figuring out the concept and getting rid of things. It is the kind of projects you do just for fun, so there is no limitations.
Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?
keep learning, not only design related. cooking, gardening, learning how to put tile or how to make a great capuchino. reading about business strategies, marketing, biographies, '' chicken maternity for dummies '', what ever you can learn, it will help eventually, somehow.
Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?
Architect or mechanic engineer - gotta say I find a lot of inspiration in those two fields.
What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?
always my family, not only my parents, my uncles, siblings, friends that are like family. and I gotta say, I owe lot to people at college.

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