Educational institution:  Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico)
Programme: Bachelor of Industrial Design
Year of graduation: 2015

What made you decide to become an industrial designer?

Ever since I was in high school I heard about industrial design and it first caught my attention because it had to do with how things that we use every day were made, and that always amazed me. Later on, as I searched for people in the field and what they did I started to like it even more due to how flexible this profession really is. I liked the fact that it requires you to dig into many areas in order to design a given product, concept or system; from engineering, to science, to psychology, to business, etc. Then, I knew, I would never get bored with this career because there would always be something great and interesting to be learning and executing.

I was really into industrial design throughout high school, but when it came time to go to university, some second thoughts were implanted into me as to the fact that, at least in Mexico, design is commonly thought of as an underpaid profession. I looked into different professions and started my degree in Chemical Engineering. It was all very interesting, but nonetheless, it wasn’t what I really wanted. After a year and a half, I decided to finally change to what I truly wanted to study in the first place: industrial design.

In your opinion, what types of people are best suited for the profession of industrial design? What is a typical industrial designer like?

I think curiosity is a key element that every industrial designer should have. As an industrial designer you’re job is not only to design, but to observe, analyze, identify patterns and needs, and finally, have the freedom of mind to create something that fulfills those needs taking many variables into consideration. You need to have a combination of problem-solving skills using your divergent thinking. Most of the time there are many factors involved in designing something that don’t always have to do with design. Don’t be afraid to research and look into other areas in order to develop the best and most suitable design or concept that you can.

I’ve come across all sorts of designers, and everybody has a different style, it doesn’t always have to be classy, or minimalist, or anything, finding your own style is the best thing you can do.

Where did you study industrial design and what was the most important thing you learned?

I studied industrial design at the University of Monterrey in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and one of the most important things I learned was Human Centered Design. I like this method because it gives you the tools to first know your user and his/her needs in order to design something that fulfills them.

What do you believe are the major obstacles or challenges for young industrial designers today from a professional standpoint?

I think credibility is one important challenge for young industrial designers. First off, there are still many people that don’t know what industrial design is, and second, as a young graduate, sometimes older people take a while to trust your work and judgment.


I believe any profession is part of the solution, and multidisciplinary teams always bring so much benefit. One aspect where industrial design can be handy is in the way it helps us look at old problems from new perspectives so we can explore fresh ideas that could diminish or eliminate them.

Tell us about the projects you are working on now.

I’m currently working at Whirlpool Corporation, specifically in the User Experience Team, at the design studio here in Mexico. I’m in charge of Craftsmanship and am also involved with Usability. Craftsmanship is perceived quality from a consumer’s point of view. I get to look at what people like and dislike about our products and how we can improve them.

monica_2Whirlpool conducts a Perceived Quality Test for washing machines sold in Mexico.

I like it because it involves many areas, from design to Color/Finish/Materials, to Usability, to Engineering and even Manufacturing. So I’m in constant communication not only with designers, but also with engineers and technicians. As for Usability, I get to know our end user closely and determine patterns on how they use our products. We get to find out about this through ethnographic investigation, which involves both background knowledge and field research. We also do many usability and perceived quality tests with real users.


monica_4Whirlpool conducts a Usability Test at the Usability Lab in Mexico.

Of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals listed by the United Nations, which do you believe represent the most important challenges facing your generation today?

In my opinion, the most challenging goals would be those related to water, since this element is essential to life, and it’s being contaminated more and more each day. As far as I know, it’s not easy to clean water in a way that it doesn’t have an influence in other matters, for instance, life under water.

Another sustainable development goal of great importance is responsible consumption and production. According to what I’ve heard and seen about the topic, lack of responsibility is one of the main causes of many of the other issues, so if this is solved or improved then it can directly benefit other goals.

Thinking of those most important challenges facing your generation, do you believe that industrial design is part of the solution?

I believe any profession is part of the solution, and multidisciplinary teams always bring so much benefit. One aspect where industrial design can be handy is in the way it helps us look at old problems from new perspectives so we can explore fresh ideas that could diminish or eliminate them.

What do you most love about industrial design?

I love that it gives me a chance to think about a problem from different angles and then gives me the tools to help solve it.

As an industrial designer, what is your biggest dream?

I really enjoy designing for children in general, particularly toys. One of my biggest dreams, ever since I was ten, has been to work at Lego. Another area I’m interested in is sports design.

How do you see yourself working with Icsid to design for a better world?

I greatly admire Icsid for spreading awareness of our profession on a global scale. It would be an honour to work with this organization and help share how industrial design is practiced in my region and how it impacts my community. Design is emerging in Mexico more and more each day: I’m personally willing to promote it, and having Icsid’s support would really help.

Icsid has announced Mexico City as World Design Capital 2018 and this is something that will push design forward in Mexico. This way, people will be able to recognize the positive influence that industrial design is having in our community and country, and how this affects our daily lives.