Educational institution: University of New South Wales (Australia)
Programme: Bachelor of Industrial Design (First Class Honours and the University Medal)
Year of graduation: 2015
What made you decide to become an industrial designer?
Looking back, my destiny to become an industrial designer stems from when I was a small child, obsessed with drawing and creating 3D models that people could interact with. I loved the creation process as well as the reaction from people. As I grew older, my analytical side grew stronger and industrial design became the haven where I could merge my creative and analytical sides to produce meaningful ideas that could impact the world.
In your opinion, what types of people are best suited for the profession of industrial design? What is a typical industrial designer like?
I believe the best designers are people who have a very open mind; people who have a keen interest in many different areas and can meaningfully connect them to create ideas and designs that would never have been realized by looking from one perspective alone. Empathy and the ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes are also essential qualities of an industrial designer. When we design products that people live with or rely on, we must have an ability to intimately understand our user.
Where did you study industrial design and what was the most important thing you learned?
I studied industrial design at the University of New South Wales in Australia, an education I cherish dearly. One of the most important things I learned was the design way of thinking; the ability to approach problems in a non-linear, creative, and critical perspective. It is something that one never stops learning about but the introduction to design thinking changed my life. It is as if I had a new lens through which to view the world, and the ability to stop blindly accepting things as they are but instead challenge them and critically ask why. I believe this ability is the key to arriving at the best solutions.
What do you believe are the major obstacles or challenges for young industrial designers today from a professional standpoint?
One of the biggest challenges for young designers, in Australia at least, is the lack of understanding and recognition of the industrial design field from the general public. I guess that is in part because industrial design represents an intersection between other major fields, which often leads people to ask what it is that we do. However, I see the positive in this as it only helps redefine and revaluate our purpose and role in this world.
Tell us about the projects you are working on now.
At the moment I am working full-time for Watermark Products, a company which designs and supplies product to the airline industry so there are a number of projects I am working on there. I am very proud to be working for an international company which has worked with almost every major airline around the globe and has a strong focus on creating the future of airline and passenger experience.
I am also working with CtechBA and Tiller Design on a commercialization plan for my award winning hemodialysis machine, a device that keeps kidney failure patients alive by externally cleaning their blood.
Of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals listed by the United Nations, which do you believe represent the most important challenges facing your generation today?
Without a doubt number 7 – affordable and clean energy. As a global society, we have become accustomed to a life powered from dirty and inefficient energy sources and we are definitely feeling the repercussions today. I will never forget learning that the journey of energy conversion from a typical coal source to light bulb results in only 2% of the original energy being used. Energy is such a fundamental aspect of our advancement and functioning as a species that we must focus on practical, affordable, and clean energy sources. I admire companies such as Tesla who are challenging and disrupting this field in positive ways.
Thinking of those most important challenges facing your generation, do you believe that industrial design is part of the solution?
Absolutely. Industrial design plays a fundamental role in creating solutions which have a holistic understanding and combine science, technology, and engineering with a distinct and deep understanding of human behaviour. For example, how effective is a new waste reducing technology if we do not present it in a way that truly understands human behaviour and ultimately how it is used? Industrial design and design thinking will always be at the heart of solving this generation’s most important challenges.
What do you most love about industrial design?
What I love most about industrial design is the sheer impact that it has on the world. Industrial design deals with mass-produced objects. Combine this with the fact that our modern world is increasingly struggling with finite resources, and you see that the decisions we make can be world defining. Industrial designers have the power and responsibility to impact the world for the better. This is why I love it.
As an industrial designer, what is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to see my products in the hands of people, making them smile and genuinely improving their lives. I wish to one day have a large portfolio of work that I can look back on and see that it has made life better for millions of people and disrupted the status quo for the better. Being able to play a role in solving some of the world’s biggest wicked problems is also on my dream list.
How do you see yourself working with Icsid to design for a better world?
I admire Icsid for its objective to advance industrial design at an international level as well as redefining industrial design. In this era of rapid technological advancements bringing new opportunities to the industrial design field, I see myself working with Icsid to illustrate the power and diversity of industrial design. I hope to offer a unique perspective coming from Australia, a highly multicultural country with very different approaches to infrastructure, transport, and other areas compared to many other places because of its unique island nature as well as vast areas of unoccupied land between cities.