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Interview with Stiven Kerestegian

Home > Designer Interviews > Stiven Kerestegian

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Stiven Kerestegian (SK) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Stiven Kerestegian by clicking here.

Interview with Stiven Kerestegian at Wednesday 2nd of May 2012
Stiven Kerestegian
FS: 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?
SK: I am an industrial designer who's main areas of focus and inspiration are sustainability and biomimicry.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SK: I have worked independently on several unrelated projects that share the same goal of sustainable and social innovation.

FS: What is "design" for you?
SK: Design to me is the physical and experiential manifestation of the sustainable advancement of our human experience.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SK: Products and services that are responsible socially, environmentally and economically.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
SK: The best designs always come from nature and therefore I would have to say that my most favorite design is the banana: A delicious and healthy food product snack that comes in it's perfect ergonomic and biodegradable packaging that is easy to carry and fun to eat.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SK: The first commercially available product I designed was Microsoft Gamevoice: One of the first voice over IP communication devices for PC's.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SK: when interacting with other creative individuals

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SK: User centered Usability and experience.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SK: Love

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SK: Happiness

FS: What makes a design successful?
SK: All design must me appropriate, functional and sustainable. Really great design usually tells a great story or provides a meaningful experience.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SK: Sustainability, user friendliness, affordability, inclusiveness, experience.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SK: All designers should consider themselves interpreters of the best solutions to the sustainable advancement of our collective human experience.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
SK: The future of design will be increasingly more social and OPEN.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SK: My work is currently being exhibited in several dozen on-line and real life locations. I would love to exhibit in Northern Europe as I feel Nordic design is currently the most interesting.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SK: Nature, people, experiences... Most design inspiration comes from trying to solve a real life problem.

FS: 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?
SK: My approach to design is hands-on. I have been very focused recently in open design where the collective intelligence of the masses proves to be the determining factor.

FS: 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?
SK: I am currently living in the south of Chile in a small town of Puerto Varas, gateway to the Patagonia. I will be moving to Denmark in June 2012 as I have accepted a position leading open innovation at LEGO.

FS: How do you work with companies?
SK: As both a consultant and employee.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
SK: For companies to have a good working relationship with designers they need to get them involved early on and let them be a part of the business and decision making process. Have long term relationships with few designers instead of small projects with many designers. Companies should ask to solve a broad problem and NOT to execute a versions of a possible pre-determined solution. Give enough time and space for design innovation to flourish as many times designers need to fail before they can success. Companies should select designers not only for their past work but for their thinking and design process as the best design solutions have often come from designers with no previous experience in that specific industry. The best designers are experts in the process of creation and not a specific product or service. At the end it's all about asking the right questions and having enough resources, time and liberty for the natural design process to present the best and most appropriate solution to any given problem.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SK: It's basically what has been described as "Design Thinking". The steps can vary a bit depending on the problem but it usually incorporated the following iterative steps: listen, observe, learn, propose, interact, learn, improve, propose, interact, learn... Any given project or design can always be improved with more time and resources but a great design solution will always be both appropriate and innovative relative to it's context and reference if one exists.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SK: Stay humble, stay young, stay foolish and never never stop learning.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SK: The best thing about being a designer is that we can use our brains to change the world for the better. The hardest thing about being a designer is being aware and responsible with our influence in the world, especially in the social and environmental perspective.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SK: Design is about breaking golden rules.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SK: Observation, organizational discipline, drawing/model making, communication and story telling.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SK: Sleep very little and continuously organize my time dedication relative to a hierarchy of most important to less important.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SK: Always two to three times longer than you think.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
SK: What do you think of this...?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
SK: Being thrown into the lions as a young designer at Microsoft Hardware and having Mr. Gates tell me that I was the best they could find so go do my job. A few weeks out of design school I was making multi-million dollar decisions on product design. This experience was both humbling and empowering, as I was able to accomplish right away many of the things young designers only dream about. Having this experience early on allowed me to evolve faster as a professional. It was definitely a big challenge at the time that has marked a rhythm in my career.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SK: Open and Social Innovation = Sustainable Design

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
SK: Both, depends on the problem. Always better to work as a team.

FS: How can people contact you?
SK: design@stiven.com


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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