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Interview with Urtė Šmitaitė

Home > Designer Interviews > Urtė Šmitaitė

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

Interview with Urtė Šmitaitė at Sunday 24th of April 2016

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
U: My projects are mostly connected with environmental and context issues. I am trying to design products that make a meaningful contribution to the society and personal experience of the customer. I like working with furniture and interior accessories, because these objects are such a common and important part of our everyday life. I also enjoy working with products for kids because the world is so fascinating from their perspective and sometimes it is crucial to remind myself to look at the design process in a playful way.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
U: Functionality is the first thing I focus on in the design process, because it is very important to know if this product I am creating will have actual value, people do not need any more useless items. Emotional experience and the aesthetics of the product comes second but it is just as important because a functional product without good customer experience will not become a great product. Although sometimes these aspects go against each other, I would say the most important and tricky part is to find the balance between them.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
U: During the process of design I go through the whole palette of emotions. Every moment of joy in solving a problem is followed by questioning the project, its value and purpose. And as a young designer, I often face dead ended situations, where I have to re-simplify and change the perspective.

FS: What makes a design successful?
U: In my opinion, the most successful design reflects the current situation of life, solves a certain issue or/ and is eye-catchy and smart. Also it might be very functional, comfortable, beautiful or fun but if it does not target a specific user group it may not become successful. Publicity is a very important tool. Every great project must be seen by a lot of people before it gets noticed or realized. I think it is a mistake of a lot of young creators to think that a good project will find success by itself. We need to use the opportunity of spreading new ideas in all the possible ways - using social media platforms, participating in local and international competitions, taking part in exhibitions and design festivals all over the world.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
U: For me, most of the inspiration comes from my environment, context and personal experience. All the problems and issues we meet every day feed into my creativity. In most of the cases there is no time to wait for inspiration to come out of the blue, therefore it all depends on critical thinking, ability to notice everyday life errors and the possibilities to improve. It is very important to work hard and put a lot of energy and time into research, process and analog analysis. The process of experimenting itself might become an inspiration. Then after long, sincere testing and prototyping we might expect to get an original, innovative kind of product or object.

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?
U: I am born and raised in Lithuania. I feel that my design is partially affected by the cultural heritage. I think in my country people are still connected with nature, therefore we are passionate about using natural materials while being environmentally conscious. Sustainability is one of the most important values for me in design. On the other hand I would say that maybe because of the local traditions I sometimes find myself too grounded in the beginning of the design process. As a post USSR country, Lithuania is still trying to catch up with the Western Europe countries on technological and other fields. Therefore I think we often have to push ourselves more to find more unusual approach to any project.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
U: Make a product as simple as possible, while not losing the actual purpose or the idea of it. Even though I try to keep that “rule” as a guideline in every design project, I still find it quite challenging. But I guess it wouldn’t be fun if it was always easy.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
U: Critical thinking, team work skills and ability to think “outside the box” are most important. Keeping yourself motivated and optimistic through the process is also very valuable for a designer.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
U: It used to be extremely hard for me to keep track of the time while working on design projects when I was studying. Through time I learned to plan and break the process into smaller assignments. Making lists are helpful - it is very satisfying to mark all list as “done” by the end of the day. Even though I could say I am much better with managing my time now, I have to admit that often the last minute before the deadline is still the most productive.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
U: First of all I plan to get more work experience. Later, in a couple of years, I would like to start studying abroad to get my Master’s degree in design field. I am still on the lookout for great universities and programs which best suits me.


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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