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Interview with Ridzert Ingenegeren

Home > Designer Interviews > Ridzert Ingenegeren

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Ridzert Ingenegeren (RI) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Ridzert Ingenegeren by clicking here.

Interview with Ridzert Ingenegeren at Monday 10th of May 2021
Ridzert Ingenegeren
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?
RI: Since I was a child, I liked to create objects. As a child, I made objects from wood and paper and drew geometric shapes and patterns for fun. I knew I had to do something creative. Product design turned out to be a logical outcome with my interests and skill set. So, I studied Industrial Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology and became an industrial designer.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
RI: In 2012, I started designing for clients as an independent contractor, and have been working with local and international organizations in Berlin since then. In 2019, I registered my company in Estonia. I help clients turning their ideas into a reality, usually in the form of physical products suitable for mass production.

FS: What is "design" for you?
RI: Design is combining multiple factors like function, esthetics, ergonomics, and manufacturing into a harmonious end product.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
RI: Sustainable products, everyday carry objects, and luxury items.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
RI: Since many of my designs are still confidential, I can only choose from a limited amount of designs to talk about. The FLTRgo is a favorite, since it combines two of my favorite types of design fields: sustainability and every day carry objects. Another one is the K29 folding knife, since designing a folding knife was one of my personal design goals.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
RI: A luggage rack for use in trains. It was a modular system that could be used in various train interiors. It had to be adjustable for lower and upper floor use, for which the requirements were very different.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
RI: It depends on the type of product, but in general I am fond of various types of wood and metals. If I had to choose just one favorite technology, I would go for electrical discharge machining, since it is fascinating.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
RI: When I'm traveling or on the go, because new impressions can spark new ideas.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
RI: When designing, I tend to focus on the bigger picture first, and then gradually move on to adding more detail.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
RI: All kinds of emotions, ranging from pure joy to utter frustration. In general, I feel very grateful that I work in the field of design.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
RI: When a design is realized, it is an amazing feeling, but what really touches me is when end users use the products that I designed in their daily live.

FS: What makes a design successful?
RI: The succes of a design can be defined in multiple ways. For me, it is important to create something that my client, the final users, and I are happy with. However, it doesn't stop there. A design is successful if it is produced in a fair way and with materials that are won while respecting resources.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
RI: First the esthetics and materials, since they are most apparent. If I have more time to judge the design, I would go on to functionality and test the product if possible.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
RI: To search for solutions that serve society and the environment as well as the end user. It is also a responsibility to educate the client and other parties involved if necessary. Another responsibility is to learn from every project in order to be able to make the most informed decisions during the next design project.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
RI: The design field seems to be evolving towards a more sustainable and balanced future, at least this is how I like to see it.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
RI: The FLTRgo was exhibited at Museo Del Design in 2020 as part of a good design exhibition associated with the A’ Design Award. The FLTRgo is planned to be exhibited on a permanent design exhibition in Xi’An, China, as well.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
RI: In order to find inspiration, I tend to look at totally different objects than what I am designing. These could be natural or man-made objects. Especially traveling and going for a walk help to spark new ideas.

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?
RI: In my design style, I strive to focus on the essence of a product. When I am developing a product, I tend to question if it is possible to reduce the design by getting rid of elements that are still in place at that time that may be excessive. I aspire to create a harmonious whole and to include coherent features in order to realize a clear and thoughtful character for the product.

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?
RI: At the moment I live in Tallinn, Estonia, for a few months. I'm originally from Holland and I have lived in Berlin, Germany, for eight years. I focused the first years of my career on work in a small German design team, which has contributed to my vision on design and the appreciation of functionalist industrial design. Germany has a rich design history with the Deutsche Werkbund and Bauhaus, with inspiring design values. My experience with Estonia is still fresh. Until now the country is inspiring to me because it is very advanced technologically, but at the same time, it seems that care is taken to preserve the history of the country well.

FS: How do you work with companies?
RI: In general, I work directly with founders and owners of companies that want to create a physical product. I help them by providing design direction and product designs.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
RI: Give the designer freedom, search for someone that you can easily communicate with, and look into what the designer has already created in order to get a feel for their capabilities.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
RI: In general, my design process consists of four steps: ideation, concept development, detail phase, and creating product renderings. It is important for me to fully understand the vision behind the product, so I will discuss that with my client to begin with. After it is totally clear how the product should help its users, I start sketching, letting my mind freely wander in directions in which I can find new ideas. Sometimes it helps to go somewhere outside of the office for inspiration. When I have a lot of sketches, I begin with a more rational process in which I weigh different options. Then I translate those into more elaborate drawings that I can discuss with my client. After the ideation phase, I proceed with creating a computer aided design model that presents the concept with clearly defined dimensions. In the detail phase, I create the final details, and discuss the product with one or more manufacturers and set the final details. After all is ready for production, I often create photorealistic product renderings that display the product and its materials in a clear way.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
RI: All five of my favorite industrial designs are relatively compact, easy to carry and some of them are collapsible. One of them is the Victorinox Cybertool 41 pocket knife in black. It has many great functions, like a wood saw, a bit set, and scissors. The stainless steel Parker jotter is one of my favorites too, which is an elegant classic ballpoint. The Microsoft Surface Go laptop tablet is another favorite. It provides a lot of freedom while working. It reminds me of the Olivetti Valentine typewriter that Ettore Sottsass and Perry A. King designed. At that time it was a lightweight solution that could easily be used in other places than offices. Another favorite design item is the Muji Fibre Tape Measure, that has two sides that allow you to measure and easily read in horizontal or vertical direction. The fifth item is the Sony SRS-XB20 Wireless Speaker, since I really like the form language and textures, and of course the sound it produces.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
RI: I like to start my day with physical exercise. After that I take time to read or learn, then I start working at my office and determine my own working hours. I create a schedule for the day and work a lot. Freedom is very important to me. Freedom of schedule helps me perform better than when I'm working at fixed times. Many times, I work until late. After dinner, I usually go back to work to finish some details, but I try to find the right balance in order to spend enough time with my wife, family and friends as well.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
RI: Focus on building a portfolio of real products that have been produced. Creating beautiful images and renderings is part of the design profession, but I think it is imperative to create tangible physical products that people love to use.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
RI: Positives are that it puts me in a position to collaborate with wonderful driven people that would like to make a change. It is the perfect outlet for my creativity and provides interesting challenges to overcome. Moreover, I feel that as a designer you can learn from everything around you. The world is full of man-made objects that were once designed. A negative is that it is hard not to think about the profession. While traveling or having a break, most likely you are still observing and interacting with all kinds of industrial designs. It is hard to take a break from design, since it is all around you.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
RI: Focus on the essence of the product.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
RI: Imagination, spatial awareness, and the willingness to learn.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
RI: Drawing and computer aided design software, as well as analog tools like a caliper, ruler, and measure tape that I use almost every day. For inspiration, I analyze products and shapes all around me. Taking a walk and traveling give new impressions that can be used as inspiration as well.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
RI: When I am totally focused on a design task, I work long hours with full concentration in order to get it done. When I have to focus, I don't use chat systems, my phone is on silent mode, and I don't open my email. It has become second nature to do so, and it helps me speeding up the process a lot. Apart from that, if there is no deadline from the client that I'm working with, I set one myself in order not to stay in the same design phase for too long.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
RI: It depends on multiple factors, like the type and complexity of the product that I'm developing, but often between three weeks and three months on average.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
RI: The most frequently asked questions is: what kind of products do you like to design? The answer is: sustainable products, everyday carry objects, and luxury items.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
RI: My most important job experience was to work in a local design team for multiple clients at the start of my career, since I learned about design in real life as opposed to a focus on theory at the university.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
RI: Some clients that I have collaborated with: Designhaus p+m, Panalpina, FireBoard Labs, AquaBliss, and Bergkvist.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
RI: The ideation phase, since at that phase there are many opportunities. Multiple exciting design ideas can be explored. During the ideation phase you can think most freely.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
RI: To keep working as an industrial designer, and build more meaningful relationships and products with clients.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
RI: Until now, I have worked both in a design team and by myself.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
RI: It would be interesting, but I work with clients and regard confidentiality as a top priority. I can only tell that I am working on a couple of interesting projects that focus on sustainability and on a durable luxury item.

FS: How can people contact you?
RI: People can contact me per email at info@ridzert.com. You can also visit the contact page at www.ridzert.com

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
RI: Thank you for the interview, it has been a pleasure. Have a great day!


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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