Roberto Stein was born in Mexico-City and was early fascinated with topics like photography, design and architecture. He was a student from legendary Braun chief designer Dieter Rams. His goal while designing is to create an added value to make each product special and better than the existing ones. This reflects on the work of his company INVENTO DESIGN founded in 2001 in Hamburg, Germany. His designed products were awarded by iF, Audi and WDIF. Thus his specialization in electronic products, he likes to experiment and take on interesting challenges in all kind of different fields.
Roberto Stein ("RS") interviewed on Wednesday, 12 December.
RS : 1996 I graduated in Hamburg as a student from Dieter Rams and obtained the german "Diplom" as product designer.After working for 4 years in a great design agency (working for clients like Deutsche Telekom, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, DeTeWe) I decided to follow my independent soul and founded INVENTO DESIGN in 2001. My clients include Remington, Tchibo, Funktel (Funkwerk), vtech, getemed and many others.Still working today as an independet product designer, my focus is shifting towards developing own products and bringing them to market.
RS : As I was a kid I loved photography. I remember I had one of those cameras with a cube flash that you can rotate 4 times. It was state of the art back then ;-) Later on I started to make paintings either b/w with charcoal crayon or really colorful ones. Before ending college I moved more into 3D sculpting with different materials but in a more technical fashion, so it was an obvious choice to study industrial design. Having German roots I moved with 19 years from Mexico-City to Hamburg to study industrial design with Braun legend Dieter Rams.
RS : On the first step I begin very open minded, making small thumbnail designs, which can be interpreted in different ways, firing the creativity, no questions asked. Then a "distilling phase" follows, choosing the most promising ideas. Quite soon, the choosed ideas are built in 3D-CAD, allowing for a very realistic sorting process based on real dimensions.Mockups are the really important to verify the ergonomics and function. All the results are implemented into the 3D-CAD Data.Really nice renderings help along all the design process to double-check the designs.
RS : I am very focused and every time I find the right shape or a special solution it is very pleasing. When the product is finally complete it is very rewarding taking it on your hands and know it is your creation.
RS : As I was a kid I loved photography. I remember I had one of those cameras with a cube flash that you can rotate 4 times. It was state of the art back then ;-) Later on I started to make paintings either b/w with charcoal crayon or really colorful ones. Before ending college I moved more into 3D sculpting with different materials but in a more technical fashion, so it was an obvious choice to study industrial design. I love to travel and being open minded is a must have as a designer.
RS : I love to design for other companies exploring different fields. But now my interest is shifting more into developing own products and bringing them successfully to the market.
RS : Apart of a good design education try to make a lot of internships to have insights in different fields. Try all kind of things while being young, maybe making your own products and giving it a try at e.g. Kickstarter. Don’t think you are too special, but be humble and open minded and talk about your ideas with several people, having fun and not taking it too seriously ;-)
RS : Be professional, so if your customer does not like your design, don't take it personally, but make smart questions to find out the reason. Did you worked accordingly the design briefing? Are the objections of your customer reasonable or was the design briefing faulty on the first place? Work hard then to make the best fit and impress your customer on a higher level rewarding yourself.
RS : When I have an interesting project, I like to make brainstorming first thing on the morning and then forget about it for a while. The minds keeps working on the background even if I am then dealing with more boring tasks like checking e-mails.I like to go out and make presentations of the designs at the customer and discussing the ups and downs.
RS : In the internet you find all the design trends you need. Depending on the kind of product trends can or cannot matter at all.As I design in a more technical field, I first have to focus on the function, ergonomics, usability, visual appeal and so on. If you design clothes, well trends can be everything ;-)
RS : First the product has to be used without any operating manual, be self-explanatory and ergonomic. The shape concept must be understood immediately and the proportions must be pleasant. Don't overload the product with ornaments, it has to be simple and appealing without rings and bells. "Less but better" as Dieter Rams said.It must create "want have" emotions and remain useful and appealing on the long run.The product has to differentiate from the competition and fit the company. It is easy to make a nice product if the selling price doesn't matter, but normally you have to work hard fitting the production costs requirements.
RS : When all the requirements in the design briefing are fulfilled AND the upper definition of a good design is met.
RS : I really have designed a lot of products for different companies, but my own project "the Whale-Spoon" is special. I had the idea when my first daughter was about 1,5 years, but because of the lack of time it was 10 years later when it became a reality. Taking care of all the aspects for a product, from product development to manufacturing, marketing and selling makes it the biggest adventure for the smallest product :-)
RS : Is hard to say. I do admire known designers like Dieter Rams, Richard Sapper and Hartmut Esslinger. But there are a lot of designers out there, young and not-so-young which create great and refreshing designs all the time. The hardest part is to find a company or have a customer which is brave enough to implement your design without compromises.Roberto Stein Profile
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