• Interview Excerpt: Adam Bazydlo, Manager Interior Design Strategy, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan

    Check out some great work from Adam Bazydlo.

    Interviewed while Mr. Bazydlo was the Senior Designer at Peugeot Design in Paris.

    What kinds of portfolios get your attention these days? What brings in an industrial designer for an interview?

    I would definitely say, and we definitely get thousands of them, that the portfolio that gets our attention is the one that corresponds to the job. If the candidate is applying for an interior job and he only has exteriors, or bicycles, or windmills, then obviously it won’t work. For people just starting out, they need to give their portfolios more thought for a job they’re applying to. The other thing that would really get them in for an interview is the character they have, and we can see this through the work that they do. Whether they’re very constructed and logical, or very expressive, or just crazy, it’s apparent through their work. We like to see something that tells us that this person is original and has something different to say in his work.

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    Have you seen a portfolio recently that had that level of originality?

    Yes, it’s actually one of our recent hires. We had a designer who decided to create a luxury car and usually the luxury interiors are made out of leather. So he studied the way the leather folds and the way leather can be cut and put together. He did it all with these little tiny pieces of leather, to show how it could fold and do this. Then he designed a car all around it that had these two states: one that was being passive, which was very slick, and another one where, in a few movements, it would transform itself into a sports car. It was fantastic. It was really impressive.

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    When you bring a designer in for an interview, what do you expect to learn from them at that meeting?

    We want to see their creative process. We definitely want to see what they think. Often at schools you’re taught to have good communication skills, whether they are drawing or rendering or talking. At the end of the day, it’s also what you can bring to the table in terms of your creativity. So we’re looking for the creative process and how they’ve managed to solve the problem originally and differently from anybody else.

    It all comes down to if this person can dream. If they can dream, and if they are dreaming about doing these products in new, interesting ways, then we can dream with them. It becomes much more exciting.

    What are the characteristics or qualities that are necessary for a designer to be successful?

    They need to have curiosity and problem-solving skills. They need to have expressive skills. Curiosity, for me, means that, no matter what problem comes along, they’re able to find an interesting way to look at it and solve it. Obviously, they should express or design the solution in such a way that makes it interesting. That’s what I mean by curiosity and emotional expression. Also, for a successful designer, they have to be able to work with a team and they have to have motivational skills for others.

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    If you were just starting out now, what advice would you give yourself?

    Well, I made it, but how could I have made it easier? That’s really the question, no? It took me a long time to understand that creativity and beauty come from yourself. When you’re designing something, it’s you yourself who needs to be happy with it. You shouldn’t try to do something to make somebody else happy. If you make a project and say, “Wow, this is really good,” 90% of the time other people will see it the same way. So don’t design for others, design for yourself.

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    Adam Bazydlo of Ford

    Adam Bazydlo of Ford

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