Check out some great work from Gadi Amit.
AH: What kinds of portfolios get your attention these days? What brings in an industrial designer for an interview?
GA: This is a very interesting topic because I pay more attention to the character of the person rather than the portfolio. However, the portfolio should show the creative abilities as well as the character of the person. I look for a certain type of visual intelligence that comes through either sketching or through the type of objects that the student or the young designer often deals with: the model, the process, and obviously the end result.
The interesting thing is that I do have some big turnoffs. Super slick renderings—they are not a turnoff by themselves—but actually I’m trying to figure out if this person is a CAD jockey who has the phenomenal abilities with rendering but is possibly short on the other sides, or is the slick rendering hiding a weak object? That’s one big turnoff. The other big turnoff is the hyper-realistic end sketches. I think there must be some looseness in the thinking and that must be there for great designers to grow.
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AH: It sounds like, to you, the sketchbooks may be more important than the portfolio.
GA: To some degree you are right. I’m not looking for a sketchbook per se, I’m looking for pages of form development and the thought development behind an object or an idea. It is very telling about the visual intelligence of the person, their ability to analyze contradicting factors of objects, and so on. To me it’s the most telling of all, of what kind of a designer this person would be.
There are a lot of people who want to present their cerebral process, the research, that’s something that I look at very briefly just to frame the problem and the possible solution. The real design work is when the thoughts resonate with the form or the visual on the paper, where you see how their hand reacts to these conflicts, and how the mind is reacting to the hand, misinterpreting issues—it’s a very interesting dialogue that happens with these doodles on a piece of paper. I mean, I think doodles are more the right word than sketches.
AH: If an industrial design student came up to you and asked, “What should my portfolio be like? What do I need to show you in order to work with you?”, what would you tell them?
GA: I’d like to see thought process about cultural and aesthetic topics, so it’s more about the development of ideas—design ideas—than the analysis of the problem. I also would like to see the end results: models, mock-ups, renderings. Lastly, if possible or relevant, any insights into the process of maturing the object into production, any negotiations or modifications made through that process.
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