Designer Stories
Carl André Nørstebø - Norway
Always do user insight. Be curious. Have empathy.

Why did you become a designer?/ What inspired you to become a designer?

I was 19 and I saw in a Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) catalogue that you can do math stuff and draw stuff at the same time. I loved left-brain stuff like maths, physics, and computer science, but also right-brain stuff like woodwork, sewing and drawing. So here in Norway, I had the chance to combine both, to become the Master of Science in Industrial Design Engineering. I think during the 1st grade of Uni, I really understood what a designer can do, for people, businesses, etc.

What’s your current occupation/ What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on these two projects:

  • Protectors for oil-pipes, making them smarter, safer, more ergonomic, time-saving and part of a circular ecosystem (re-use and recycle) for Bewi Energy
  • New charging-stations for electric cars, making them iconic and efficient to produce/ transport at the same time for Grønn Kontakt .

What’s your greatest accomplishment?

Without a doubt, my greatest project ever, that I have created is our design consultancy @eggsdesign, together with great friends and colleagues. We started in 2004, two years without pay and so on 😊 … And now we are 120 people, 5 offices, 3 countries, countless awards. And most important - a family of extremely talented innovators.

Where do you go for inspiration?

For ideas on functionality I go to Users, Experts & Colleagues:

  • Users: Can be old, young, from different cultures, have different needs, be the buyer, installer, cleaner, repairer, etc.
  • Experts: Always involve experts from the beginning of a project. Designers know a lot but it's far from everything.
  • Colleagues: I'm lucky to be part of a big and diverse family of creative heads, so the inspiration from my colleagues is endless.

For aesthetic inspo / CMF I just go to Pinterest or the nearest shop.

What key metrics do you use to track your design’s success?

Good question.
First, Did we actually get to the launch? (Some projects just stop). And then, How many sold? Like @airthings is a clear success because they sold X amount of devices, have X amount of subscribers, great feedback from users and good and increasing revenue.
But then also, I feel proud when I hear that a brand like Airthings is attracting new innovative employees and investors. And I like to believe that it is partly because of our work with UX, hardware, brand and service design for them.

Tell me about the best design piece from your portfolio.

It has been years since I did the main chunk of a project. I have been the Creative Director for Industrial Design for 7 years now, leading a team of 15 awesome industrial designers and mechanical engineers. I now work a lot with leadership, sales and project management. I am pretty proud of @exero_technologies. It would never have happened without me, BUT for the amazing design, I can only brag of a maximum 20% of the job 😊 My man @lasserox.design is the main mastermind behind the rest.

As a designer, what do they think is the most important aspect of their job?

In the future, our most important job is to influence our clients to think in more circular ways. We have a big responsibility to create products that are good for people and the planet. The hardware of the future will always be connected, part of an ecosystem, and maybe a service or a sharing economy? Every designer in the world needs to dive into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. On Instagram, you can follow @ellenmacarthurfoundation.

Where do You See Yourself in five Years (1,820 days)?

I am still at Eggs Design. And 100% of our projects are sustainable. Meaning that we only work with clients that focus on SDG 1-17.

What would you do differently if you had more time?

Good question 😊
Travel more and hang with my amazing colleagues in the other offices. And I would try to influence more; meaning lectures, talks, YouTube, etc. about the future of industrial design. I would mingle more with potential new clients to create exciting new projects. In short, Travel, Meet and Talk More 😊

Any tips for the budding designers related to sketching or design process or product design.

Yea a lot! But how to compress. Let’s choose three:

8 Replies to “Carl André Nørstebø”

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