Designer Stories
Joey Zeledón - USA
Design sketching is a vehicle for thought. What matters most is the idea.

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

I was first inspired by shoes. I set out to be a shoe designer early on because I was obsessed with shoes as a kid. But, during design school, I realized it was less about the object and more about the story, telling compelling stories. The storytelling sealed the deal and inspired my path as a designer moving forward.

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

I am currently a Principal Designer at Steelcase, Michigan where I design furniture and spaces that promote health and well-being.

What’s your greatest accomplishment?

Getting my Touchy/Feely concept out into the world as a design book. You can check out the book here.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I look for inspiration in the everyday, sometimes even the mundane parts of life. You’d be surprised how much inspiration you can cultivate in your everyday imperfect human experiences by just taking the time to look at them in a new way.

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

Human desirability, technical feasibility, and business viability. Does it delight? Can you make it? Will it make money? Although, it can be really great when there is the time to make things, just to make them without the pressure to make money.

Tell me about the best design piece from your portfolio.

I think my best design piece is my Coat Check Chair. You can check it out for yourself here.

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

Creating experiences that actually make peoples’ lives better in small ways and large.

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

Having designed more diverse products that make peoples’ lives better in small ways and large.

What would you do differently if you had more time?

I would write more books.

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

Just remember that design sketching is a vehicle for thought. What matters most is the idea. Sketching is a way to communicate your ideas.

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