Design Engine
Training Classes/Tutorials for Designers, Engineers, & 3D Professionals


Industry News

December 13th, 2011

A Design Grad’s Perspective: The “Why” Manifesto

More articles by »
Written by: Design-Engine

Having decided that my first contribution to the design community would not be a sterile technical article but something that could reach beyond our all-knowing-decision-taking cortex all the way down to the limbic system, I decided to share what has been my first “industry experience” as a senior student within a product design company based in Milan. Make no mistake, all this is just short introspective journey, a objective overview of happenings which hopefully would produce bespoke results for each reader, or so I hope.

First and foremost, if asked about the process of getting into a company, I will be straight forward: there are thousands of students just like you or me or even better, who apply and do not get an answer. Why is that?

I can tell you from the “inside” the mass of applicants is overwhelming, and with time being a key factor in design, who would spare some for reviewing endless portfolios? Getting a placement or a job is more than sending an email, is more than making a phone call. I have heard some send cup-cakes by post along with a somewhat inventive portfolio, but reality has showed me they usually end up in the bin, except the cupcakes of course.

Then how do we attract attention towards ourselves? What makes you better than others? I believe we developed a handicap of communication, whereas designers should have their professional nucleus in communication.

The medium on which you do it bears only half of the story. People gather around other people when they believe what others believe. Our common target is not industrial design; the human being is built to group around common, fundamental beliefs, expressed through personal or professional actions. A solid studio has a team based on its beliefs, it is a dynamic organism that accepts other members based on more than just a skill-set. Always ask yourself what drives you, what’s the “why” that makes you do what you do, and the channels of communicating that to your future team will be clear and obvious.

I have spent 5 months amongst people with whom I had nothing in common, designing products that had no rationale behind them other than cost-effectiveness. Ask yourself what type of a designer you want to be. Are you sure you want to give 9 hours/day of your life to a chair with a computer screen in front of it? Is the outcome of your work even worth remembering after its finished? Why does the world need another kettle, or chair? Different studios have different design approaches, but there is a high chance that if not chosen wisely, you will be no more than a CAD robot designing for the injection molding machine. That being said, always visit your future team and environment before signing any contract, human interaction is vital to assess if you will be able to grow on all levels. Don’t rush it!

The last thing I want to talk about is reward. Passionate as you may be, Maslow’s pyramid of needs will always apply to you. Enthusiasm alone keeps you working until the inevitable downgrade on the scale of fulfillment happens. Platonic principles of working for the sake of the experience wear off quickly, and it is a fact you must face early on. Reward is not only about money, but it should include a tangible outcome. Always negotiate your way into a form of reward. I believe that a company leader without such principles is not even worth considering as a future boss. As strange at it may seem, demanding reward in the right circumstances can even decisively separate you from the servile student typology, and on the long term, may even give you a job. I close urging you to ask yourself over and over again, “Why?”, and eventually everything will fall into place.

Article Writte By: Julian C. Caraulani, a Romanian Product Design student from Coventry University, UK. His design approach relies on a interdisciplinarity that seeks gathering people with shared beliefs, passion and visions towards professional, meaningful projects. His website is and email

About the Author


Design Engine Industrial Design Training Pro Engineer


Proterra’s Electric Bus Breaks World Record, Traveling 1,102 Miles on A Single Charge

California-based company Proterra believes their electric buses could be another step towards removing our reliance on fossil fuels. Proterra’s Catalyst E2 Max Electric bus set a new world record for the longest distance trav...
by Mila Medonaite


Eviation Unveils All-Electric Private Jet

Eviation Aircraft released the first prototype of an all-electric airplane. Named the “Alice”, the zero-emission aircraft has the capacity to carry nine passengers and two crew members and has a range of roughly 600 miles. ...
by Mila Medonaite


The Proposed Improvements to Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive

A fresh set of renderings for the transformation of Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive have been revealed. The new plan calls for a 70-acre park extending out into Lake Michigan as well as upgrades to the beaches at Oak Street and Oh...
by Mila Medonaite



Elon Musk Believes Artificial Intelligence is The Biggest Threat We Face as a Civilization

Billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk sees artificial intelligence as the biggest threat to humanity. Musk, speaking at the National Governors Association on Saturday, explained, “There certainly will be job disruptio...
by Mila Medonaite


Gone are the Days of the Fingerprint Sensor, iPhone 8 Could be Unlocked Using 3D Face Scanning System

Apple is testing an improved security system for the iPhone 8, launching later this year, that would allow users to login, authenticate payments and launch secure apps by using a 3D scanner to recognize the user’s face. Bloom...
by Mila Medonaite



Be the first to comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.