Playful Designs: A Student Story Featuring Andrea Vinessa

Playful Designs: A Student Story Featuring Andrea Vinessa


[Andrea Vinessa]
My name is Andrea Vinessa, and I am an Industrial Design student
from the Academy of Art University. What I love about industrial design
is that industrial design is a selfless design. It does not take yourself into the design, but it takes someone else’s problem
and finds a solution for them. One of the classes I took
for the first few semesters was Product Design 2. It made me think about
what industrial design really is. What my instructor showed me
is that you have to have fun; otherwise, the toy doesn’t work. You have to start with the craziest idea,
and then simplify it. It’s better to have the craziest, wildest ideas, and have it reduced and centralized
rather than having less. For design,
I get inspired by my surroundings. I tend to observe people. I tend to daydream, sometimes. I like to walk outside
and see my surroundings. Maybe eavesdrop a little bit
of what people are talking, but I get inspiration for what problem to solve by being alert and aware
of what’s happening around me. With the Buddy project that I did — I wanted something that bridges
between those two extremes: something that is fun
and comforting for the children, but is a product for the adults. So it has two worlds in the one product. And so I started with Buddy,
which is a hospital companion for children who experience anxiety
and uncomfortable feelings when they have to
stay overnight in hospitals, and have to go through
this difficult process of healing. We usually start with sketching, and think of how it’s going to look,
how it’s going to work, and then we take different materials — springs, paper, cardboard,
small Hot Wheels cars, even pipe cleaners — and we use that to make a toy. It does not need to look exactly the same
because this is a working model. It’s for us to test. So we use this model to, essentially, fail,
but we learn from it. This may sound cheesy, but I would look into your heart
and find what you’re passionate about. I came to industrial design like an empty bowl. I really don’t know anything
about design in general, but I was lucky to be able to find
what I am passionate about, and I am really grateful about that.

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