We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Karolina Petraityte ("KP").
Karolina is a product and service designer, focusing on educational tools combined with technological innovations. She practices as an Art and Craft teacher at an unconventional primary school to gather hands-on insights, while working on designs to enhance positive student-and-teacher experiences.
Karolina Petraityte Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Karolina Petraityte.
Designer Interview of Karolina Petraityte:
DI: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
KP : When I was at 4th grade I told all my friends that I will be a designer and that stuck. After that I did not change my mind at all. I went to different art lessons, sewing classes until I found a teacher who tough me what is design and how it is not only fashion and graphics. From then I only focused on product design and went to Vilnius Academy of Art to get a professional degree in what I liked since primary school. So now I am a new baked designer.
DI: What is "design" for you?
KP : Design for my is less about the beauty, it is more about a way you think. Design is a process of toughs, way of trying your best to image all possible scenarios and feel as a user would feel. Also it is all about the empathy. None of the greatest products were created only thinking about yourself. We are living in one world, and we need to design for all.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
KP : For now I am all about educational tools design. All lot of knowledge we get are from school and for some time in our life the only thing we know is school life. This is a good think because we are able to focused on learning on skill we will use all our life, but if the system of teaching is not evolving with in the same speed as our society- school is a punishment. And here I feel the need to shout about lack of updates in our school system. But it is not enough only to talk about it. We need to take proactive steps to ma a positive impact too. So for me it starts at my desk and first design sketches.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
KP : I often feel very inspired after a great lecture or a heated discussion. Nothing drives me better than a good open talk with people that dear to criticize my work and give me advice. As a designer you always have to be open and read between the lines, so if someone is expressing disbelieve- you did not present your idea in a best way. If you understand more than you hear- you can be inspired to create even better works.
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
KP : Systems. Every thing needs to be in place and get in order with its surroundings. I try to always see the bigger picture. If your project is good for a particular use, can you make it more open? I love design because it follows deep hidden systemic structures that makes it almost perfect. If your creating something new you need to think about the past, about the present and why it is not already done and about the future impact. So in every little detail you need a strong argument for question- why?
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
KP : All you can imagine. Each step of designing is different. So for me it is normal to feel all the negative emotions like disappointment, sadness, confusion and others during the designing process. It became a part of my job. But I feel happy and proud when the finale result makes happy my clients.
DI: What makes a design successful?
KP : I have no clue. It is an never ending mystery for me because each time it is something different. It is almost 90% work and 10% luck for me but hen again it is completely opposite.
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
KP : First of all, it should visually struck me in a positive way. I it a feeling it creates. Then it is all about the arguments: is everything thought about, does it work right, is it easy to use, is it needed and why, is it simple and clear and etc.
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
KP : In the world were everything is almost already made designer needs to be always alert about the impact of his work. By creating something new, that is just something a little different, we need to take responsibility on our environment damage and what trends we push to society. By working on our projects we need to show an example of a more positive impact of design.
DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
KP : The future of design for me are two things: environment-ecology and education. By promoting good and ethical consumption we also need to teach the values and argument, why it is so impotent. I think the a big positive change in environmental issues need to come from the intelligence and ethic tough globally everywhere.
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
KP : Almost all of my ideas come from personal experience. Bets ideas come from negative experiences that I can rethink and redesign. However, to work on those design and to complete them I almost every time get creative energy from just being happy and rested. Brains works better when they are healthy and not stressed.
DI: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
KP : In Lithuania it is always a struggle to explain what I work. I feels like no one knows that every single object surrounding them was designed by someone. Also many think that I am a designer so I do fashion design. That sometimes gets in my head, but in some cases it is an educational way to make product designers better known. I in a way hate that, but it is how it is for now.
DI: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
KP : Apple laptop, Moleskine notebook, table lamp which designer name I always forget, KitchenAid blender and my shoes (can't separate the best ones).
DI: What skills are most important for a designer?
KP : Empathy. All designers need it because if you are designing you need to understand, that you are not doing only for yourself, it is always for someone.
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
KP : I don't. It it an ongoing problem. But when the time pushes you, it gets easier to decide what really is important.
DI: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
KP : Product designer? What is it?
DI: How can people contact you?
KP : I am always waiting for a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org