We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Oz Shenhar ("OS").
Oz is working as a product designer since 2006, while he worked as a product manager for the R&D team of Aqua Creations (by the designer Ayala Zarfati) and designed the Mobile collection: "Grace 7 Mobile Light" & "Nana 200 Mobile Light". After he became a freelancer, he started specializes in patent development for conceptual consumer product design. He founded New-Create that designed a revolutionary technology for floating products and has 2 international patents on the technology concept. Since Oct-2018, he is the CEO of Zikit Drums, which also has a patent.
Oz Shenhar Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Oz Shenhar.
Designer Interview of Oz Shenhar:
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?
OS : Being a Designer is not so easy. I graduated in 2000, and it took me 10-15 years to reach a point that I know how to transfer my thoughts to a product that can give a significant added value to the user.
DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
OS : Right now Zikit is a one-man game, only that I have the luck working with talented partners and subcontractors.
DI: What is "design" for you?
OS : Transforming the gifts you got to fiscal products that communicate positively with reality.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
OS : I like working on a new concept from scratch.
DI: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
OS : I worked for Aqua-Creations LTD for 5 years, and I think that they are great and innovative in the field of lighting fixtures.
DI: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
OS : Nana 200 for Aqua-Creations
DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
OS : Though I was a founder of a technological start-up in the field of robotics, I am a low-tech guy. I am trying to use material and technology as a creative tool for the major concept.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
OS : I start working when everyone is eating dinner. For me, 6 hours of night work are compared to 10 hours during the day.
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
OS : The end-user should be always in the focus.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
OS : My emotions come up only when I think of the added value for the end-user.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
OS : I am happy to fulfill this part of my mission.
DI: What makes a design successful?
OS : My design field starts with solving problems. If we are doing that, this can lead to a successful design.
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
OS : If we are talking about designing a new concept for consumer products, which is my field, solving problems always should come first, but there are many routes to get to the target. For me, the best way to get to the target is always doing a good "market fit" dynamic plan. A new concept that reaches this big plan will also have naturally a great design.
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
OS : We got our gifts and we need to spread it out positively, as simple as this. We are defiantly not the issue.
DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
OS : Technology brought some good things and some bad things. One of the bad things is physical interactions that do not include screens. We can see that ADHD is in growth, and also depression, and we should definitely think about that.
DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
OS : NAMM show 2020. Zikit is part of the music industry, and this is where we put our efforts.
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
OS : I was a founder of 2 start-ups in the last 7 years. The best way to feed creativity was always by brainstorming with my colleagues.
DI: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
OS : I never start thinking about design with anyone's style. The design should come from a pure will to solve a problem.
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?
OS : Where I live has a lot of influence on the way I think and work. Even more than I can understand. Israel is a very powerful place. Israel is the second most innovative country in the world. Tel Aviv is the second to Silicon Valley as the most important technology center in the world. This is a very inspiring place to live, and Zikit is a by-product of my incredible partners and subcontrocutes.
DI: How do you work with companies?
OS : It is not obvious to understand the "other side" needs. As much as the "other side" is involved with building the product-market fit plan, the result will be better.
DI: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
OS : I like designers that know their limitations, as much they know their skills.
DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?
OS : I am trying to test my design and engineering concepts with a few of my colleagues. Then build a product-market fit map, and a temporary team in target to test first prototype with a potential end-user.
DI: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
OS : Most of my design items are self-made.
DI: Can you describe a day in your life?
OS : Zikit is now in a manufacturing phase. I am working with my engineers to optimize our design for mass production, and in between working on logistics, marketing materials, package design.
DI: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
OS : We are growing moving from one institution to another. Stop. Think of who you are. You are defiantly not a by-product of the institution you learned in or of the company you work for.
DI: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
OS : Looking to get respect is negative, all other is positive.
DI: What is your "golden rule" in design?
OS : See that you are happy in your personal life. It will make you a better designer.
DI: What skills are most important for a designer?
OS : A designer should be always a fast learner.
DI: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
OS : I think for the best tools to communicate with the end-user, and I build my toolbox according to that.
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
OS : We must concentrate on our goals without giving self distractions to run our lives.
DI: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
OS : It depends on what this object is.
DI: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
OS : How did you think about that? Is there something similar already?
DI: What was your most important job experience?
OS : Were I "failed" the most, I learned the most.
DI: Who are some of your clients?
OS : I am developing products for end-users.
DI: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
OS : Building the prototypes. Seeing plans transferring to physical parts is great.
DI: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
OS : Zikit will launch soon. Our design plans are full until 2022.
DI: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
OS : I see teamwork essential for successful design. Sometimes your team can be temporary subcontractors. You don't have to use the same team for each job.
DI: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
OS : Zikit is launching 2 products. The self-installed diameter change pro-kit, that can fit any 14" snare drum, and a dedicated Zikit snare drum. We are 100% working to give drummers for the first time this versatility option, to change the snare drum pitch in real-time
DI: How can people contact you?
OS : LinkedIn
DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
OS : Don't forget to be happy.