Vitra caleidoscope

Vitra caleidoscope

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

CEO at UX designer, Director & Creative Consultant at Tape Interactive - the norwegian “enfant terrible”*, on-line media designer and entrepreneur Ronny Ellefsen, reveals some key aspects from the real design-battleground.

 *(:a usually young and successful person who is strikingly unorthodox, innovative, or avant-garde,

Αll4design-design4All: Socio-economical turbulence in Europe and USA, applied major changes in country economies and local businesses. From your experience all these years of work in communication/new media design, which are the most vertical changes in your practice, due to the crisis?

Ronny Ellefsen: I’m an independent-user-experience designer and when the crisis started, I was living in London where the market was hit pretty hard. At the time I was working a lot on Government funded projects, which did continue after being halted for several months until a better grasp of the situation was reached. In 2011, I moved to Switzerland which saw a very different scene. However, as an expatriate, it did take some time to work my way into getting the contracts. Switzerland has managed to stay afloat, as most of Europe struggled through difficult times.

 A4D-D4A: Scandinavian design tradition continues to be something like, “beans on toast” of the design world- a comforting , familiar and secure choice we all tend to go back to. Problems do occur though, with other, more recent markets, coming up and declare a new supremacy in ideas, materials, execution,  prices. How big it's the challenge for north and central Europe's design legacy, to compete Brazil, China, South Africa etc?

R.E: First of all, having lived abroad for many years, I’m also at times shocked at the prices charged in Scandinavia. However, I think in many ways the advantage you have in Scandinavian design is the quality and the focus on developing something that will last for a long time. Growing up in harsh weather conditions, you don’t want to have to make something more than once, if you can avoid it. But, Scandinavians don’t have the patent on quality and endurance, and I for one, welcome the challenge from the rest of the world. I just hope that it will keep Scandinavian design on it’s toes to carry on the quality, but to find better, more cost-effective ways of production.

A4D-D4A:. Do you find that academic education remains important for a designer or he/she is better without it?

R.E: In my view, education is gold, but experience is almost as important. However, one without the other, will create an imbalance. Some designers though, are “naturals” and just have an eye for composition without quite knowing why something works. However, these are far and few between. Knowing your craft, I think, is very much down to your academic education paired with field experience.

A4D-D4A: What is the most important lesson you've learned as a professional designer and entrepreneur-the absolute cliché, proved to be the absolute truth or rule?

R.E: Well, as an entrepreneur I’ve learned never to give up. As a designer, I’ve learned that a big part of my job is to listen to what the client say they want, and then try to utilise that knowledge, not just to give them what they want, but to steer them in the direction that I want.

A4D-D4A: Can you give us your favourite design projects or designers, productions, applications, that you discovered recently? Anything you would advise a young designer or student to check it out?

R.E: Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by energy; particularly the way it transfers, but never disappears. These days I keep a close eye on Elon Musk’s projects utilising the potential of energy.
(note: Elon Reeve Musk is a South Africa-born, Canadian- American business magnate, inventor and investor. He is the CEO/ chief product architect of Tesla Motors and  the designer of a conceptual high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop). As an entrepreneur, rather than excepting that an electric car couldn’t be made cost effectively, he questioned the origins of each component, and found an over all better way to put together an electric car. (On a side note, in Norway Tesla is actually  much cheaper than most petrol cars due to the low taxes on electric cars).

(A4D-D4A: On that Ronny’s  last remark  , the government  policies in certain countries like Norway, motivate financially civilians so they  purchase eco-friendly design, among other possible choices.)

Ronny , we warmly thank you !
Check  more of Ronny’s ventures and portfolio on the following sites:

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