Jordan Diatlo，来自美国的设计师。早先作为鞋子设计师，他在Quirky 工作，因为常常能够与工程师和制造商们沟通，在保持设计本意基础上进行量产便有了丰富经验。现在Jordan经营着自己的工作室Leadoff Studio，服务大大小小的企业。而他告诉我，工作室的理念，就是要将用户体验放在第一位。
Your design covers varieties of products. Do you have a favorite area?
I prefer to design objects that are innovative or impactful and helpful to their end user. My favorite products to design are products that enhance people's lives, which I hope are all products I design.
I don't have a particular category the I like designing for, and I really enjoy working on a wide variety. I think designing for a wide variety of products helps me think differently about a category than someone who specializes in that category. Often times a solution for one type of product can inform a design in a different product type in a way that has never been done before.
You mention that you gained a lot of experience working with engineers and manufacturers to maintain the design integrity of a product while still making it manufacturable in Quirky. However, we know that the products can often be deviated from the designer’s original idea. How do you think about it?
Quirky was an incredible place to work as a designer early in my career. Quirky is a platform where people can submit their product ideas, and it was my job as an Industrial Designer to make sure those ideas were carried out as innovative designs. I started there when the company was very small so I was involved in every step of the process up until the product was shipping. This allowed me to learn from experience in seeing what parts of my designs factories would want to change, and then how to negotiate with them to maintain the important and innovative aspects of the designs.
As the company grew, the design and engineering team grew, and so every day I was sitting next to the engineers in a collaborative environment. It was easy to turn to them and discuss my ideas while they were still in sketch form and talk about the hypothetical ways to execute an innovative design. This open communication also got the engineers invested early on in the process, so when they helped refine a design for manufacturing they had already thought begun thinking about how to maintain design intent.
With Leadoff Studio I've built on that experience. Those conversations with engineers and with factories have taught me how to design for innovation that is manufacturable within a given timeline.
ADAPTIV - The Future of Footwear won the 2017 Red Dot Award for Concept Design. Can you introduce it to us?
ADAPTIV 是为SOLS做的一个概念项目，Carmelo Anthony在NBA全明星周所举办的时尚+技术展览中有进行展示。这个概念旨在利用SOLS现有的产品（3D打印医学矫正器），并且思考产品以及制造技术在未来10至15年会如何演进。我与SOLS团队一起展开头脑风暴，确认项目的方向以及其他可能与未来SOLS产品相互交织的关键领域。
ADAPTIV was a conceptual project I lead for SOLS that exhibited at a fashion+technology show hosted by Carmelo Anthony during NBA All-Star weekend. The idea was to take SOLS current product offering (3D printed medical orthotics) and think about how the product and manufacturing techniques could evolve over the next 10-15 years. I worked with the SOLS team to brainstorm directions for the project and to identify other key areas that may evolve to intertwine with a futuristic SOLS product.
What I created is a shoe that is completely 3D printed to fit perfectly to your foot. The exterior features a web of different patterns that locate themselves along your foot to either help movement (for example toe or ankle flex) or create stability (for example around your heel or arch). Each strand of the web is made of an elastomeric exterior and a conductive interior, essentially creating a wired net around your foot. The inside of the boot is lined with silicone pressurized air chambers. Along the top area of the foot is the "Central Nervous System" which is a leather section that houses movement sensors. As you move, the Central Nervous System reacts to you needs, and loosening and tightening the exterior to correspond. As the exterior flexes, it squeezes the air in the interior air-bag layer, moving it to give you a softer or tighter feel in different sections of your foot.
For an example of how ADAPTIV would work, think about if you are playing basketball and you jump up to grab a rebound. The movement sensors identify that you are going up and becuase of the constant of gravity, you'll soon be coming down. While you are in the air the exterior tightens around your ankles to provide stability for your landing. By tightening around your ankles, it pushes air in the interior air-bag layer downward, creating a softer pillow landing under your foot. The shoe is adapting to your movements in real time in a way that reduces chance for injury. In the rebounding example it will help prevent players from breaking an ankle, coming down hard on their heel, or landing awkwardly.
What’s the meaning of concept design in your opinion？How do you catch the trend?
The point of a concept design is to show what will be possible, and how something today can evolve into something even greater in the future. When I work on a conceptual project I try to think about the very cutting edge technologies happening now, and how they might evolve in the future by getting influence or applications from other industries. Its sort of connecting the dots to create a bigger picture, but sometimes also adding in a dot or 2 to make it work.
For example ADAPTIV is about 3D printing's evolution, but it looks at it in the context of how it could evolve to interact with emerging technologies like computer vision and soft robotics.
Now you run your own Industrial Design consultancy - Leadoff Studio, what is its positioning and philosophy?
Leadoff Studio 的理念就是将用户体验放在第一位。我们想要设计出可以持续的产品，也相信，只要一个产品为使用者带来方便并让他们感到愉快，那么它就可以持续地被使用下去。我们不想要设计出那种很快就过时最后只能被丢弃在垃圾桶的产品。
At Leadoff Studio our philosophy is to put the user experience first. We love designing products that are meant to last, and we believe that if a product is easy and enjoyable to use then it will have a continued life span. We don't like designing products that will quickly get outdated and end up in the trash.
We position ourselves as a design consultancy that can help take a client through the entire process or creating a product. For this reason, we work with a lot of start ups since they are often bringing a product to market for the first time. As I mentioned, we design for the end-user first, but we also are designing products that need to fit into a business. This can mean designing for usability, manufacturing, logistics, sales, branding, and so much more.
THIS Cutter Case
Leadoff Studio serves large clients as well as start ups. What is the difference between them when it comes to design?
Large clients often ask us to help out on 1 or a few parts of a larger project, as they have a lot of in-house capabilities they can leverage. They also ask us do conceptual projects more, for example we just partnered with the innovation lab at McCANN on a concept for USPS that won a Cannes Lion Innovation Silver Award. Whether these projects are big or small its enjoyable to see how a larger company operates and to figure out how Leadoff can complement different company cultures to create great products.
With start ups we often have a chance to work closely with the company from concept until when the product is shipping. I love this because it allows us to form more of a partnership, and to ensure that the end result is a great product. Its a long process but its fun because most entrepreneurs want to learn, and we try to help guide them on their journey of launching what is often their first product.
What is your hobby? Do you get inspiration from it?
I'm a huge basketball fan, and love following the NBA. Its a great place to pull inspiration from since NBA teams invest heavily in the latest technology and equipment to get an edge. Companies like Nike are always pushing innovation in the category further and further, and those advances carry over into other categories. I think basketball incorporates a stylistic freedom that pulls from fashion and music and then also inspires trends in fashion, music and beyond.
What kind of environment for designers does design industry provide in USA?
America has a culture of innovation and a spirit of invention makes the US a great place to be a designer. As new start-ups are constantly launching to push innovation further and capitalize, they are looking to the design field for help. I think that because of the success of Apple over the last 15+ years, companies now understand the importance of designing for user experience, and that they need design to compete. With the way start ups can raise Venture Capital funding, it creates an environment where both big and small companies are moving on innovative product ideas and are looking for help in bringing them to market. I love being based in New York City in particular because it has a tech scene (though it is much smaller than San Francisco's) but it also has fashion, media, and so many other industries that are all colliding and innovating together. Its a great place to be a designer.