Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Srinivasulu Reddy ("SR") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

SR : I am an electronics engineer by education and am passionate about developing electronic products. As I head a team of engineers and designers, I find my work as a design engineer most exiting.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

SR : There is a process, a way of creating a particular thing or a product, I find it fulfilling to discover this process. This discovery is motivating.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

SR : For me designing and engineering go hand in hand while developing products.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

SR : I design and engineer electronic products such as drones and robots using corrugated paper boards. I also have a liking to make modular systems that can be used to create complex systems using simpler building blocks.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

SR : Younger designers must broaden their understanding by systematically deconstructing masterpieces in their field of work. They must strive to understand the evolution of tools, techniques and trends in their design stream.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

SR : A good designer addresses all the objectives of the design, a great designer captures the essence of the design and rejects the rest.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

SR : A good design must serves all of its intended objectives and must reflect highly about the user of the product.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

SR : Choosing well designed products is a reflection of ones taste.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

SR : If I had the time I would design children's story books.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

SR : I think it is a movie.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

SR : To stay original is my secret recipe for success, to not get influenced by other's good designs is my secret ingredient.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

SR : I take inspiration from many sources, particularly the manner in which material has been used, this can be a masterfully done strokes in a piece of art or a craftily shaped wood in a furniture or a using material to shape the insides and outsides of building. I also take inspiration how concepts have been applied beyond their conventional use or how the purity of a purpose is preserved and how user's experience enriched particularly in products. There are many many masters who have achieved such feats.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

SR : Though I never owned a Polaroid Camera, I think it is a great product. The idea of noise cancellation headphones is brilliant as well, I am impressed by Bose’s QC35. I find Vespa as having a strong design integrity that permeates through several models and generations.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

SR : I am yet to make anything that I consider is great.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

SR : I keep doing stuff and also deconstruct great works of both art and design. I have cultivated a thought process, that involves observation, discrimination and evolution. To embrace valid criticism has been beneficial and also difficult.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

SR : I always wanted to make movies, I still believe that I have a movie or two inside of me that I need to get out.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

SR : Meaningful work that achieves a clear objective.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

SR : Parents, wife and kids are my biggest supporters. Friends and most importantly team members and their families have helped me reach to this point.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

SR : Teamwork and collaboration has been very helpful, sometimes discussing informally with end users and non-design people also helped.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

SR : If at all I find any obstacles, they are all within me. At times it is difficult to let go of ideas or even thought processes that have worked before.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

SR : In most cases the design presents itself.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

SR : Cardboard drone kits, cardboard gadgets and products made with specially engineered corrugated paper board.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

SR : To create a great user’s experience.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

SR : People expect a rewarding experience for their time and money spent on products I have designed.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

SR : Through design we can provide choices that are sustainable. We can bring about a trend of enduring design and counter the culture of built in obsolescence.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

SR : We are exited about ahaDRONE, a Cardboard Do-It-Yourself drone kit.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

SR : ahaDRONE did, it is the first of our cardboard projects, at a time when it was just an idea, it was too bizarre an idea to be taken seriously, we endured through a lot of self doubt.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

SR : A shift from designer led design to data driven design and finally a balance between the two.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

SR : Data driven design is already here, we will see more of it.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

SR : ahaDRONE took us well over a year to reach to this point, and we see another year’s worth of work.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

SR : We start from our present knowledge, skills and resources, understand what knowledge, skills and resources are required. By the time the gaps are closed the project acquires sufficient gravity.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

SR : Achieve more by doing less.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

SR : Great designs set the trend, trendy designs are just that.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

SR : Technology is at the heart of our designs, everything we do at Skykrafts Aerospace is driven by electronics, controlled by a software program or is a connected thing.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

SR : We use CAD/CAM/CAE tools. We use Fusion 360, Tinkercad, EagleCAD, Paper and Pen to design our products.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

SR : In my area of work as a design engineer, color can bring a sense of identity to the product and influence the mood to some extant, an application decides the choice of materiel we use.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

SR : Ideally, I do not wish them to ask me anything, if they enjoyed my work, it is a great validation for me.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

SR : Just a “wow”, else it is not a great design.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

SR : One with abundance of energy and less egotistical is an ideal design partner. I have enjoyed collaborating and co-designing with others on several occasions.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

SR : The potential end user of my designs have the most influence on my work.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

SR : Science fiction and mythology has always kindled my imagination, probably had the most influence on my work.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

SR : Foremost is by critiquing my own work. By surrounding myself with energetic people. Rejecting hastily made designs, irrespective of who made them.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

SR : Having a recognition as a designer is not as hard as being a famous movie start or a politician. It raises the bar of what others expect from me in my work.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

SR : Color: Gold, Place: Mountains, Food: pizza, Season: Summer, Thing: Paper, Brand: ITC (Indian), Mercedes (International).

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

SR : After founding Skykrafts Aerospace, I was in a hurry to send an important letter and designed the first version of our company’s logo in about ten minutes using a word processor. Several months passed by and we all decided that it is now time to have a proper logo, we poured several weeks, designed countless variations, iterated over 250 times and finally arrived at a design that is nearly identical to the one that was designed in ten minutes. After many more months, that same feeling of unfinished logo crept back, and we recreated the logo into its present form, I think the matter is closed for now.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

SR : The calm first couple of hours of the day.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

SR : I was intense about whatever I was into, those who were close to me at the time, must have felt that I would become something.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

SR : If in a thousand years from now, the civilisation still exists as we know today, I wish the people of that future time look back on us and laugh at how silly we were.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

SR : I am a product of all the obstacles I have overcome, let me know if I can do better.



ahaDRONE Kit Cardboard Drone

ahaDRONE Kit Cardboard Drone by Srinivasulu Reddy

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