About Sofía Enríquez

Sofia is a recent graduate from industrial design engineering. She spent a semester of her studies abroad in Lille, France. She felt inspired to participate in A'Design Award & Competition because she hopes to improve her design skills and acquire experience. She enjoys reading about history and culture, painting with watercolors and learning new skills - crafts, computer programs, languages, among others. She currently lives in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Interview with Sofía Enríquez

Sofía Enríquez ("SE") interviewed on Saturday, 2 June.

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?

SE : I am a young designer, I just graduated from university last december. My degree is industrial design engineering. During my studies, I had the opportunity to work as an intern in places that enlarged my knowledge in some branches of design: graphic design studio, architecture bureau, a project for the development of a specialized packaging. Moreover, I enrolled in painting and sewing classes, which complemented as well my design and artistic knowledge and techniques. Throughout the years I have also participated in competitions, winning several times in painting contests and once in an innovative design contest.

How did you become a designer?

SE : I have always liked creativity and creating - since I was a kid I enjoyed drawing, painting, hand-crafting... I spent a lot of time imagining as well - industrial design engineering was the perfect combo for me because it allowed me to do both. I believe when choosing what to study you need to find a degree were you will be allowed of doing what you like in an actual job, so that's why I didn't have to give a second thought of choosing this degree.

What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?

SE : Three aspects I give the most importance to when designing are: The concept one wants to approach (the ideation and brainstorm)The prototypes (3D models, real models, technical planes, drawing, mock-ups)The implementation (taking care of the final touches and details)It all depends on what am I designing to decide whether I will be relying on a physical or CAD model.

Which emotions do you feel when designing?

SE : The initial idea and having the final project are both the most exciting phases for me on the journey of design. Having something new to design just feels so inspiring - my mind overflows with ideas and thoughts - it all feels just so revitalizing. And when the project is done, the feeling of satisfaction is very exhilarating.

What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?

SE : As I have mentioned before, as a kid I spent a lot of time imagining. Now as a grown-up, I believe imagination is a very good work out for the mind, it also helps creativity as well and helps to build clever solutions that are unconventional. My journey in the field of design is very recent but I am a huge believer that everyone can teach us something if we have our mind open, so throughout my life, I have been able to learn from my family, teachers, co-workers, bosses, classmates, friends and even from interviews I have read - there is always something new to learn!

What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?

SE : For now I want to gain experience in the design field, in a short future I would like to expand my studies in design and in a long run - when I have the experience and the resources - I'd like to work as an independent designer.

What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?

SE : To learn the most you can: be curious and investigate about topics that interest you, read books, expand your knowledge, take courses, learn new skills, learn computer programs, experiment with new materials, experiment with different tools. And the most important: never give up, keep trying and not everyone might like your style but there is always someone that will.

You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?

SE : Take big chances even if they seem unreachable. Start and actually finish what you started.

What is your day to day look like?

SE : I recently started a new job so I am still in training. I try to learn as much as I can, ask too many questions and take a lot notes - haha! In my free time I sometimes surf the web to see what's out there in the design field, I enjoy reading and painting as well - this is what I do in relation to design. When I decide to call it a day I try to relax myself by wrapping up my thoughts and having a good sleep - I give a lot of importance to rest.

How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?

SE : I usually stick to my own personal design style, but I as well take what I like from other designs and adjust them to my own. Design trends guide you to what people are into at a present time, but it might not always suit your style.

How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?

SE : A product or project is well designed when it fills a need or desire, when it is functional and aesthetic at the same time. Furthermore, I would say that a good design is defined by how easy is it to understand how it works and, of course, if it actually works.

How do you decide if your design is ready?

SE : When the final design is satisfying and there is nothing else that could be added or improved - but this doesn't mean that in the future the design can't be improved. You know a design has been a success when people understand it, understand how to use it, know how to get the best of it, like it and are willing to acquire it.

What is your biggest design work?

SE : A plaza I designed during my internship with architects, because it was the first time I designed something that bigA table which I named "Anexo", because it won an innovation contest in my universityA representation of the skin of a shark for biomimetic textiles, because it was the most challenging assignment I had during my exchange semester in France.And Notch tea packaging because of how far it reached.

Who is your favourite designer?

SE : Karim Rashid, Zaha Hadid, Bjarke Ingels, Ilse Crawford, Philippe Starck and Emiliano Godoy

Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?

SE : There are so many cities I like I couldn't be able to pick just one. Sometimes music takes part of my creative process - when I want to have some background sound to lighten me up; sometimes it doesn't - mostly when I want to concentrate in silence. My culture has had an effect on my design in the way I create solutions for problems that arise - sometimes using high tech is expensive so I figure out alternative methods. I am in Mexico now, working as a design engineer for an enterprise that makes personalized doors for exportation. I believe good design brings an addition to the customers' experience of acquiring a product or hiring a service. Some small and positively incremental changes I introduced to my life thanks to design are: to pay attention to small details and be aware of distribution, ergonomics, appearance... And to try to reach the root of the problem when I don't like a design (I ask myself what might not be working)

Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?

SE : I like organization, being chill and open to dialogue. I am very goal-focused, I like to concentrate and avoid procrastinating, because I tend to get stress when due lines are close and the work isn't finished. I believe it is easy to work with me if there is respect. I would say the core challenge of my profession is balancing the idea you have about a project with what the client - or your boss - actually wants. I believe diversification of personal traits are something good since this diversification is what allows us to have so many different design options and inventions. But I think all good designers, artists or architects should agree in staying humble and working hard

What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?

SE : I haven't been able to give back something in return to the community that fostered me - yet. But of course I would like to be able to do that. For instance, there is a community of natives called "Tarahumara" in the state where I live, you can often see them selling tea leaves they have collected in plastic or paper bags, I once thought about collaborating with them - making a package for them (such as Notch maybe) that would increase their sale prices and allow them to have a bigger profit. Because of regulations and lack of money, I haven't started the project, but if it ever comes a chance, I'd love to be able to help out communities through my designs.

What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?

SE : Participating in A' Design Award has been such an amazing experience.I worked hard trying to submit my design the best way possibleIt gave me a panorama of participating in something worldwideI took a bet on my work and reaffirmed my confidenceDesign competitions are important and relevant since people can get to see what other designers are up to - what new products are out there. I feel honored about being the Designer of the Day. I blows my mind to think it had been just a dream and now - at my young age - it has come true. Thank you for reading me!

Sofía Enríquez Profile

Notch Tea Packaging

Notch Tea Packaging design by Sofía Enríquez


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