After taking a deep dive into our community (seen the community showcase?), these days we start to feature a new kind of interviews and guests that we would call: the inspiring ones.
First among this list of amazing folks that can inspire you, motivate you to pursue your challenging plans, and push you to follow your heart while building your professional path and expressing yourselves, today we host the awesome Jaime Derringer.
Jaime is the Founder and Executive Editor of Design Milk, an art and design blog sharing lots of new and fresh modern stuff. Jaime runs Design Milk for about 6 years now and the blog has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Time Out New York, The San Francisco Chronicle, and is a staff pick at Google, Twitter and more.
Design Milk is a key daily inspiration for entertainers, retailers, magazine editors and designers with over 1 million readers worldwide.
In 2010 Jaime even launched modern design blog Dog Milk to expose dog lovers to pet design that fits their uniquely modern sense of style. In addition, Jaime has been noted as an expert on design trends, speaks on design and design blogging, contributes to a multitude of design blogs and acts as a business consultant. She proudly lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and their dog, Lulu.
[superthemes] Ciao Jaime, you know, it’s awesome to host you here on Superthemes Blog! You’re Design Milk main editor and founder, and you probably process tons of design related stories every day: what are the main themes behind deisign these days?
[Jaime Derringer] The biggest trends that I have seen over the past 6 years running the blogs are flat-packed, minimal waste products and interactive products. Both try to make our lives better in one way or another, so I suppose the overall theme is improving our quality of life.
[superthemes] What’s the very mission of Design Milk? I mean what are the leading ideas behind selecting the best news in design and playing this “curation” effort?
[Jaime Derringer] The mission of Design Milk is actually to help people. We’re not only delivering the news and sharing amazing stuff with readers, but we’re actually making real, valuable connections between designers, retailers, manufacturers and consumers. We’ve helped designers get their businesses off the ground by connecting them with the people needed to launch their product(s). Getting a “thank you” email from a designer for helping them get exposure is the driving factor behind what we do.
[superthemes] Isn’t the role of designers changing these days? I mean, now lots of tools related to prototyping and producing design objects – and things in general – are becoming more and more accessible (3d printing and things like Shapeways just to mention one aspect). How the designers are interpreting this new role? Many are becoming self-entrepreneur, producers, etc…
[Jaime Derringer] Designers not only need to create things we need, but they need to be able to solve problems, and push us out of our comfort zone. They are there to give us what we need but also tell us what we don’t realize we need. They are there to rethink how things function or how they look in order to solve problems or adapt to change. As you note, designers are now business people, too. With the Internet, young designers can launch their own studio in a matter of minutes (ed: creating their portfolio website with Superthemes!) , and with the advent of blogs, social media, and websites like Kickstarter, they now have an avenue to share and market their business. It’s a very exciting time!
[superthemes] Design is tribalizing much these days, thanks to things like crowdfunding platforms or social media for as you mentioned: the relationship between designers and fans is becoming much more tight, emotional.
What’s your point of view about this? How is design being affected?
[Jaime Derringer] I don’t think that design is being negatively affected by this relationship. I think when people know the stories behind the designs and can better understand what it takes to get things made, they become more connected to the design. They’re more invested. This can only improve things. Designers can also now directly hear the thoughts of the masses and adapt designs based on instant feedback. The accessibility of 3D printing and CNC machines has enabled design to become more adaptable on the fly – easily changed for specific needs. Design has become more customized – more personalized, therefore more personal.
[superthemes] What’s the role of the web for today’s designers and creators? can a designer really express herself, without learning how to use the internet in communiticating her ideas and learn about trends?
[Jaime Derringer] The web is essential for any designer who is considering going out on his or her own. Running a successful business these days often means having an online component. Moreover, blogs and other websites – like Design Milk – really help keep people on trend and up to date about what’s going on. I think knowing what your peers are doing is essential. With the web, you can know what students in Israel are doing and at the same time discover a design from South Korea or Brazil. It’s mind-boggling and overwhelming, but I think it’s critical for entrepreneurial designers.