We had the good fortune of connecting with Nishit “Nish” Gupta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nishit “Nish”, why did you pursue a creative career?
One of the earliest memories I have from Elementary school is when I was in 3rd grade and a school teacher told my parents that when I grow up, I will become an artist. The reason was simple. I was drawing all the time! Even when I moved onto middle school and high school, I kept drawing in my notebook regardless of the subject that was being taught in class. I was drawing everything from cartoon characters, products, portraits, sceneries, and random objects. Haha, this probably explains the fact that I was not doing great in Mathematics. Although after Art, Physics was my favorite subject.
In high school, I grew up having this obsession with sports cars. I maintained a sketchbook where I stored all my car renderings. A stack of A3 sheets filled with Lamborghinis, Porsches, Ferraris, and bad car proportion. And a dream of becoming a car designer one day. As I grew up and met more design professionals, it was clear that Product Design is what I wanted to do because, at the end of the day, a car is a product!
I was also fascinated to see how product design was a melting pot for design thinking and engineering logic. It felt like a perfect match for me from the very first day. I can never imagine myself doing anything other than design, so I am grateful for my parents and the people around me who pushed me in this direction. Now, as a professional designer, it feels great to realize that I get paid to draw.
I am a “creative.” I like to use this word over “artist,” just because it is more versatile. I only hope my 3rd-grade teacher is proud and, her prediction was a home run.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Product/Industrial designer. Industrial design as a profession is multi-faceted. Every tangible or intangible product that exists in the world today has been touched by an Industrial designer. From small luxury products at home to extensive design strategy problem solving for the 3rd world countries. This is also one of the reasons why I choose Industrial design as my field, I want to identify the problems we face as humans and ask the right questions to provide a solution (a product).
As an Industrial designer, I hope to help people and organizations to visualize a positive future and an uplifting lifestyle. As a technology geek, I want to believe in the concept of ubiquitous computing and create a future where technology is invisible. A world where we are not glued to our screens and distracted by social media, but a place where humans are in the center. I believe good design is inclusive, user-centered, empathetic, and aspires to create opportunities for a positive future.
Today I work as a full-time Designer for a corporate and a part-time design consultant for my own creative studio. Currently, I tackle a breadth of design work including but not limited to soft goods, apparel design, graphic design, visual communication, CAD design, and hard goods/products. I plan to grow this Creative venture in the future, collaborating and working with like-minded creatives to generate exceptional designs.
Inspired by Dieter Rams 10 principles of good design, I decided to create my own rules for the creative studio. These rules help me enhance my design process and produce thoughtful work. It is a working/living document that will change as I grow creatively.
1. Curious thoughts must always be identified, investigated, and validated. – Example: If you are in a restaurant and your brain shoots out an Idea, write it down, draw a napkin sketch, don’t worry if it’s a bad idea. By writing it down, you will start marinating it and it may end up being the million $ idea you were always looking for.
2. Right questions should be asked to avoid band-aid solutions. – Example: They say California has a drought problem or a water scarcity problem. But a better question to ask is, on earth we are surrounded by water, we must have a salt-water purification problem.
3. Empathy is key to experiencing people’s pain points and fuel connections. – Humans are habitual beings, we get comfortable with our environment and luxuries very quickly. When designing, it is important to break out of this comfort zone to create relevant work for the user.
4. Form should always follow function but never be forgotten. – A professional designer had no reason to not make a product look aesthetically pleasing.
5. Fool-proof the designs by prototyping and testing.
6. Story and value are always greater than the product itself. – Example: People do not buy an iPhone because it’s the best smartphone in the market, there are more powerful phones out there. People buy the value of the Apple brand, they buy Steve Jobs’ story of a remarkable company.
These rules are part of my design process and help me create meaningful products for clients.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are lots of exciting locations to cover in Los Angeles, so a week-long trip is great!
I would start by taking my guest to tourist locations for the first 2-3 days because it is always nice to start the trip by taking tons of pictures for the Instagram/snap in well-known locations like the Hollywood walk of fame, Beverly Hills, Disney land, Santa Monica pier, Venice Beach boardwalk, Griffith Observatory, and the Hollywood sign hike.
After the touristy location apatite is filled, it is nice to visit some local spots that I as a California resident enjoy. One day can be easily spent around Silver Lake (my favorite neighborhood) picking up some great coffee and having a mini picnic at Echo Park. If my guest is in the mood for some shopping, I will take them down to Melrose avenue and/or Abbot Kinney Boulevard and/or 3rd street Santa Monica to spend some cash. My favorite part about California is the beaches. So a whole day can be spent visiting some beaches like Malibu, Venice Beach, and Redondo beach. Maybe we can also stop by Marina Del Ray to do some kayaking and watch Sea Lions if we get lucky.
My favorite coffee spots in the LA area: Funnel Mill Rare coffee and tea, Groundwork coffee, Dinosaur Coffee, Eightfold Coffee, Civil Coffee, Swork Coffee, and Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
In my career as an Industrial Designer, I have come across many individuals and organizations that have made a deep impact on the way I analyze the world and pursue the act of design thinking.
A big shout out to ArtCenter College of Design, where I completed my bachelor’s in Product design. The college has played a huge role in my development as a professional designer. It is a place where no one is judged while exploring unorthodox ideas. The students and faculty around me inspired me to be bold enough to think that anyone can make a positive impact in this world with hard work and a love for the work you do. And a massive shout out to my parents and family who supported me throughout my education and career.
Dice Yamaguchi Duncan Bonar