If you had a sit-down meeting with your favorite designer...

Lets say you had the opportunity to meet your favorite designer/owner of your favorite design firm, what would you ask him/her? You have the opportunity to learn so much, but how would you get that information? What questions would get you there?

Good topic starter… I’m going to have to think on it a bit.

Well maybe my first question would be, “what are we having to drink?”

Then on a more serious note probably (I don’t have a particular designer in mind, but I would likely ask these)

  1. What do you think is your greatest failure/fault as a designer?
  2. How do you recover from failure?
  3. Was there ever a time of serious self-doubt as a designer? Who/What brought you past that?
  4. How do you measure your own success as a designer? (money, fame, recognition, etc)
  5. Are you pursuing happiness or success? ( Do you think they are mutually exclusive?)
  6. Most overrated design product?
  7. Most Underrated design product?
  8. Do you consider yourself to be deserving of fame? (How much of it was luck vs. hard work)
  9. Are you the type of person to A. See as much as possible or B. Take your time and enjoy the details?
  10. If I were you from 10 years earlier, what would you want to tell me?

What CAD software do you use?

1a: What inspires you?
1b: Why so?
2a: When you started out, did you have a clearly defined goal?
2b: What was that?
2c: Did you achieve it?
2d: What did you do when you had achieved your goal, to keep on going?
3: Do you have a pile of “I might need this sometime”-material laying around the office?
4: How do you evaluate yourself as a designer?
5: What’s your tip for communicating with others in development?
6: Who do you talk to first when at a new job?
7: What’s the title of the best designer book you have never found?
8a: Are you a morning or an evening person?
8b: Has that affected your work?
9: Dream project?
10: Nightmare project?
11: How did someone really impress you?
12: How did someone really dissapoint you?
13: Coffee, tea or Coke?
14: What is the best advice you have never been given?

Do you want to go fishing this weekend?

“Does it get easier someday?”

I’m with product tank. I wouldn’t want to talk shop. I can talk shop 40-50 hours a week with other folks.

I’d much rather see if I can make a personal connection. If it works out, you will learn much more that way.

For the sake of context and not for bragging (won’t say his name but he’s a D rockstar) I’ll first say I was lucky enough to sit down with my design icon for an hour before coming to university. I asked him many things, some insightful, some specific, most about work etc etc but when I’m lucky enough to sit with him again theres one thing I’d ask and one thing only.

Are you happy?

He consistently says how much he works and I see how smart he’s been throughout his career but honestly, that’s the only question I’d NEED him to answer for me!

+1 Liam.

That’s the one question you’ll rarely ever get an honest answer to. Unless you get him/her really drunk.