Nomadic Designers

Hello to all!

I am a Masters Student studying Product Design Engineering at Strathclyde University and I am carrying out a dissertation into nomadic workers and design.

By a nomadic worker I mean someone who works outside of the traditional office environment and prefers to operate on the move in a variety of locations - Internet Cafe, hotel, steps of building, bus etc. Some are more extreme than others, some will try to recreate their office setting wherever they go - there are different levels to the nomadic worker, and I believe the nomadic designer.

I was hoping some of you good people will be NOMADIC DESIGNERS or will have had experience of WORKING NOMADICALLY.

If this is the case, could you please describe to me how you travel, how easily you adapt to different environments, your attitude and sense of commitment?

Also, how often do you move about and is it a productive way of working? Is it fast paced, is it flexible, is it rewarding and do you feel greater freedom?

What do you need to carry out your work on the move? Concentration, technology, privacy, space?

What are the benefits of being a nomadic designer, what are the problems?

What tasks do you perform and with what tools?

Are nomadic designers suited to team working?

Are nomadic designers suited to specific parts of the design process, e.g. marketing and conceot design or is it more embodiment and detail design?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, however long or brief!



…you mean like spending half your time in China with just a laptop and cellphone?

Yes, that could be a good example!

…i’ve done a bit of this and i find it to be rewarding on many levels…by spending days/weeks at a time on location you do feel to be more a part of the team…it speeds the interation process and my design work is better suited to processes of the client…i find that being away from home and other domestic distractions, i am more focused on the project and spend more off hours thinking about the issues at hand…i carry a wi-fi laptop w/ solidworks, rhino, illustrator, photoshop and ms/office suite; a pda and a cell phone…but i do not work in public places unless my back is to the wall (figuratively and literally)…i find i can contribute in all the areas of the design process on the road that i do in studio…generally, i find travel stimulating but exhausting…

I think there are a lot of designers who split their time between the US and China (and other Orient countries). I’m part of that group.

I agree with the post that says you are more focused when away from the distractions of the US (dumb phone calls, family, other responsibilities). I’ve done my best design work sitting in Shenzhen. I work from 6AM (jet lag) until midnight because no one tells me to stop working. It’s easy to lose track of time.

I keep a computer in China linked to a FTP site in the US. Through e-mails and a China cell phone I stay connected (when I want to stay connected).

The key to being productive is not sweating the technology and infrastructure of your computers. I have duplicated my Solidworks set-up at both locations. Life is good as long as China doesn’t start bombing Taiwan - then I’m screwed because my company is owned by Taiwanese and the factory is in China.

I watch CNN for the daily update.