Klaus Rosburg, Senior Manager – Global Product Design, PepsiCo, New York; Spark Juror, 2013

Who are you, professionally speaking?
I am an industrial designer specializing in the development of products and structural packaging.

How did you choose your design discipline?
Growing up, my dad was properly the best handyman on mother earth building boats, furniture and machines. I couldn’t help doing the same thing in his well equipped workshop at the age of 5 and never stopped.

What are some elements that make your designs distinctive?
Everyone can make things complicated. I prefer simplicity with a little twist.

Is your work international, or regionally focused?
I have worked on global programs for Fortune100 companies, but also with start-ups and private inventors which targeted initially just the US market.

What is your ideal project or commission?
The ideal project for me comes with fun, fame and a fair fee. Repeats are not much fun and while I try to reinvent things, I enjoy working in unchartered waters within timeframes and budgets which really allow me to explore.

Who are your top 3 favorite designers?
Just 3?

What are you currently reading?
Industrial Chic, a book about 50 icons of furniture and lighting design.

What advise can you offer to a new graduate?
I am utilizing digital tools like CAD, rapid prototyping, computer-generated renderings and animations a lot and while it is important for designers to learn and employ them, many graduates rely too much on them. Without creative ideas and a good understanding of the user, market and manufacturing, these tools won’t do the trick.

How did you get your first paying design job?
Studying industrial design in Germany, I had a lot of fun exploring shapes and mechanisms. That was a little while ago and with no computers around, I built very detailed and highly finished appearance models. I brought two of them to my very first interview and illustrated not only my sense for form and function, but also hard work and my attention to details.

What do you do for inspiration?
I keep my eyes open.

What’s the best thing about being a designer?
With every project, I learn something new.