THE ART OF CONSTANT LEARNING
It has been a while since our last interview with one of our talented team members. This time we interviewed our Industrial Design Specialist Heikki Kangasmaa, who we wouldn’t survive without.
We cover his journey to Omuus, customers frequently asked questions and what excites him in the future.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK AT OMUUS?
Being a member of team Omuus means that you are a part of multitalented and multinational design team. Omuus is a flat design organization which means that everyone is part of the design process and can influence the work. To describe myself, I would say I am hands-on type of designer.
The importance of team work cannot emphasize enough. All our designers have same background from Nokia and Microsoft. We practically knew each other beforehand. Our common background enables efficient team work, and remarkable results can be achieved.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO OMUUS?
My profession is industrial designer. I have studied in renowned Lahti University of Applied Science, Institution of Design. I have made a long career as an inhouse-designer in Nokia and Microsoft about 17 years. Right after I graduated in year 2000 I started to work at Nokia. From the beginning of my career I have had the pleasure to be part of designing industry leading products.
The years from 2000 till 2004 I worked in Special Products -team under Nokia Mobile Phones. During these years I had the opportunity to design “special phones”, such as professional TETRA phones, active outdoor mobile phones and surveillance cameras.
Years 2005-2011 I worked as a lead designer in Nokia design E-series team. With the team we were concepting and designing number of smartphones for business use. I also got to be part of designing the first super camera phone Nokia 808 and the metallic Lumia 925 as lead designer.
From Nokia I transferred to Microsoft in 2014 to work with smartphones. My work was to create new Lumia phones such as affordable metal frame Lumia 650 and Lumia 550 for Microsoft in collaboration with the R&D. After my time in Microsoft I was planning to work under my own trade name. Then my old colleague Annina Verkkomäki who is founder of Omuus ltd contacted me and asked if I would like to come work for Omuus. I’m happy about my decision to join this team of absolute talents.
PLEASE DESCRIBE SOME HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER?
Product releases. For Industrial Designer the best moments are product launches, when the design you have been working on is finally released. They are a reward of all the hard work you made.
I would say that many of the mobile phone releases are quite memorable. One of the best memories was my first released Nokia Mobile Phone, when I was the lead designer of the Nokia 5140 active outdoor mobile. After that I have had the pleasure to be part of many mobile industry product releases as the lead designer.
Another highlight of my career was the leap from a huge organization to a design consultant. I have enjoyed my work as consultant. Design projects come in shorter cycles and the variety of projects gives its own intrigue.
WHICH ARE CUSTOMERS MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND HOW DO YOU ANSWER?
FAQ1: How do you usually operate in projects?
Our Industrial Designers work closely with our CMF designers and Material Technology specialists. We at Omuus believe in material led design. Materials define our design work in order to guarantee the productization. Outstanding results are delivered, when we have the knowledge of market trends, consumer drivers and different materials as the base for ID work. Our ID’s work in tight collaboration with clients and their R&D team or with our partner Treon for the best outcome.
FAQ2: Are you capable to create the product from the scratch to final stage?
Our team consists of highly experienced designers. We have been part of designing dozens of B2B and B2C products from concepting to production, from small quantity production to scaling to massvolume. Designers must work seamlessly with R&D that the final product is both high perceived and technical quality.
WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT THE FUTURE OF YOUR FIELD?
Being a Design consultant is very interesting and challenging. The variety of projects is very suiting for me. I worked almost 17 years in big organizations, where the focus was smart phones and accessories for them. This might be why I nowadays enjoy fast-paced customer projects.
If you want to succeed as designer, it requires constant learning and challenging yourself. Like one of my colleagues has well said, you need to “stay young”. Which doesn’t mean that I would try to look 20 years younger. It means that I need to be continuously aware of the newest technology, researches and trends. Monitor what happens around you and take the initiative to learn new design programs. It will take your carrier forward.
My little brother, who works in advertisement industry, has well said that “strive to learn something new every day”.