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Interview: Andrew Apostola, Creative Director at Portable

We interviewed Portable’s Creative Director Andrew Apostola about Brisbane’s creativity, product design and challenges in design in the coming year.

What excites you most about Brisbane’s current design / creative industries?

We’ve been following the progress of the Edge over the past few years and have been really impressed by the space and the opportunities being made for creative professional to come together and engage. The first step to creativity is making a space available in your life for creativity to happen: Brisbane is definitely doing that.

What are the biggest challenges that face product designers in the coming 12 months?

At Portable we’ve been intrigued by the amount of data that is being aggregated around the world. An hour of video footage is uploaded to YouTube every second. That’s incredible. The same applies to the iTunes App Store and to web platforms in general. There is SO MUCH. How often do you try to find something interesting before giving up with nothing? So the challenge for product designers is going to be getting your product noticed. All the tools are there. Resources have never been more easy to attain.

What are the biggest road blocks you see that prevent us from achieving great design and delivering relevant products to consumers?

I’m a fan of Steve Blank who talks about the need for product designers to spend more time undergoing a customer discovery process than a design process. I think that understanding the core needs of users and customers is the biggest road block to most designers and design process. And when I say core, I mean keeping design to one or two key use-cases or stories that relate to your user and forgetting the rest.

What do you see as Brisbane’s biggest challenges to becoming a truly ‘creative city’?

Brisbane, you already are a creative city—stop beating yourself up so much! Go out there and find other creatives and talk about your ideas. That’s how incredible ideas and companies get founded, by encouraging people to mix. Maybe spend 2012 practicing saying to people, “I love your thinking, what can we work on?” and see what comes of it Brisbane.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter here

Portable will host Portable Presents Product Design 2012 next Tuesday. You can buy tickets here