Marco Schembri is a 27-year-old, Italian Industrial designer and product engineer, who has a knack for CAD/Mesh Modelling, performance HDRI renderings, factory’s process managing, creating virtual and physical models, 3D printing and technical drawings. You can check out his work on his Behance profile.
We first came across his work on Behance and our team was really inspired by his unique vision. So, we decide to pick his brain on his creative journey and tried to dissect how he does, what he does.
What determined your passion for design? Tell us about the moment when you decided this is the way to go.
This is actually a nice question. It’s always hard to go back to the exact moment when something in your mind changes but I think the moment when I realized that this would have been my way, was during my childhood.
I remember I was really enjoying disassemble everything, but not just for the fun to do it…I was seeing myself as an inventor and I just wanted to have all the components in front of me to build up new incredible things.
Can you remember your first design project? Describe it a bit, whether it is a gizmo you worked at as a little kid or something that was sold at a large scale.
I would say my first design project, in the real sense of the term…with studies, benchmarks a good presentation and all that is usually related to the project itself, was a lamp I realized in my first year of university.
The prof. just introduced us the project and in 2 days, while everybody was still sketching, I worked day and night to show up a full 3D simulation of my project considering all the aspects.
I knew already how to use most of the software and prototype techniques already before to start the university as that was my passion and this luckily always put me 1 step ahead of my colleagues.
What field of design are you most interested in? Do your works have anything to do with it? (We are asking this because not many designers do what they actually want)
I’ve always been interested in the Industrial Design field…and in fact, I’m actually the responsible for the Industrial Design and Project Development for my actual company…always in direct contact with the factories to follow all the manufacturing processes.
What is your favorite book/magazine on design? How about your favorite site?
Sad to say, but the time of books and magazines is almost over.
I don’t use to daily look at any design website anyway, as depending on what I design, I start my targeted researchers. I do like instead to be updated on the manufacturing processes, materials and applications through web magazines like Injection mold and anyway I always receive interesting newsletters with the best products, designs or awards.
Something I really think is useful in this direction is always to visit fairs related to your job.
What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as a designer? And the most rewarding one?
Unfortunately, the word “design” is too often used in an inappropriate way.
You can use “design” either to talk about a real project engineering or to describe a user interface, a logo or a piece of cake.
In our days, being every day more competitive the job market, we should have to be more accurate and better differentiate the different professional figures because actually, the result is that most of the people underestimate your value when you just say I’m a designer…thinking that designing a product, just means that you draw down something with your pencil and that’s it…so why should they have to pay you more than 20 euros?
On the other side, if you have enough good skills to reach bigger companies, you will easily find people able to understand what your job value is.
From your point of view, is design an art or a science?
I always considered art a science, but I see what you mean.
I think a designer can always choose to design in an artistic way or to have a more technical approach but anyway if you look at a ceramic pot for example…can be considered art and design at the same time…it’s a subtle boundary. Also, design can be inspired by art and vice versa.
Tell us something unusual that happened in your career?
I started my career as a designer and I would never have said I would also felt into the Product management field…but this is what happens when you trust in your projects and you feel the need to follow all the steps to make them successful.
Let’s say you entered a contest. You have to come up with a design for the first house on the Moon built for extra-terrestrial living. How would your project look like?
It would probably be a “rocket house” to travel back to the earth if you miss a good beer with your friends. I would love if Andrea Gertosio is willing to join me as his travel bug is quite similar with mine.
If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?
I’ve always been fascinated from the medical prosthesis (the advanced ones) and I would probably invest on this to make them accessible to everybody
Share something you would like the world to know about you or your ideas.
I know I’m only at the beginning of my path and I hope you will be interested in following my Behance Portfolio to be updated on my latest projects.
What advice do you have for young designers or architects reading this interview?
If I would say something that really helped me during all my years of experience…is that I always kept on building my portfolio because, despite the CV, this was the only thing that allowed me to show up my real skills.
Obviously, never give up…for every person who doesn’t recognize your value, there is one that will do for sure.