The process inventor: Laura Robin.

Munich – December, 2019. Laura Robin is Director of
Designworks’ Los Angeles Studio. She has worked for Designworks in
several areas and leading positions for many years, growing new
practices and guiding the convergence of disciplines. With Laura’s
hybrid background in computational graphics and design strategy, her
work has often been at the edge of new process inventions. Laura is a
strong driving force behind the role of design as an influencer in
future business strategies. Today she leads a team of 50+ creatives
and strategists in Newbury Park, California.


As a passionate thinker, before joining Designworks, Laura taught
many years at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, consulting on
the Graduate level curriculum in Digital Media Practices. In addition
she has won several esteemed design awards.


What is the future of mobility and what is Designworks’ role
in it?

Robin: To design for the ‘future of mobility’ is to
design for disruption. There is an explosion of new enabling
technology, resulting in products and services that have, until now,
been the things of dreams. From on-demand air taxis to cargo drones,
from 300mph Hyperloop capsules to EV charging services, the degree of
change, newness and complexity is ever increasing. Designworks’ role
in this space is to architect the systems which support our growing
appetites for flexibility, freedom and premium mobility experiences in
this dynamic landscape.


With Designworks studios across the globe, what is the
specific focus of the  Los Angeles studio you represent?

Robin: Designworks Los Angeles Studio leverages its
Californian roots – traditionally a place of lifestyle experimentation
and openness, the LA area is now at the vanguard of urban mobility
innovation. We learn from being at the center of emerging mobility
trends and have an active lab culture to prototype the future, with
our city as a backdrop. 


Where do you see Designworks in the future and what sort of
things are you keen to encourage as director of the studio?

Robin: The Designworks of the future is a
constant-learning lab. I see a vibrant design culture, fueled by
experiments in physical/digital convergence. The need for “natural
interfaces” that manage the human relationships with robots,
intelligent assistants, or simply dynamic information will only grow.
How we maintain our humanity, and design for our senses, our morals
and ethics – these will be the important questions for design in the
digital age.


What is your design ethos? What sources of inspiration for the
field of design should we use more in the future?

Robin: Good design is meaningful. To be meaningful,
design considers who it’s for and the context it will be used in. It’s
inherently human-centered. Designing for the future places an
imperative on foresight. We are working hard on finding the emerging
phenomena, attitudes and behaviors to sketch a future context
snapshot. While the facets of the future shift and change, a constant
for good design is the requirement that the solution is emotionally
resonant for its recipient.


What makes Designworks unique?

Robin: Designworks is unlike other design agencies
because we are a design culture tooled for systems. We have a highly
diverse suite of services that can both stand alone or converge for
large, multi-disciplinary projects. We architect future visions, and
have the skills to bring them to life. Our unique approach of future
visioning and back-casting to today’s needs ensures we consult our
clients in a future-proof and holistic way.