Mind at Work: Director of UX Architecture Ara Berberian

In a world where there’s constantly pressure to “produce, produce, produce,” it’s important to stop and reflect on the special people, places and things that actually drive our creativity. Whenever possible, we like to sit down with one of our creative minds at VSA to find out what inspires them. Today, VSA Director of UX Architecture Ara Berberian sheds light on the four things that inspire him and help him do what he does.

1. Red Tape
Ok, not really. But a red tape dispenser. Just like its famous brethren, the red stapler (made famous by the movie Office Space), but even more rare/whimsical. It’s my daily reminder that small tweaks to established objects and designs can provide great delight.

2. Raymond Loewy
In high school, learning about the godfather of Industrial Design truly inspired me. I must say that I wouldn’t be sitting in this chair at VSA if it weren’t for him. Before good ol’ Raymond came along, the definition and concept of “design” was largely limited only to the decoration of objects.

3. Wabi-Sabi
I spent nearly two years in Kyoto/Osaka studying traditional Japanese Arts, which reinforced and expanded my perception of beauty. Wabi-Sabi is essentially the Japanese aesthetic principle that celebrated the beauty of transience and imperfection. Although easiest to apply or accept in the context of something like a favorite old, weathered leather jacket, I believe that Wabi-Sabi could be the next “thing” to realize warmer and more organic digital experiences.

4. Who Sampled
As I come from a musical family (my father was an opera singer at the MET), I love almost all music. I particularly enjoy listening to underground hip-hop; something to enhance the flow throughout my day. I’m also enjoy tracking and understanding samples used on various tracks through WhoSampled.com. It’s a reminder that anything perceived as original is often a unique patchwork of prior works and influences.