From Performing Arts
to Product Design
The name is long: Guilherme (Ghee-lyer-meh), so friends call me Gui (Ghee). I was born in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Mom is a visual artist and dad a clothing designer. So it was easy to fall in love with form and aesthetics from an early age—our home was filled with my mom's clay sculptures, paintings and many papier mâché hands and faces.
In my early 20's my younger self chose to cancel his enrolment on a Bachelor of Industrial Design and studied Drama & Performing Arts at the University of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) whilst taking part in a Theatre Production company that promoted independent theatre throughout southeast Brazil. I am very proud of this experience as it ended up teaching me a great deal of discipline and entrepreneurship quite early on.
Fast forward a few years later... I am now working at my father's clothing business, which I will always consider to be my real life business degree. Being an entrepreneur again, now for my family's small business, gave me a sense of determination and a proactive attitude towards getting things done that you just cannot get from your average business college.
I then head to Sydney in 2005 and after completing my Business Diploma (the paper one this time) and a degree in Commercial Cookery I find myself creating workplace and customer experiences in the food sector for good 7 years. Oh boy! How I missed being a creative! Don't get me wrong, being an entrepreneur is rewarding and you always have to be creative by reinventing yourself. But I missed being in touch with arts, communication and aesthetics.
So in 2013 I took on the challenge of dragging my still-young self back to the classrooms to study design at Shillington College of Design, so I could pick up where my much younger self had left off—design! I felt inspired to follow that up with a Bachelor of Digital Media at Billy Blue College of Design, where I majored in Interaction Design whilst working full-time for an e-commerce retailer as a one-man-design-department. This rich four-year exposure prepared me for a consulting job in Experience Design, which has been my field since then. I now contract as a Senior Product Designer and am able to help teams advocate for users in their organisations.
Well, you have made it this far, so I have little a confession to make: I edited this page so many times trying to stitch a central idea across all these experiences. At times I failed to see this connection myself, but today I can tell you these career paths taught me a great deal of experience design in their own way. They allowed me to advocate for my user/employee/audience/spectator's experience and to view challenges as opportunities.
So let's have a coffee sometime to discuss some opportunities you might have with your team.