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julian lwin Immersive Design

Jaguar Land Rover
Ricoh USA
InterContinental Hotels Group
Herman Miller
Marc Jacobs
Kenneth Cole
Piper-Heidsieck Champagne
Ford Motor
Dream Hotel Group
The New Yorker
Ralph Lauren
Marriott International
W Hotels
Frog Design
Jack Morton Worldwide
Smart Design
julian lwin
Immersive Design
Country Flag US
Immersive Design Director. Dynamic perspective shaped by diverse cultural experiences. Passionate about the intersection of design, technology, and multiculturalism. Background in theatre and industrial design from Central St Martins. Explored Europe, Asia, and beyond, celebrating cultural diversity. Experienced in music, fashion, and live performance. Specialized in merging physical and virtual realms in design. Advocates for sustainable and empathetic design practices. Seeks collaborative opportunities for a brighter, inclusive future.

How do you walk the line between being unique, giving a good user experience, and having commercial appeal?

Being radical and unique has its place - yet the question is, will this strategy alienate an audience and lose others? It's really important to understand your audience. Clients know their unique selling points brand identity with a focus on X,Y&Z demographics + Strategy and Marketing will "target" a specific demographic - the work must fit accordingly. Understanding client needs, preferences, and desires are critical for impactful, unique work that resonates, still meets client expectations and by elevating the product or experience provide joy with a wicked dose of UX magic.

An LED light
Colorful workspace
A colored light installation
A hallway of colored lights

Can you discuss your experience working with a team, and how you collaborate with other disciplines?

I need to collaborate - I'm so done with isolation - we all had 3 years of imposed isolation due to damned Covid. Collaboration with a team is crucial - it's foundational practice for me. Solo, lone hero stuff just doesn't cut it. My training in industrial /product design at Central St Martins (UAL/UK) was all about cross-pollinating ideas with an emphasis on continuing a contemporary "Arts & Crafts movement" (the origins of my school). there I learned to: share, look, learn and embrace - see who's working on what in ceramics, fashion or jewelry.

Today my work is very much a collaborative process where diversity and difference of opinion is encouraged and given the space to fail, fail again and then come up with something truly astonishing. Working in teams from Frog Design, Smart Design, R/GA, Momentum and others all developed a sense of shared responsibility and creative ownership where our craft was tuned and perfected. When we got to that sense of "FLOW" it showed up in exceptional work generating pride in doing meaningful and effective work. Back to that cross-pollination of ideas where I collaborate with a team member from strategy or ideate with marketing, accounting and production - this is when the sparks fly and we get to achieve real insights and understanding. As a musician for me it's like jamming and riffing with beats and laying down textured tracks and rhythms to find that perfect groove.

A conference room wall with images
An office meeting space
A showroom wall

Who or what has been your inspiration in your Industrial designer journey?

I was in awe when visiting museums and galleries as a child - there was something that I can describe as a transcendent mystical experience where surrounded bythe centuries of art, design, creativity and engineering - they collectively morphed in to pathways for future possibilities where I sensed that I was connected to this amazing dance in some way. I've been fascinated with color and light since childhood starting with Herge's Tintin series. I loved the graphic design, textures and attention to detail from architecture to engines and ships; then animation from "The Space Sentinels + G Force" would introduce me to proto science fiction anime and the advent of AI. Later it was artists and designers like Verner Panton, Joe Columbo, Future Systems, Ross Lovegrove and theoretical designers like Victor Papanek, Tibor Kalman, Bruce Nauman toformalists like Donald Judd and Dan Flavin. Really artists music and movements have a profound experience on my thinking and creativity especially when it comes to flexing the boundaries of "contemporary"design. I love Jenny Holtzer, David Byrne and Lee Scratch Perry as perfectionists...

A pattern that makes the word 'reuse'
A light made of colored jugs
Man holding illuminated plastic jugs
A light made of plastic jugs

When creating a brand identity, how important is target audience research?

Target audience or market research is absolutely vital. I don't want to diagnose a problem and recommend a solution without a thorough exploration based on research. It's here that UX in the design process can help to guide creative parameters. User/audience research is super helpful in gathering feedback to conceptualize designs based on user preferences and desires. A seamless and intuitive user experience massively enhances connection with the product/service and also benefits the commercial appeal of products and services while ensuring user satisfaction and recognition - then just add a sprinkle of stardust to keep everyone shining!

A hallway with brightly colored lights
Closeup of an LED light fixture
A circular light fixture
Detail of a purple LED light

How do you manage critical feedback on your work?

There's good criticism and bad criticism. Good criticism helps you strive to achieve something better and more appropriate. Bad criticism just crushes your spirit and makes you feel bad. There's nothing wrong with failing - it's where new ideas are born. I take criticism with a healthy approach knowing that it's all part of the journey to get it right. I also believe that it helps me grow to be more resilient and to explore potential in a diamond in the rough.

A modern planter
Rolling planters
Rolling planter that is half full

How did your journey into the creative world begin?

That's a big question! I just know that we're all born creative - I stuck with it and knew it was a part of my identity. I didn't want to leave the joy of creativity behind me in childhood - but make it my purpose and passion in life. I studied art, design, theatre design, drama and film making; I began to frame my experiences based on movies from Hitchcock, Godard, Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch - I read plays by Chekov, Brecht, Artaud and lost myself in Magnum photos. I wanted to surround myself with questions, theory and practice from psychology to philosophy and reformulate everything through a creative lens. So it began all the way for me at the beginning!

Stripe color pattern
A boardroom
Board room table detail
A round table and benches

Before starting a new project, what information are you looking for from the Customer? What do you ask them?

Firstly I want to understand the clients problem. Essentially what problems or pain points are they looking to solve? I want to know why the Customer wants what they want now? What has stopped them before? What's is preventing them from being successful now? What has worked before and what hasn't worked? Do they want more revenue, more market share, publicity, social proof, competitive advantage etc?

What is the outcome they desire and what advantages are they looking for with this new project?

Magazine layour
Hanging lights
Office wall photo installation
Hallway of red light panels

Can you share your background and how you got started in your career?

After graduating college I worked with a collective in the UK called JAM. When I arrived in NY I went straight to a European design store called Totem and got straight to work designing an award winning exhibition booth for the ICFF complete with custom undulating color changing light walls that got featured in The NY Times and bought by Macys. Next I worked as an industrial designer at Frog and Smart Design which led to me embracing larger scale environmental design projects with Imagination UK. Finally something clicked and I was able to apply my understanding of mechanics and fabrication with spatial design, theatre, lighting, set design and the importance of theatrical "magic moments" to create impact and ultimately emotional experiences and memories within a space - now known as brand experience or immersive/experiential design. I'm excited about combining AI, MR, VR and AR within physical environments because they offer more tools to further enhance our experiences in retail, hospitality, healthcare and education.

3D render of gold against brightly colored stripes
Wood cut horse profile

Could you please share with us a little about your background and family?

I grew up in the UK. My family were immigrants. My mother from Turkey, my father from Burma/Myanmar and is of Karen/French heritage. My grandmother was Swiss/French and married my grandfather (from Karen/Burma) in what was at the time a very unusual and early example of a mixed race marriage. They were refugees after the 2nd WW and fled to England via India. My brother has fair skin with green eyes and I have olive skin and dark eyes (this was the same for my father and his brother). We have most major religions in our family from Buddhist, Christian, Jewish to Hindu - and we all get along!

My identity was forged in the UK. I consider myself to be British regardless of my heritage. That said I have earned the right to be a perennial New Yorker.

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