Hey! So Glad You're Here.

I started this digital space with the intention to share my experience as a designer and hopefully open a discussion about the topics within design - and specifically about strategic design, service design and systems thinking - with the hopes that my learnings help enlighten the path of others, and by consequence, they also share their experiences and, thus, enlighten me back. But before I talk about my career, maybe I need to start at the beginning, with my roots, that shaped so much of who I am both as a professional and as a person.

 

I was born in Rio, Brazil, and since my early years I have had to experience living with 2 families. As a result of a (successful) divorce, I found myself with two nests full of love, and two different “worlds” to which I belonged and that couldn’t be more different. As a result, I found myself learning and embracing different realities at the same time, understanding at a very early age that there are many rights and wrongs for different people and that that is ok. Growing up with 8 brothers and sisters and being sometimes the oldest and sometimes the youngest among my siblings also influenced me in varied ways and gave me the chance to play so many roles. Nonetheless, no matter the “role” or the “nest” I was in, I was blessed to be loved and very incentivized to be creative. From fantastic stories to co-designing birthday party decorations, without knowing I was learning the key fundamental skills that I believe today make me a service designer/ systems thinker: questioning the reality & having different perspectives, being a mediator or a facilitator among multiple stakeholders, empathize and learn to listen and care for people no matter what they believe in, and that life is ours to create.

 

With this inner drive of seeing that new realities are possible, the passion to make experiences better, and the dream to make people’s lives happier, I went to study Industrial Design for my Bachelor of Science. At that time I wanted to be a furniture-toy designer, I wanted to turn “serious everyday objects” into fun ones, add a new dimension to the possibilities. And so I designed 3 doors for children’s rooms, that opened up more real doors in my life than I could have foreseen.

 

The first was meeting my husband at the Red Dot Design Award party in 2009. He, also a Red Dot winner, gave me the courage to go study abroad and discover new worlds. His story of being Turkish and going to Australia to study industrial design inspired me to go for my Masters in Product Service System Design in Milan. There I discovered that my earlier passion to “transform objects” had much more to do with the experience that they brought and the impact they were generated in people's lives than the design of the actual product. And so I discovered in service design the best fit - a discipline that challenges the boundaries of many disciplines and connects them together. And that forces one to have both a system’s perspective connecting all dots as well as zoom in and understand the uniqueness of each individual experience to design win-win scenarios that are good for people and for business. 

 

That opened my eyes to the extent of the power of design - of bringing people together to tackle the world's wicked problems. But I had yet to learn how. That came for me with discovering all the nuances and complexities of a well-executed design research for innovation, which I had the pleasure of learning from Luz Romero at VRD, at Sao Paulo. With her I learned to love and deliver impactful projects through user-centric and innovation driven research. Mapping complexity and finding “innovation drivers” via synthesising the perspectives of the users and stakeholders and overlapping with sensing the market and global trends. In one form or another, now I see how much design research is essential to bring structure and set the direction for every “project adventure”.

 

After my years in Sao Paulo working at VRD, love finally brought me to Istanbul where I joined ATÖLYE, and the third door of the multidisciplinary power of collaborative design opened. As a Sr. Lead in Service Design & Design Strategy, I now have the honor of leading the Service Design team and various innovation-driven projects in all sorts of areas, with local and international clients. Being around such inspiring people, and passionately working together has been the greatest joy of my professional life. There is so much I have been learning. And so here, I share it with you. Thank you for joining me.

Education

Master of Science in Product Service System Design, at Politecnico di Milano - 2010 to 2013 | www.pssd.polimi.it

Bachelor in Industrial Design, at Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, PUC-Rio - 2004 to 2009 | www.puc-rio.br/english

Specialization in Graphic Design at Cal-Arts, 2016 - ongoing

Experience

Strategic Designer and Service Designer at VRD Research - 2012 to 2015 | www.vrdresearch.com

Intern and Trainee as Product Designer at Tatil Design de Ideias - 2009 to 2010 | www.tatil.com.br

Intern as Product and Graphic Designer at Escritorio Modelo in PucRio - 2008

Worked with

Clients and sectors I worked for at VRD: Natura (Cosmetic Industry), Petrobras (Car Services), Mapfre (Customer Service), Flexfit (P.O.P. Strategy), GE Electronics (Product Innovation), VRD (UX Design)

Skills

Product Design, Service Design, Strategic Thinking, Design Thinking, Design Research, Problem Solving, Innovation Driven Projects

Languages

Portuguese - Mother Language

English - Fluent

Italian - Intermediary

Turkish - Intermediary

Awards

Red Dot Design Award 2009 - Honorable Mention with the project Kids Only - Doors for Childrens' Rooms

www.en.red-dot.org

Finalist at IDEA Brasil with the same project in 2009

www.ideabr.com.br

Interests

Behavioral economics, psychology, arts, ...

Share back and let's exchange

If you prefer, write me at hello@carlalemgruber.com

© 2023 by Train of Thoughts. Proudly created with Wix.com