Design Director at Sketchin & Co-Founder at Speculative Futures Milan
Alex
Cascarano

Design Director (father of two and frustrated gamer) focused on exploring the implications of living and interacting with technology for better everyday life.

Lugano, Svizzera • September 21, 2021

What led you into design?

Designing has always been a constant in my life, even when I didn't realise I was designing. When I was 6 years old, I was totally immersed in video games and I was fascinated by imagining how consoles would to be in the 2000s.

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I used to do a lot of sketching and drawing the covers games from the future, new costumes for Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter or new villain for Alex Kidd. When I was 14 I started studying Graphic Design and I've never stopped since. For me, design is a natural attitude, a state of mind.

What does a typical day look like?

Every day starts the same way. I wake up early, look at the daily feed and take a quick shower. Orange juice, coffee and biscuits with my family and then I check on the day's calendar meetings. I'm in smartworking for over a year and now and the call conference has increased considerably. 

I start with the daily standup with my team and split my time between design review, co-design sessions on projects or calls with potential new.

I finish around 6:30 PM, usually the signal that I have to leave comes directly from Tommaso, my youngest son, who interrupts with his noise every professional interaction because he wants to go to the park.

What’s your workstation setup?

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Where do you go to get inspired?

In many places. From all my children's books and games, from Terrence Malick's films, from Yuval Noah Harari's books, from Peter Saville's covers, from Jenova Chen's games, from the Smiths' songs. From the inventions of my grandfather.

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What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

My son has all the Nintendo Labo sets for the Switch and it's probably the best I've ever seen in terms of design, a truly outstanding job. The physics component is really intuitive, the interaction design incredible. The project I would have loved to work on.

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

In 2018 together with Sketchin I had the opportunity to work with a design legend, Architect Michele De Lucchi and his studio AMDL Circle.

The project, much more than a website, pulling out a deep design dialogue from its internal resources and departments and enables a transition from a single-man studio to a generation of passionate professionals. The new website has been designed considering the new purpose and all the values of the AMDL Circle Studio.

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What design challenges do you face at your company?

How we design future(s) sustainable experiences? Thoughts and open questions about the role of design when it comes to designing for a sustainable future for the environment, society and business. Designing for society means planning for the broader context of the systems we impact and design, without ignoring the individual. It is an approach that must be shared - inside and outside the corporate world - to have an impact.

What music do you listen to whilst designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

It's foundamental a switch from the application to the implication of what you design. Don't think about who will interact with the things you create but also about who won't and what impact you will have in the system.

Anything you want to promote or plug?

I'm co-founder of Speculative Futures Milan, chapter and you can find out about our upcoming events from here. With my friend Sabato and others great guys we start a new project called MINDO that explore the shape of emotions with augmented reality.

You can follow me on LinkedIn and Medium.