In our never-ending, relentless pursuit to lock down the formulae to happiness in the workspace, we make sure we rub shoulders with those who exemplify what the IC | IC stands for. It is these individuals who dare to hire themselves, give back to their community and strive to live the lives they were meant to that we showcase. We ask them all the what’s, when’s, why’s and how’s that allowed them to rely on themselves for employment.
Cue Jared Mark Vorster. An entrepreneur that is his own brand. As are most designers, but Jared is no ordinary run of the mill designer. Jared Mark Vorster is a designer with an entrepreneurial skillset. He understands both form and function when it comes to running his own business and the products he conceives.
We tracked Jared down (the corridor – he’s an IC | IC member) and asked him if he would share his story with us.
What exactly is it that you do?
I am an industrial designer.
I design, develop, engineer and help bring to market a variety of consumer products / physical objects that a person sees around them every day.
The term has become a bit of a misnomer due to the general public’s perception that we design factories and facilities.
I combine practical knowledge with artistic ability.
Industrial design straddles the boundaries of art and science. There are the aesthetic requirements of a new product, which need to be combined with the ergonomic, usability and other functional requirements – along with the engineering, material and manufacturing considerations of bringing a tangible product to market.
The majority of industrial design work is orientated towards mass manufacturing and driven by the market. The primary intention is to create useful, useable and desirable products, that customers can afford, as well as provide a profit for the company who developed them.
I work on a variety of projects & across a number of industries. These range from designing new household products, to creating new playful children’s toys and even to helping conceptualise large-scale projects like the Biomimicry Eco Park outside Knysna. This year the focus will be on increased collaboration, as well as assisting with various World Design Capital 2014 projects in and around the city.
I have a great passion for the entire process – from idea through to the finished product being used by people. I feel that a truly great design can bring joy to a person’s life through their interaction with the product. A product should be more than just aesthetically pleasing – it should be intuitive to use and make a connection with people on an emotional level. It’s these values that I strive for when I help bring an idea to life.
One of the joys of what I do is when I come across something that I have designed, on the shelf in a retail store. I become like an excited kid all over again as I think of how that product started out as a drawing on my sketch pad and the amazing journey that it took to materialise as intended and end up on the shelves for people to buy.
Why do you work for yourself?
Working as an independent designer has many advantages, as well as challenges.
I enjoy being able to choose the projects that I work on and the people that I collaborate with.
Working for myself also provides me with the freedom to meet other creatives and also to get involved with projects that require me to be more flexible with my time and not always be sitting behind a desk.
Having more of my own time allows me to feel more creative and I also then have the ability to channel that energy into my processes and across various projects at any time of the day or night.
I do what I love every single day. It is never a chore and never feels like ‘work’. I don’t think I ever thought that one day I would be able to do my passions every single day and make a living from them.
I feel truly blessed and privileged to be able to work for myself.
How did you get to where you are now?
As a kid I was always getting my hands dirty making things and also constantly wondering how stuff worked. My Dad had a background in carpentry and a career in electronics, which helped fuel my passions.
In school I developed a love for drawing and art. This led me to wanting to study either graphic design or fine art.
My discovery of industrial design was by complete chance when we had someone come to speak about it at our school’s open day. Although it seemed very foreign to me, I knew then that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I completed a 4 year degree in Industrial Design at the then Cape Technikon, (now CPUT) and did my first bit of freelance work in my final year which was very exciting, yet daunting to be doing ‘real’ work for ‘real’ clients.
In 2005, I went to the Design Indaba conference where I met a prominent local industrial designer. He gave me the best piece of life and career advice, for ultimately they are one and the same. “Travel, explore and observe the world as much as possible. Then come back and focus on your career.”
I travelled and lived abroad for 3 years. When I came back, I was given the opportunity to work for a really great local product design studio, Ideso. I worked there for 6 years, honing my skills and learning about the industry. It was also here that I helped design, develop and bring over a hundred commercial products to market.
Once I felt that I had paid my dues and learned the ways of the employed world, I decided to take a chance on myself. It has so far been 9 incredibly challenging, but rewarding months.
I have not looked back.
– Jared Mark Vorster
For more info on Jared please visit www.jaredmarkvorster.com
Luxury Office Space | Coworking | Shared Office Space | Venue Hire.
The Inner City Ideas Cartel is dedicated to providing luxury, scalable office space to rent in Cape Town. Regardless of the size of your company we promise to provide an environment that is conducive to productivity and opportunity. Our member base ranges from the solopreneur, freelancing their way to greatness right up to mid size legal and tech teams battling the b2b corporate world. We’re a workspace hotel, not an ordinary office space.