Tell us about yourself
Grüezi! I’m Noah Urech, a 20-year-old Graphic Designer from Switzerland. I’m an adventurous person, who loves learning new skills and adapting them to my projects. I spent the last four years studying Graphic Design at Fachklasse Grafik Luzern and doing an internship in Italy at Studio Mut. But this year, I’m taking a motorbike and a van, and backpacking around the world!
Which design topics are you most passionate about?
I’m really interested in the necessity, functionality, and beauty of design. We all know the saying: “Form follows function”. But for me personally, design’s more than pure functionality. Of course, no one wants to use something that doesn’t work – but something useful that looks shit isn’t very pleasing to use either! I’m passionate about any design discipline that provides clever solutions to important problems with a beautiful form and experience.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I really enjoy doing sports that need me to be fully immersed and focused on the action. They force me to clear my head of everything unnecessary and just focus on the moment. I especially love sports like climbing, surfing, and snowboarding. Many amazing memories came from times I was out doing sports in nature with good friends. For me, that’s a really important part of my life and a valuable counterbalance during demanding design projects.
What’s the hardest thing about being a designer?
In my point of view, it’s not the act of designing itself, but rather communicating. Good communication is the basis for every client collaboration, project, presentation, or feedback. It’s an essential part of an amazing work culture, and efficient teamwork. I suspect that more projects fail due to bad communication between collaborators, than to bad design. It’s something that’s vital for great projects, and for me clearly one of the hardest, most challenging aspects of being a designer!
What’s the best thing about being a designer?
All things made by humans have been designed by someone at some point. As designers we can actively shape our tools, spaces, communication, and surroundings. We can contribute to an environment that’s more fun, beautiful, purposeful, and better to live in. For me – other than compelling collaborations – the opportunity to shape our environment is the best thing about being a designer.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
With outstanding, ambitious people from diverse industries and cultures. I’ve seen that through collaborating, you’re challenged to learn, negotiate and grow with the people around you. Over the last years – especially during my internship at Studio Mut – I was able to benefit so much just by simply collaborating with amazing people. I'm very grateful for the people I got to work with so far and I’m looking forward to many more interesting projects!
Describe your dream project.
In the future, I’d love to gain some experience initiating projects in an entrepreneurial way. My dream project is to work in a lean team of partners – ambitious designers and various professionals – striving towards one common vision and designing a service or product, from A to Z, all by ourselves. I’m really interested in this challenging and demanding process – if you're reading this and are out there with a similar dream, hit me up! ;)
What's the best advice you've received (and from whom)?
“Mistakes are there to learn from”. It’s an easy answer :) but seeing failure, not as something purely negative and restrictive, but rather as a situation to reflect and learn from is important. No one specifically gave me this advice, I’ve heard it all over the place, but it’s so much easier said than done! Viewing failure as an opportunity to progress and as a vital part of the process has made a huge difference for me while designing. It helps me experiment more freely with less pressure.
While experimenting, I first try to sketch as many ideas as possible in a short time and evaluate second. That helps me not waste time overthinking and come up with more diverse, creative approaches. Many of those approaches could be considered mistakes, but through trial and error a much more concentrated variety emerges. It’s also so much more fun! Try to make mistakes work in your favor, and not against you – they’re inevitable anyway!
Recommend a book / movie / TV series / podcast / playlist to our readers
Atomic Habits, by James Clear – I can recommend this book not just to designers, but to everyone. It’s about the science of why we do what we do. It gives great insight into human behavior and contains a lot of practical strategies on how we can create, form, and break our habits and behaviors.
Personally, this book helped me reduce unwanted distractions and a lot of unnecessary stress. It gave me a practical framework to automate things I wanted to get used to for quite some time and inspired me to actively design spaces like my workplace, digital archive, and places to relax, making them more suitable, efficient, and satisfying. If you find reading books as tedious as I do, I’d suggest you check out the audiobook!