Where do you get your ideas and inspiration for your designs?
From many places. A lot of my designs are based on things my students are working on at the time, and some are exercises to use as many techniques as possible. However, my designs are more than pure fantasy; every feature I include has a use and a purpose, even if the component itself doesn't exist yet.
What software do you use?
For the most part, I use Rhino to create models and KeyShot to render. I also use SolidWorks to build a variety of projects, often combining the creative surfacing capabilities of Rhino with the benefits of a strong parametric solids modeling package. Photoshop is an ever-present component in the process. Over the years, I have tried and tested many modeling and rendering softwares - which is incredible fun to do - but for the time being, my work flow is well aided by the use of Rhino, SolidWorks, and KeyShot.
What hardware do you use?
I do all my drawing and rendering on a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. There's a big Mac Pro system at work, but it takes too long to render and it sometimes overheats.
How long does it take to complete a project?
Depending on its complexity, it can take me anywhere from two hours to 200 hours to create a model. Rendering time can differ greatly too, but a simple-complexity drawing can usually be rendered in about an hour, a medium-complexity in two hours, and an extreme-complexity in about eight hours.
Do you work on external projects?
Sometimes. One of my most recent projects was the creation of the new KeyShot 7 avatar. I've also worked with Fisher-Price in the past.
Do you have any tips for aspiring designers?
Don't forget to make things by hand. Current technology allows us to do so much of our work on a computer, but make sure you imagine how people will build it and use it in real life. Don't just view the model as a constructed product; break it apart and try to understand the purpose of each individual piece.