Interview with we-inspire

Last July I had the pleasure of previewing we-inspire's collaborative ideation technology, which recently launched in the US. The company is originally from Austria, and they have created an amazing system using projection technology and a specially designed stylus by Anoto that can turn paper and walls into tablet interfaces. It's something I've always dreamed of having in the workplace! They did a feature of me on their website. Here's a transcript of the interview.

Be sure to check out the video at the bottom to see me using it!

What is your best advice on how to become a better presenter?

Well, I haven't always been great at presenting, it just takes some practice to get better. As a designer, normally I have many sketches and visuals to show, so that even if I can't find the right words, people will still understand my meaning. Sometimes if the visual presentation is good enough, no words are necessary to drive home your point. Also, everybody's time is precious. Try your best to give your audience something worth their time. Tell a story. Make an emotional connection. Tell people why they should care.

What inspires you?

like a lot of things. Architecture, science fiction, robots, fashion, auto design. Watches, of course are a huge inspiration. Watchmaking is one of the great products of human ingenuity. Not only are we talking about the perfect union of engineering and design and centuries of iteration and refinement... The concept of time itself was created by man. There are very few products in this world where we've taken an essential concept of science and physics, and given it a physical form in such a way. When it comes to product design, I often look to watches as the standard for design, quality, and sophistication.

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What is your favorite part of the we-inspire system?

I love the way the we-inspire system has digitized our walls and boards. Traditionally, we industrial designers use these huge boards to pin up sketches, images, post-its, and swatches. It helps the design process to work more spatially, organize all of your random thoughts, and move things around. Since I'm from a younger generation of designers, I do all of my sketching and 3D development on the computer. I use the internet to gather my research. Pinning things up on boards, you are limited by the space on your board, you need to print out all of your sketches and inspiration images, cut them out, and pin them all up one by one. Then, if you run out of board space, you basically need to choose an older board to sacrifice and take down everything on it. This is a nightmare when you're at a company with other teams working on other projects, and are trying to figure out which boards from the other teams to take down. We-inspire is great because you can save all of your boards, bring up images from your hard drive or the web, and you save lots of paper, ink, and time. I can see that this will be the future of design studios and collaborative offices.

You can view the we-inspire website at

Nelson Wah