Hi. I’m Simon, a 28-year-old Copenhagen based student and I’m a (digital) designer.

I like technology. I’m curious about possibilities of seemingly ‘stupid’ gadgets. I enjoy dark internet humor. I’m keen about academics. I get excited about innovation and entrepreneurship. I’m dead serious about play. And I love design.

Since you’re probably here to check out, what kind of designer I am, I find it necessary to elaborate on what design is to me and how I work with it. Thereby, I will hopefully be able to tell you what kind of designer and person I am.

TL;DR: I don’t understand design as (primarily) a layer of beauty or function. It is a process. On this foundation, I work with interaction- and play design. Along with my portfolio, this and this are immediate examples of what I mean with design, how I work and what I have skills in creating. Also, I love old stuff, records, travelling and coffee.

The D-word
For most, “design” causes associations to fashion, furniture or maybe architecture. For others, it means making something (digital) “look and feel” awesome. In that regard it’s a layer of beauty, usability or user experience. For me, it’s nothing of the above. And yet it is all of them.

For me, design is first and foremost a process. And it begins with questions and reflections – and lots of them. What, how, when, for who, and especially why are essentially the core of design.

Design thus ranges from research and ethnographic investigations through divergens and convergens into concept development, prototypes and evaluation. It also combines a kaleidoscopic mix of terms and sciences; human cognition, sociology, coding, culture, behavior, interaction, play, learning, electronics, social relations, engineering, time and space to name a few. Design is not something you simply apply to say, a product or service. Design should be considered as part of (and applied from) the beginning and onwards. It is asking what we create, how we are doing ‘it’ and why we create ‘it’ in the first place.

Design & Simon – a lovestory

Now that you (hopefully) get what I mean by design, maybe we should get down to to to important stuff: Me. Shall we?

The beauty of design is the constant challenge of balancing known conventions on the one hand, and on the other hand challenging rules and perceptions to create what does not yet exist. Solving complex problems that matters to people by creative thinking is upright amazing.

Thus, what I am good at, is understanding how we can use knowledge surrounding the use of technologies and human interaction to create solutions of tomorrow.

I design solutions, concepts and artifacts that applies to everything from business cases, nudging, playgrounds, toys and affecting grand scale societal changes. I work somewhere within the fields of HCI, UX, interaction design, play, design thinking and innovation. I design the intangible room between a (digital) artifact and a user. I seek to explore how we can include play(ful) elements in design solutions in anything from an app, a toy, a red light in a crossing or stairs with keyboard keys on it. I use a great deal of psychology and empathy to understand complex users. I make use of post-it’s, visualizing, sketching and wireframing. I create concepts. I spawn prototypes and I am familiar with a range of design methods and tools such as Sketch.

I admit though, that I am not equally skilled in all aspects of design. I am not mainly a graphic designer or a UI specialist (though I have an eye for aesthetics and usability). Nor am I just a coder or frontender (though I know basic code and understand the principles). I am something broader – a (digital) designer.

A little this and a little that

Believe it or not, but It also happens that I spend time on something else than design. I have a profound interest in food, coffee, music, tattoos and old stuff. My home looks like a hybrid between a high-tech spaceship and a wooden cabin filled with old furniture, LP recorder and antlers on the walls. I also have a lovely and truly amazing girlfriend, whom I enjoy going on adventures with. I love being active. While in Denmark I do CrossFit and used to play the  noble sport of handball. When I have the opportunity, I also like to spice things up a little. Thus I’ve mountain biked down “The Worlds Most Dangerous Road” in Bolivia, done a bungee-jump in Ecuador, trekked in Mexico, ridden horses through coffee plantations in Colombia and river-rafted in Chile. I also enjoy having a solid board strapped to my feet in the winter-season, and just be in the silence of prowling powder.

As it is maybe clear, I’m an eager traveller. The past year has brought me experiences of Berlin, Marocco, Finland, Mexico and Colombia. The trip to Colombia in spring 2016 was part of my studies, which you can read more on here. I’ve also spent half a year studying in France to explore my french half of nationality (yep, my dad is named Jean-Pierre), and before my studies began in 2011, I ventured to South America for 6 months. In general I like to do new things. To explore, try and create new things. I’m curious. On how my next meal might taste, and on how the world actually works – and how I can affect that in a better way with design.

Right now, my everyday consists of doing my master’s thesis as the end of my studies in Digital Design and Communication at the IT University of Copenhagen. Besides that, I work as an Innovation Design Director for the social innovation organization DANSIC – which you can read more about here.

If you have any questions or if I sound like someone you would enjoy putting your head together with, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Contact info
Simon Morel
Øresundsvej 3, 2.tv
2300 Copenhagen S
+45 93 93 64 22