Ranger Zhao is a product designer who's constantly getting out of his comfort zone to create the best products and learn more about himself and the world.
When Ranger was a kid, he always thought that throwing away a toothbrush every few weeks was such a waste and horrible harm to the environment. What if there's a type of toothbrush that has a twist-off head that you can swap every now and then so you don't have to throw away the whole thing. And many years after, when he saw designers in the industrial design documentary Objectified creating the exact same concept, he realized that it was exactly what he wanted to do. And his journey with industrial design started that day.
During his time at DAAP, he has done six internships in three different countries with companies in various industries. He started with environment design with a retail design consultancy WD Partners. Then he worked on consumer electronics with VSN Mobil, a tech startup built by former Motorola engineers and designers. After that Ranger went back to China for UI design with Xiaomi and industrial design with a local consultancy in Beijing, ThinkPower. After he studied abroad in Japan, he did an internship with Toyota. His most recent experience was with NVIDIA where he was responsible for four projects in various product lines. Now with the graduation date approaching, he is looking for a junior level industrial design full-time position.
For Ranger, industrial design is not about who can design the most beautiful object or most clever solution, it's about being intentional and purposeful with people's lives. What's not working in our daily life? What needs improvement? What needs do people have that haven't been met? What can he do to better the experience? Industrial design is probably the most practical creative work there can be. Yet, it's still about being creative and creating things that have never been made before. Many times a ridiculous idea at the beginning led to something fantastic at the end. So it's very important to be purposeful and creative at the same time. And when it comes to product development, design is only part of the process. As designers, what can we do other than design to bring a great product to life? How do we use our knowledge to bring the rest of the team together to maximize the quality of the outcome? Ranger just opened the door to a career of bringing great products to people's lives, and he can't wait to explore every little bit of this world.