In our series, YKRA Faces, we introduce some Budapest-based creatives, who tell us stories about their daily routines and working methods and also give us a glimpse of what they keep in their YKRA backpacks. Our seventh guest is András Húnfalvi, product designer.
Please tell us a bit about your background!
I am a product designer and the co-founder of Flying Objects, an independent design studio focusing on innovation. We founded the studio with Ferenc Laufer in 2013, and since then we’ve worked with many companies and startups: we helped them make their services and technologies more loveable, sellable and usable. We have won multiple awards that we’re very proud of. We won the Red Dot Design Award twice: the first for our product design for Hand in Scan where we created a hand hygiene scanner for medical professionals and the second for Frend which is a foldable wheelbarrow we designed for an Austrian partner. We also won an iF Design Award for DualScope which is a smart stethoscope, it was a collaboration with a Hungarian startup.
Besides Flying Objects, I’m leading the Transportation Design program at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) which is the best vehicle program in the CEE region. We train a small team with the product designers of Mercedes. This is also what I studied and started working at after university, so now it’s kind of a return to vehicle design. I’ve started teaching in this program 2 years ago and 6 months ago I became the leader of it.
How does a day look like for you?
It depends on where I spend it. I am at MOME twice a week, on the other days, I’m in our office on Vámház körút. I like working in a fixed structure, so I’m usually in the office by 9 am and I leave around 6 pm. There are people at the studio who work in a much more flexible structure but I prefer this more traditional way of working.
How can we imagine your day at MOME?
We have very different days based on where we are in the design process. Mercedes gives us a tender for a vehicle design process, and we work on it throughout the whole semester. In the beginning, students research, sketch, create concepts, then they consult with the designers of Mercedes, once a month they come to the campus and the students need to pitch for them. We also spend a lot of time in the workshop when we’re in the phase of physical modelling. In this part, students use a very special clay and they basically sculpt a model of the car out of it.
Since when do you have your YKRA backpack and when do you usually use it?
I’ve been using this one for 3 years now almost every day. I’ve had another YKRA backpack before, that’s about 7-8 years old, I got soaking wet in it thousands of times so it’s really worn-out by now, so I really try to take care of this new one. I like it because it’s simple and its colour matches basically everything. I’m not the type who likes putting together different outfits, I prefer combining colours freely, so it comes handy that this backpack goes well with everything.
And what do you keep in it?
Airplane and stickers: This is an old and new hobby at the same time. When I was a child, I built a lot of airplane models, and I recently brought these from my parents’ house. I really love the aesthetics of the passenger aircraft from the early Jet Age. These airlines had insanely good branding, especially the Americans. I decided to rebuild three planes with the designs of my favourite graphic designers: Massimo Vignelli, Otl Aicher and Saul Bass.
Flask: I keep tap water in it.
Laptop: I have multiple laptops because I need them for work, I keep one with me all the time, sometimes I bring the smaller, other times I bring the bigger with me.
Pens: All product designers know that the best pen in the world is the orange Bic pen! You can draw the tone of lines with it very well – it may be geekery, but it’s important. I also like writing with very thin blue Zebra pens, so I always have some of these in my backpack, they are very useful.
Notebooks: I have a lot of notebooks at the same time, I keep my notes from client meetings in them. It’s funny because I never open my notes after the meetings, I use the process of taking notes to memorise the information. When I take notes on my computer, I forget everything right away.
Mouse: I hate Bluetooth mouses, they always cause trouble. But I need a mouse for some graphic design software, so I use this 15 years old mouse. It’s totally run-down, already yellow from usage, but this is the perfect mouse. You just plug it to the computer and it works.
Money holder clip: I hate wallets, they are huge, thick, and it feels bad to keep them in my pocket. For this reason, I have a pack of cards – door openers, bank cards, personal IDs, monthly ticket – and I hold them together with these clips. It’s easy to clip money in this pack, as well, so I’ve been carrying it like this for about 10 years now.
Invoice collection: When I buy something in the name of the company, I have to get invoices, so I just drop them in my bags, and when I go to the bookkeeper, I have to hunt these papers from different bags. In general, I am a very organised person, but for some reason, this is not true when it comes to my bags.
Watch: I am a huge fan of Dieter Rams and his designs for Braun. I wear these old watches he and his team designed in the ‘80s. I wouldn’t say I’m collecting his designs but I have a Hi-Fi system and a coffee machine from him, as well.