Design Around the World: Asal Farshchi Shares Design Experiences in Iran
Asal Farshchi doesn’t just view design as a profession—rather, it’s a way of life. Designers offer solutions as a way of personally connecting with others, and Asal approaches work with this ethos in mind. We spoke with this Iran-based designer to learn more about improving design skills, the trends of Iran, working withing limitations, and more.
This post is a recurring series where we interview designers and agencies with ties to the countries affected by the immigration ban. This is an effort to promote an understanding of the cultures, and we hope that these insightful Q&As highlight the need for diversity in all aspects of life. If you are or happen to know agencies or designers in any of the included countries, please reach out to us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
What was your journey to becoming a packaging designer?
Asal Farshchi: In 2006, I entered the University of Tehran, College of Fine Arts as a graphic design student. Ever since, design has become my profession, my way of life; the way to see, to hear, and to think above all.
Being a top student in my bachelor's degree, I immediately entered the master’s program for graphic design in 2011 at the same university and graduated in 2014.
Eager to know new academic environments, I tried education in North America and returned home with new design experiences and insights. I then started working from the very first years of studying to put my academic knowledge into professional practice. Pursuing my career as a designer with different advertising agencies and branding companies challenged me to be creative every day and keep my information up-to-date in art and design.
What is your personal design philosophy?
Asal Farshchi: I believe that human-centered design thinking can play an efficient problem-solving role to find efficient solutions for global challenges. Going far beyond just a logo, a slogan, or products and services, strategic thinking helps your brand define what it stands for, the promises it makes, and the personality it conveys.
What are some of the unique cultural aspects of Iran? Do any of these make their way into your work—and if so, how?
Asal Farshchi: Generally speaking, the essential feature of my work is defined in the connection that I create between my cultural background and the standards. Historically speaking, Iran has got a vast cultural diversity containing number of nationalities possessing various cultural backgrounds; some are familiar to me and some others are still left to read and learn about. Having this in mind, I do my best to connect the world standards with the Iranian culture, yet producing the unique results.
What are the recent design trends you’ve seen popping up in Iran?
Asal Farshchi: As it can be seen from our day to day working experiences, designs are becoming more culturally related having a mix of modernity and minimality in them. For instance, you may have noticed focusing on Iranian typography, presenting its elegance and uniqueness have now became much popular in Iran, in comparison to the past.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a designer in Iran? How have you overcome them?
Asal Farshchi: The number one challenge in Iran is the limitation that we are facing with, pretty much in every project we start. After that is that people have different backgrounds, likes, tastes, requirements, behaviors and many more; and the way I personally overcome these challenges is by identifying individuals' taste and needs. Hopefully we have been managing to deal with the political/religious limitations to be able to produce reliable results.
How do you keep feeling inspired? When looking for design inspiration, where do you turn?
Asal Farshchi: The passion I have for problem solving brings me the inspiration I want in my career. It almost happens while I am eagerly trying to search for a solution to be able to generate new definition.
Tell us about one of your favorite packaging or branding projects you’ve worked on.
Asal Farshchi: Despite doing many packaging projects for large companies like Dannet, still the most memorable and interesting packaging I have designed is this CD packaging I did in 2010 as my bachelor thesis. The open and experiential atmosphere of the academy was what I needed to develop my favorite ideas. Such atmosphere prepares the ground for fascinating sweet designs to rise and grow.
This packaging involved combining graphic design concepts with other fields of design such as industrial design and product design. The idea was to create 10 prototypes of creative CD packages of limited edition for big fans of these video games. The whole design process is based on creative packaging and expressing innovation for production of interesting packages with long-term durability to ensure a good gamer experience.
How do you hope to make people feel through your design work?
Asal Farshchi: People always have unsolved or miscellaneous problems in their mind. The solutions appear to be given by us throughout the design we provide for them. I personally believe that we create emotion within every single design we perform, and this also is transferred to the customer while receiving their orders.