20Q: Rahim Bhimani

Asking too many questions is a fault to which Rahim Bhimani feels quite indulgent... It certainly seems to work for this industrial designer.
Posted 6 Aug 12 By Design Indaba Industrial Design Interviews / Q&A Comments

1. What makes you laugh out loud?

Pretty much anything and everything, I’m very easily amused and love to laugh.

2. If you had to live inside a work of art, which would it be and why?

I would live inside Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, which is in located in Chicago. I love that giant peanut looking sculpture because I always find it so entertaining to watch how people amuse themselves while looking at their reflection in it.

3. What is the best piece of design you've seen recently?

The Aga Khan Museum + Ismaili Centre, which is currently being built in my hometown of Toronto, Canada, by architect Fumihiko Maki, with Maki and Associates. This massive construction project started in 2010, at the former location of the historic Bata shoe headquarters. This project will consist of a jamaatkhana (prayer hall), an Islamic museum, and a public park, all on a 6.8 hectare area. This project is driven by his highness the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader to millions of Ismaili Muslims around the world and a philanthropist. I love how Islamic architecture has evolved with this modern and contemporary rendition while still incorporating traditional Islamic symbolism.

To learn more: http://www.nomeancity.net/?p=538

4. What is your favourite book?

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be, by Paul Arden. It is a great motivational book for anyone, especially people in the creative industries. I’ll typically skim this book time to time when I’m lacking motivation. Love it! As well, Steve Job’s biography which I’m currently working my way through.

5. To which faults do you feel the most indulgent?

I would say curiosity and being a perfectionist. Also, that I ask way too many questions.

6. What is the question you ask yourself the most?

Where am I going in life? I have lived in three different cities in the past 1.5 years. I usually make my decisions based on my gut, so I’m curious to see where the journey of life will take me.

7. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? 

Absolutely. I see it every day while working at Yves Behar’s firm, fuseproject. Especially if a product spoke to us and told us about its long journey before its creation. I think the beauty of being in a creative field is that there is no right or wrong answer, which definitely makes it insane but fun and rewarding at the end.

8. What would you save from your burning house?

My Western Digital Mybook external hard drive, primarily because my entire life is on it. However, it’s one of my favorite products because of its sleek metaphoric design, which replicates an actual book.

9. How do you deal with failure?

By embracing it. I believe that failure happens for a reason, and the best thing to do is to appreciate it, learn from it, and just move past it. Don’t let it hold you back. Also a delicious ice cream sundae does the trick too.

 "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Edison.

10. Do you have a creative muse?

Simply lying in my bed with my eyes closed and just imagining. I also walk around the downtown core of my city while listening to some of my favourite music.

11. What's your favourite gadget?

If you were to ask this question to my friends, they would be shocked if I didn’t say my iPhone. I once waited 15 hours in line for the iPhone 4 launch; yup, I’m that guy.

12. Who in the world, dead or alive, would you most like to have lunch with?

Jonny Ives because I think he’s an incredibly talented industrial designer.

Dieter Rams because he is my hero.

JJ. Abrams so I can tap his brain and have him answer all my questions about the American television show I was once obsessed with, LOST.

13. Which qualities do you most admire in others?

I truly admire people that are just genuine and happy. I love being surrounding by positive, motivated, inspiring, supportive and simply happy people. These are the characteristics most of my good friends have.

14. What's one thing that you haven't done that you would still really like to do?

Jumping out of an airplane. I also want to have enough money to design my own custom built house.

15. How do you know when a piece of design is complete?

When you run out of time.

16. Can creativity save the world?

Absolutely. I think the power of creativity is coming up with unique solutions to complex problems. If it were not for creativity we would not have ingenious services or products that we currently have and rely on to make our lives a lot simpler.

17. What do you do on weekends?

I recently started playing tennis early Saturday mornings and it’s such a refreshing way to kick off your weekend.

18. Summer or winter?

Tough question. I grew up in Toronto, Canada where the winters were not very inviting; regardless, I loved the snow growing up. This past year I experienced my first winter without snow, as I now live in San Francisco, California. However, one of my worse experiences was during the winter of 2008-2009 when I lived in Ottawa, Canada, one of the coldest capitals in the world. During that winter there was a three-month-long bus strike, and I had to walk 45 minutes each way to my university in -35-40 C weather. Worst experience ever. Therefore I would choose summer.

19. What's the best creative advice you've ever received?

When I was in my second year of industrial design school I did poorly in one of my core design courses. To this day I remember the phone call I had with my professor when he told me to switch programmes and get out of design school because I would never be able to find a job in design. After that conversation I was more motivated than before and very grateful for the things that have happened to me following that experience. I realised I had a short period where design was almost taken away from me and after that I did whatever I could to get it back.

As well my mom who always tells me to do what makes me happy and pursue something that will benefit the world in a great way.

20. How do you feel about answering random questions like these? 

It took a lot longer than I thought and I guess I learned a little about myself as well. Thanks Design Indaba for everything, you guys absoutely rock! 


Watch the Talk with Rahim Bhimani