Who Wants to be Part of a Designer Mentoring Program?

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Image from AllMoviePhoto

That is right friends, I like to introduce to you a new activity on Design Sojourn and that is our very own Designer Mentoring Program.
But before I go on, you might be wondering why I’m doing this? Let me share the reason with you.

I often get a lot of email requests and questions for design advice. However, as I’m often very busy I don’t get a chance to respond properly or even not at all. Not only that, I wonder if my advice really works, as I often don’t get the full story or context of the problem.

Worst still, when I do take the effort to give hearty advice, I don’t even get an email reply of thanks! Who are these people? (Boo-hiss!) Because of all these point, I now want a much higher level of interaction and engagement with the people I’m helping. Hence my thoughts of running a Designer Mentoring Program here at Design Sojourn.

Now, back to the program details.

This program is targeted to designers of all levels looking to better themselves and the quality of their design work. They will get a chance to interact closely with me and I will get a good opportunity to give them advice that is specifically targeted to their strengths and weaknesses.

To celebrate the launch of Design Sojourn’s Designer Mentoring Program, we are going to start this exclusive program with an initial intake of 5 people!

How Do You Get In?

Well there are a few things you will have to do to be considered. First off you need to be an Industrial Designer. Well I did think about opening this to Graphic or Interaction Designers, but I’m no expert in these fields and I believe I would provide no additional value add. (Apologies to all my Graphic/Web Designer friends. But if you are still keen I may make an exception, just let me know?)

Next, as my objective is for greater engagement and successful helping, I would need to be familiar with you. I would have to either met you personally or via the web. The very least is you must have some kind of “relationship” with me (being hot helps? Kidding!). This basically means:

  1. You subscribe to Design Sojourn by RSS feed or by email.
  2. You visit Design Sojourn frequently AND leave engaging comments.
  3. You follow and engage me via Twitter.


That’s Not All!

For me to get to know you better you should also do the following:

  1. If you have a blog, great! Write a post on this Designer Mentoring Program and why you would like to be part of it. Link back to me and I’ll come visit to get to know your thoughts and writings better.
  2. If you are on Twitter, Re-Tweet it this post and pass the word around to show me the people you know and allow me to learn about you by who you are following. Oh, if you can do Digg or Stumble this site too?
  3. Have a professional network, either on Linkedin, or professional portfolio sites like Core77 or Behance.net. Add me if you are on any. Again this is so that I can learn a lot more about you.
  4. Finally leave me a comment below stating your interest to be considered, and perhaps leave some links to your online presence as indicated in point 1-3.

In fact why not do all 4 points? This is about being Internet savvy. Though not the deciding factor, I do require basic Internet skills, as this Mentoring Program will run online. I don’t want to have to waste time explaining what a blog is right?

What You Can Expect?

On a more serious note, if you are considered to be part of this Mentoring Program this is what you can expect:

  1. A Portfolio Critique and Tune-up, by me and another prominent or experienced designer.
  2. A complete skills assessment, review and improvement program.
  3. Progressive Career Management and Advice.
  4. Membership to a private and exclusive discussion forum where we can have in depth discussions about things not fit for public consumption! You will find answers to all your questions on design that you were afraid to ask!


So that’s about it folks, and it is looking like I’ve bit off more than I can chew! I’m still fleshing out the details of the program and all I can say at this moment is that the program will leverage on the body of work I have shared in the this blog’s 4 year history. Do note that the selection process will close at the end of this month. May 31, 2009 at 11.59pm. I look forward to reading your comments, tweets, blog post and links!

Now, so who really wants to be a Design Sojourn Padawan Learner?

Edit 1: Just to clarify, having an online network or presence is good, but not a key factor in my decision making process. The important thing is engagement, passion, and dedication to the program. I like to know that my effort put in, is reflected back with similar effort by the designer!

Edit 2: With 1 week to go before we close up our first intake of the 5 lucky designers for the Designer Mentoring Program, I thought to compile a list of designers who have expressed interest to be considered. So in no particular order:

1) Fecsx
2) Ingo Rauth
3) Raph Goldsworthy
4) Waikit Chung
5) Eugene Cheong
6) Louise Cochrane
7) Danny Chhang
8) Jason Cooper
9) Mendel Heit
10) Paavani
11) Jonning
12) Tiffany Wan
13) Arjan Schoof
14) Brian Moy
15) David Emmett
16) Raghuraj Ananthoj
17) Jason Phillips
18) Calvin Botha
19) Stephen Donald
20) Michael Greedrick
21) Munwar Khan
22) Robert Bell

Do drop me a message if I have accidentally missed out anyone?

Edit 3:
The intake of the first ever Designer Mentoring Program is now officially closed. I have been spending the weekend learning about the Designers who have expressed interest in this program. Believe you me it has not been an easy task doing the selection!
I will be posting the names of the lucky 5 designers on this blog soon. Do stay tuned!

  • Fernando Galdino

    June 1, 2009 at 12:34 am Reply

    I’m a Brazilian young Industrial/Innovation Designer and read this blog since 2006 (i Think) and really want to join you guys.
    I am in sustainability, anthropology/ethnography studies and management/innovation (I know, is too much, but I’m not afraid)
    I’m busy since this monitoring program was launched and I’m working in my coroflot for this righ now, if still a chance check this out http://www.coroflot.com/fernandogaldino

  • DT

    June 1, 2009 at 12:14 am Reply

    Hi All!
    The intake of the first ever Designer Mentoring Program is now officially closed. I have been spending the weekend learning about the Designers who have expressed interest in this program. Believe you me it is not an easy task doing the selection!
    I will be posting the names of the lucky 5 designers on this blog soon. Do stay tuned!

  • Mikkel Holm

    May 31, 2009 at 3:55 am Reply

    Hello D.T.
    Thank you for this great opportunity

  • Andrea M.

    May 28, 2009 at 10:43 pm Reply

    Hi Brian, my name is Andrea and I’m a recent graduate in industrial design from Argentina. I’d love the opportunity to be part of your mentoring program if possible and exploit all of your knowledge the smartest way. And also because it’d be a good chance to resurrect my princess Leia’s costume.
    The full illustrated reasons can be found on my work-in-progress blog, http://lifeisateapot.blogspot.com
    Best Regards!

  • S

    May 28, 2009 at 10:37 pm Reply

    Hey Gwen,
    I read your great post and I found myself in the 1% women that work in the product development industry! This is the part that I do like about my job, being able to learn with engineers about tools and procedures, because it’s a great opportunity for me to learn a little more of what we didn’t see much at school.
    The idea of being in the program is to learn more about all the design world with a experienced person and be able to pass it to people around us: not just designers, but put the knowledge in the products we are making!
    🙂 Thanks all!

  • gwen

    May 28, 2009 at 12:38 am Reply

    wow, tons of people love to write… whoa!… the competition is just getting started.
    First of all whether I am in the program or not, I want give a deep admiration + appreciation for you doing this and taking the time out of your life to helping 5 people across the globe. That can be emotionally draining and I shall cheer for you along the way.
    I shall try to keep it short

  • Daniel Mapp

    May 26, 2009 at 6:00 am Reply

    I can also be found on twitter @danielmapp.

  • Daniel Mapp

    May 26, 2009 at 5:56 am Reply

    Hi i am about to graduate with a degree in industrial design and feel that i could do with actual industry crtitique/guidance in order to get me to design at the best of my capabilities. This is why i would love the opportunity to take part in your mentoring program.
    Thankyou for your time

  • Gabriel T.F.

    May 26, 2009 at 2:21 am Reply

    Greetings, Mr. Ling. I am a industrial designer, 29 years old, but i work with graphic design in a office, here in Brazil, Santa Catarina, Xanxere town, about 8 years focused on digital art. Also, specialized on marketing and advertising. Plus, i work with teacher in a college, nearby my city, with Industrial and Graphic Design. I have most interested in your program. Maybe this should be a great challege for both of us. I want to expand my skills and i know that you are the best way to do that.
    I expect a chance like that, if you have some interest to take me as your student, i will spread your knowledge on the south of Brazil at minimum.
    Thanks a lot for this opportunity, i really appreciate your time spent to read this.
    Thank you very much.
    Gabriel T.F.

  • S

    May 26, 2009 at 12:34 am Reply

    Hello Brian,
    First of all I would like to thank you for this great opportunity you are giving to us, designers who need a experienced vision of the complicated design world.
    I am a Product Designer who graduated last year in Belas Artes, S

  • Oliver

    May 25, 2009 at 8:17 am Reply

    Hi there! I’m really excited about this rare experience.
    No wonder i would like to be considered for your program. My name is Oliver Pecharroman and I am a design student in IED University in Barcelona. I think I can offer a great deal of enthusiasm and forward thinking and at the same time
    learn vital experience from you and everybody taking part on this.
    I am a long term follower on your site and devoted to your book list that I have shared with many friends.
    My already uploaded portfolio is here at http://portfolio.oliverpecha.com
    Regards!, Oliver

  • Munwar Khan

    May 25, 2009 at 12:12 am Reply

    I am,Industrial Designer from IDC IIT Bombay India.just graduated. By Knowing the detail of Mentoring program It seem that it is just made for me. So wanna join and actively Involve.

  • Michael

    May 23, 2009 at 8:38 pm Reply

    I am a recent design graduate and am looking for direction for my future and would love an experts opinion/criticism to help me forge my future design pathways. I have strong interests in areas such as sustainable and socially responsible design, as well as film/set and medical design.
    I think this is a great mentoring opportunity for young and aspiring designers to get real one on one chance to get helpful feedback and direction in their future.
    I love all forms of design and appreciate the core of what design is and has to offer. I hear you are getting back into photography, something which has always been a side-hobby of mine, especially falling in love with the nogalstic pictures you get with the old style medium format cameras.
    I frequent many online design sites such as core77, product design forums, notcot etc and have just recently discovered this place which I have added to my list of interesting design sites.
    I haven’t yet gotten with the twitter craze as such, however am fairly familiar with online forms of communication such as blogs etc. I have been building and refining my online portfolio (http://mgeedrick.110mb.com/), any constructive feedback on which would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for some guidance, especially in the current uncertain climate, and would appreciate your expertise to help me develop.
    Thank-you so much for setting up this program, I am sure whoever you choose will be greatly appreciative.
    Kind Regards,

  • Stephen Donald

    May 21, 2009 at 2:06 pm Reply

    Hi Brian,
    Would love to be a part of this mentor program, just not sure if im at the right level? Been reading everyones application here and everyone seems to be university students, recent graduates and profesionals.
    I dont fall into any of thoose.
    However for the last six years i have worked alone to see my childhood dream of becoming a designer start to become reality, at 17 now i’m quite proud of my achievements.
    THe most significant opportunity was last summer when i had just left school at the age of 16 and awarded a scholarship to CCS, Detroit for the summer automotive design course.
    A massive adventure for both my career and essentialy my life.. As i had never flown before, the cultural change from england to america was one that i definatly enjoyed.
    From there i gained a placement a xenophya design, a leading motorcycle studio in which i have a healthy relationship with and have had several placements there over the last year.
    I’m young, very young in context to what everyone brands the age of a young designer to be, but i hope that you can recognise a little bit of tallent in me that you could help develop.
    in terms of internet i document as much as i possibly can,
    My blog: http://www.stephendonald.com
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stephenjdonald
    I also added you on LInkedIN the other day.
    Thank you so much for your time,

  • Calvin Botha

    May 21, 2009 at 6:10 am Reply

    Hi there Brain, great idea, funny I read this today though because we (my class and 3-D lecturer, I’m currently in my second year at CPUT in South Africa studying B-Tech Industrial Design) were discussing how we could improve our class/lecturer interaction. Here you are advertising a really awesome opportunity for young designers! I (we) have always felt a need for better (more focused and enthusiastic) comment and interaction regarding my design work which I am sad to say is lacking as our Technicon due to various reasons…
    So I would love to be a part of this exercise, I haven’t got a lot of fancy sites blogs, but I am on the net everyday and read every YD post religiously no matter what the time:-)
    I will send you what I do have (is there a mail address that I can send pics ect. to you?) and I hope that you see some potential to help grow/develop something amazing!
    Kind Regards

  • zippyflounder

    May 21, 2009 at 12:02 am Reply

    Wow, great minds think alike this is exactly what i described to tak at yankodesign a month ago.

  • Jason Phillips

    May 19, 2009 at 11:59 pm Reply

    Hi Brian,
    I really appreciate your presence online and would love to participate. I am a young designer (25) and a graduate of The University of Michigan (BFA in Industrial Design, Magna Cum Laude). I have my own brand – Jason Phillips Design (http://www.jasonphillipsdesign.com) and work with my family’s furniture company – The Phillips Collection (http://www.phillipscollection.com).
    I am blog happy and portfolio crazy! Here are the links:
    Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/jasonpdesign) – just followed you…
    Coroflot (http://www.coroflot.com/jasonphillipsdesign)
    Behance (http://www.behance.net/jasonphillipsdesign)
    Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonphillipsdesign/sets/)
    Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2218668&ref=name#/pages/Jason-Phillips-Design/26928991269?ref=s and http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2218668&hiq=jason%2Cphillips%2Cdesign)
    Lots more but I don’t want to flood this page!
    I would be happy to discuss things further via email or phone.

  • Dianne Loh

    May 19, 2009 at 6:10 pm Reply

    Who are your mentors? I will only sign up if my mentor is Ban from Stikfas. 😀

  • Raghuraj Ananthoj (Raj)

    May 18, 2009 at 4:38 pm Reply

    Hi DT,
    i hope you’re doing great. I think you have taken n outstanding decision to build a program like this. A step further in the education field and using the first class democratic media , the internet. We’ve been in touch since long atleast on the net. And im watching you, since long. i really appreciate this what are you doing to and for the Industrial Design and the society.
    I have read the above requirements. And i guess im there, I want to be there in the mentoring program.
    P.S (Just to make you remember, you have listed 4 habits of mine…25 habits of Industrial designers)

  • David

    May 17, 2009 at 11:48 pm Reply

    Hello Brian
    I would really welcome an honest dialogue about my work, and my portfolio.
    I have been looking for a design industry mentor really ever since I left university. I

  • Raph

    May 17, 2009 at 3:47 pm Reply

    *Note – I originally utilized twitter to make my application, but Brian has asked that I add it here at Design Sojourn. Plus this allows me to expand on some points (it is really hard to do an application completely via twitter, although it forces you to be super concise – I would suggest giving it a try and attempting it in as few tweets as possible, but with the most information possible). To see my twitter application type #DSMentor into the twitter search and you will find it.
    Dear Brian,
    I would like to officially submit myself for consideration as one of your Padiwan learners in the DS Designer Mentoring program.
    I am a driven, enthusiastic individual who loves design. Currently, I live and work (freelance) in Melbourne, Australia. I do brand development and Industrial Design. I currently have around 10 regular clients, most of which I do brand development for, but I am aiming to move my work more heavily into the Industrial Design field in the coming year. I graduated top of my class from RMIT Universities’ Industrial Design program in 2008, my career aim is to work for a company like IDEO or Breville, before starting my own Industrial Design studio.
    I firmly believe that in order for designers and the industrial design profession to develop, it is important for designers to share their knowledge, learning’s and journeys with each other. Which is one of several reasons I founded Design Droplets (http://designdroplets.com). Thus I would like to join the program to not only further my own learning and be heavily critiqued, but to share what I have learnt with others.
    I enjoy good food, coffee, cold beer and cycling. At the top of the food list is Chinese cuisine, followed a close second Italian.
    For more information on me or to connect directly with me, please visit Design Droplets(http://designdroplets.com), my coroflot folio(http://twurl.nl/kfep16), twitter(http://twitter.com/designdroplets) or linkedin(http://twurl.nl/ehzz3).
    Thank you for your consideration. Should you require more information please don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    Kind Regards
    Raph Goldsworthy
    Freelance Designer.
    Editor, Design Droplets.

  • bfmoy

    May 17, 2009 at 8:41 am Reply

    Dear Brian,
    I would love to join you and others to learn from each other. I am a sophomore in industrial design. I see this as being an opportunity for a nice learning community for Industrial Design. I have some questions which I have pmed you on core77.com
    My links:
    coroflot- http://www.coroflot.com/brianfmoy
    linkedin- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brian-moy/9/905/823
    twitter(just made)- http://twitter.com/ujujisan
    Good luck with the mentoring program!

  • Arjan

    May 15, 2009 at 7:00 pm Reply

    This is a great and fresh initiative. Providing guidance to aspiring designers is such a nice thing to do. Sharing knowledge through forums and blogs has been great, but this takes it to the next level.
    I hope to get a change at being part of this wonderful program. I sent you my information through linkedin.

  • Jonning

    May 15, 2009 at 5:48 pm Reply

    Hey Brian! This initiative of yours deserve huge respect. Providing valuable guidance to young creative minds to shape the future of humanity, one small step at a time.
    Well, like most candidates here, I am looking to improve on my personal design philosophy and direction. Having both experiences in Industrial design and Interaction design, I hope to one day to be able to integrate both disciplines and create ‘Industriaction’ designs! Hence, I guess the first step will be to polish up my portfolio and to fine-tune my personal design direction. And I believe the DSMentoring program will be a great start!

  • Paavani

    May 15, 2009 at 3:18 pm Reply

    Brian, count me in for such a nice program.
    I am an Industrial Designer, look after color, finish and material. More can be check on my blog or on twitter (www.twitter.com/paavani)

  • JasonCooper

    May 15, 2009 at 2:23 pm Reply

    Hi Brian,
    I’ll keep it short, the reasoning for the applying of the DSMentoring program can be found at my blog here. – http://lifeofadesignstudent.blogspot.com/
    I can also be found at:
    Website: http://www.jasecooper.com
    Coroflot: http://coroflot.com/jasoncooper
    Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11742139@N02/
    Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/a70/982
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jasecoop
    I am a student at Northumbria University studying Design For Industry. Though I have taken a year out to do a number of internships. As a result I am full of questions concerning design and business that need answers and further discussion. What you’re doing is great, very admirable, and it would be very cool to be involved.
    Keep up the good work and I look forward to hearing the results.

  • m3nd3l

    May 15, 2009 at 2:22 pm Reply

    Well, I’d love to be part of this thing. I’m not sure I can give advice and critique yet, so I’d rather stay open to critique and advice from others.
    It’s very complicated and time consuming to take some distance, away from your work and from the way you manage projects or clients.
    I’ll take the green lightsaber!

  • DT

    May 15, 2009 at 12:11 pm Reply

    Hi All! Thanks for your expression of interest, it has been huge! I will create a list of all the names of designers who expressed interest in the post above soon.
    @Fredric, Thank you very much for sharing. Sorry that your not an Industrial Designer, and your passion is fantastic. Please keep in touch?

  • Fredric Barnes

    May 15, 2009 at 10:17 am Reply

    Hey, I’m fairly new to the internet, and I have a dream of once becoming something like a web designer and do those cool flash animations I see everywhere. I see this is not really about learning people that kind of design, but I still dug this post, followed you on twitter and subscribed to your rss. Hope you’ll one day care to do something for us who are new to the web and really enjoy good design as well. 🙂
    Love Fredric

  • Danny Chhang

    May 15, 2009 at 3:26 am Reply

    I am in Dallas Texas United States and I am a 1st year Graphic designer. I have always been interested in design in general. I am trying to improve my portfolio to get into Art Center. I am interested in just about every aspect of design. Currently I work on minor graphic designs for a hardware and plumbing distributor. I am also an assistant in marketing. The company I work for is geared towards architecture and interior design.
    Looking at all the amazing products designed by Phillipe Starck for Hansgrohe and Duravit was what really pushed me into industrial design. I want to design everything right now and I want you to help achieve that or at least narrow it down a little.
    I just stumbled onto your blog a few weeks ago and I enjoy your posts.
    Ive just recently started a Linkin account so its not fully set up yet. I’d like to think that I am internet savvy. I have been on deviantart a little more than 5 years.
    I am looking forward to getting a response from you!

  • Louise Cochrane

    May 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm Reply

    Hi there,
    I’m a 3rd year student doing MEng Product Design Engineering in Scotland. I’m at the stage now where I could really benefit from having a mentor in industry, and I would love to have someone available to me to give advice and to answer any questions I have!
    Industrial Design is the area of work I would really like to go into, and it is my design classes that I enjoy the most. Although I think my engineering classes are a really good base for an industrial designer, with a knowledge of manufacturing techniques, materials, design analysis etc.
    As well as industrial design, we also share a common bond in our love of pizza!
    Hope to hear from you soon 🙂

  • euge

    May 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm Reply

    sign me up!!!
    look forward to trying out for the team…hmmm…red or blue lightsaber…

  • Waikit Chung

    May 14, 2009 at 3:47 pm Reply

    Seems that my previous comment didn’t go through. Here is my reply again:
    As I am just starting to rebuild my portfolio and looking for job opportunities and seriously thinking about my next steps in career, I believe this is an excellent opportunity to apply for the ‘Designer Mentoring Program’ .
    I have just blogged about this:

  • Waikit Chung

    May 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm Reply

    Thank you Brian for this fantastic opportunity, as I am just starting to rebuild my portfolio and looking for job opportunities and seriously thinking about my next steps in career.
    I am going to blog about this initiative on http://www.productdesignhub.com and if selected I would love to blog about my journey during the program.

  • Raph

    May 14, 2009 at 8:32 am Reply

    AN excellent idea Brian. I am certainly interested in being considered to part of the program.

  • Ingo

    May 14, 2009 at 5:46 am Reply

    Wow, nice offer. And a masterpiece of personal PR!

  • fecsx

    May 14, 2009 at 4:25 am Reply

    respect :F i’m in.. i mean i would love to take part in this.. i’ll be back as soon my site is up n running again tc

  • Brad Nunnally

    May 14, 2009 at 2:28 am Reply

    Great idea, I know I love to share my limited pool of knowledge with who ever is interested. Kudos to you for starting this up.

  • rutiso

    May 14, 2009 at 1:23 am Reply

    I would jump in and of cause I am willing to give advice. Nothing is more important than sharing your knowledge so everybody can improve – Even those one who share.

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