Sandro Roth - Industrial Designer | Founder

Sandro Roth is a designer, a coffee-lover, and runs his business, Irix Design, with his wife. What he does he would do for a hobby; the fact he gets paid is just a bonus.

An industrial designer by trade, there is so much more that goes into his work. The years of learning and a lot of trial and error have landed him to where he is today, with the sole goal of making people's lives easier.

From an internship to head of design, it has been a road and an industry well travelled, and one based in problem-solving and making clients smile along the way.

“Seeing that final product, it is an- incredible feeling. But, sometimes it takes a turn or two more, to see it, try it, and sometimes it doesn't work out quite the way you thought it would. But, seeing the prototype and first production, it motivates me"

Perfectionism isn't part of the process, although it is something that may or may not come after the fact. He notes that there are people who always want things to be perfect before anyone gets to see the product, but that's not the way he works. Instead, it is better to get something out there, get feedback, do a test run of a small product, and take things forward from there. This constant need for perfection before releasing something into the world is something he encounters a lot of but doesn't pay much mind to.

When he started out, he was designing lamps. So many of the prototypes were dropped to the floor and shattered into thousands of pieces; they were too heavy. Designing those lamps was a journey of finding out the problem, and working on the solution.

“There has never been a project that I have given up on, I have always found a solution."

Being a designer requires you to wear many hats and be resilient yet creative, curious and explorative, and that is exactly what Sandro reveals as part of our chat.

A collection of six bikes (previously eight), indicates a passion outside of his purpose. He believes in spending more the first time around to get something that will last, and shares that he works on his bikes and replaces the parts, as opposed to buying a whole new one if something goes wrong. It turns out it is a long-time love affair, with every scrape and accident he has can be attributed to a bicycle.

Other loves include coffee and Fermentation. The former saw him mix coffee with alcohol in 100 different ways during the first lockdown, and a smile came across his face with the words anything went. A sentiment that is very familiar to March 2020.

Fermentation is a process of trial and error, he shared. With a nod to the Noam guide to Fermentation, a reference to a Bloody Mary made with fermented tomatoes, and a recipe for fermented garlic honey exchanged in the process. It only felt fitting to share it here:

Fermented garlic honey recipe
Peel and crush the garlic, drizzle the honey on top, and wait a few days.
The solid honey starts to turn to liquid and bubbles, creating a garlic cand.
Put it on a pizza - it is super easy and good to go.Y
ou cannot really do anything wrong; just don't put rotten garlic in the jar.

He likens the process of Fermentation to the designing of lamps; you fail and learn something again, and try to do it better the next time, although sometimes it ends up being worse. There is a joy in his voice and a wonder that comes with it, a playfulness and willingness to explore.

With notebooks stacked by the side of his bed, some ideas never make it out of the pages, and some that he cannot even read, but there is always the urge to put pen to paper before drifting off to sleep, to document it, to capture it, just in case. That's the way his work starts; with pen and paper. So rarely does a piece of work start in its digital form; it begins with sketches and ideas, being mapped out and thought out along the way.

Sandro is a founding and PRO+ member of 3point175, and muses on it being a chance to break from work and a chance to step back, as well as being home to a community of people always willing to help.

“Go with the wind; if the wind blows too hard against you, change direction, and go the other way."

What he is doing now works for him now, and who knows what is to come in the future? While growing up, there was a lot of planning and precision with spreadsheets and point-scoring systems, something he is not keen to take with him wherever he is heading next.

You can find Sandro via IRIX DESIGN and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Contact details for Sandro