Inspiring kickstart as a product designer

Recently, Mauricio Camacho successfully completed his master's degree in M.A. Communication Design and Creative Strategies. Here he shares insights about his studies, current projects as well as his master's thesis, which was even awarded as one of the best theses from the department of Design at the last graduation ceremony.

Recently, you graduated from HMKW with a Master’s degree in Communication Design and Creative Strategies. Tell us more about your current plans: What job position are you aiming for?

I am helping a friend creating a catalog for his paintings as a personal project. Also, I have been working on stage visuals for a music act using some of the tools I learned during my studies. On the work side, I am a product designer at a big German retail company that operates in the US, the UK and Australia.

Why did you decide to study the M.A. Communication Design and Creative Strategies at HMKW Berlin?

I enjoyed a lot that we were encouraged to be inspired but in an uncomfortable, chaotic and methodic way. Learning and making new things that I had not done before was fun.

The pandemic started, and it all went down the drain. However, I was impressed by how the professors shifted and iterated on the new way of learning. They did a great job every semester when everything went virtual.


Please tell us more about your master thesis: What was your topic and how did you discover it?

While watching a nature documentary with my partner, I realized what I wanted to research; a sudden image of a snake appeared, and she jumped out in fear, screaming. It was an involuntary reaction caused by visual stimuli; I was curious to see and feel that some visual stimuli can be positive or negative in how it affects us, and that's how it started.

The name of my thesis is Attraction & Disgust—a Ying and Yang relationship rendered with generative design. The theoretical part explores the close visual and philosophical connection between these emotions and finds that they are not binary but fluid and generative because it changes every time the parameters or visual stimuli are altered.

The practical part, utilizing visual programming techniques and interaction design, attempts to create an audiovisual experience placing people at the center of the visual process whilst being able to modify and vary the generated audiovisual experience in real-time.


In your opinion, from which experiences/courses/projects during your studies will you benefit the most in your future career?

Every class and professor brought a style and a spirit of expertise that harmonized with each other. It felt as if the whole master study experience was well thought out and contextualized with today's society.

How do you get inspired? And what inspires you the most?

I get inspired daily by how everything works. However, the two things that inspire me the most are machines (computers, software, synths, musical instruments) and nature.

What are your plans for the future?

Keep creating and exploring new technologies to develop forms of digital art. I certainly want to do more performative installations with audiovisuals.

Thanks for the interview and all the fascinating insights. All the best to you!