Dominic Montante

Cleveland Institute of Art

I’ve been drawing since the moment I could grasp a pen. To the probable concern of my parents, I was never like the other kids, who might draw their pets or families, rather, I drew consumer products. I remember filling my house with drawings of everything from cars to vacuums, sheet after sheet, at first mimicking what I saw, then learning and discovering how to create my own. I was soon building and inventing, building anything that ranged from a rabbit trap to a solar-powered cell phone charger. Whether successful or not (the charger exploded), I was never undeterred by a challenge.

Later in my high school years, my education was steeped deeply in the fine arts and I had cultivated a passion for it, however I still felt a draw to creating objects of utility. When I discovered Industrial Design, I saw it as an opportunity to bring together my talent in fine arts with my ambition for making.

My goal as an industrial designer is to create objects of beauty that are perfectly suited to their task. Good design, a term whose definition has been debated by theorists for decades, is for me design that creates an emotional response. The judgement of what qualifies good design is not told by any single quantifiable metric, rather it is the feeling a person receives when using a product. Does it look pleasing? Does it feel just right to use? Does it meet the user’s specific needs? If I can answer any of these questions and put a smile on the user’s face, then I feel successful.

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