Freelance Design Director


DanielNisttahuz (Freelance Design Director)

Daniel Nisttahuz, a product and motion designer from Bolivia, thrives in Tokyo's dynamic creative scene. His passion for technology, design, art, and motion graphics fuels his work.

he/him • Tokyo, Japan • April 11, 2024

What led you into design?

I want to thank my folks because they introduced me to computers from an early age; just watching my dad interacting with that black-green screen was something magical. I think that is where my tech journey began; at the same time, I also had a deep-seated interest in design, photography, and video. However, pursuing a career in the arts seemed uncertain in my country due to limited opportunities. So, I chose a more conventional path and started studying engineering. However, during my third year of university, I realized that engineering wasn't where my heart was, even though after two more years I finished the career, I began seriously exploring motion graphics and design, studying them alongside my engineering coursework. A few years later, I got to study for a Master's Degree in France on a scholarship, fully immersing myself in my passion for design. And from there, the rest is history.

What does a typical day look like?

My mornings kick off at around 7 am; that's when my wife and I dive into the routine of getting my kids ready for school. After a quick shower and breakfast, I settle down to skim through my emails and catch up on the latest news. My workday typically starts around 9 am. Come midday; I have a hearty lunch - I'm a big fan of Korean, Japanese, Arab, and Latin American cuisines. Sometimes, I like to mix things up and create a delicious fusion of these flavors. Post-lunch, I return to work until it's time to take my kid to his afternoon classes. Evenings are for family time and sharing a nice dinner. Depending on the day, I might return to work after dinner, or we might all enjoy some quality time together.

What's your workstation setup?

Where do you go to get inspired?

Everywhere! Inspiration is truly all around us - in movies, ads, music, and the beauty of nature. Everything we encounter offers lessons in both exceptional and lacklustre design. It's crucial to dissect various elements and grasp the intent behind a designer's final piece. But I will definitely go back to great designers like Massimo Vignelli, Dieter Rams, Takenobu Igarashi, Yusaku Kamekura, Paul Rand, Milton Glaser, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Stefan Sagmeister, Ian Anderson, Maurizio Cattelan, Kisho Kurokawa, BÜRO DESTRUCT and others.

For a burst of creativity, abdz is a top-notch spot. Pinterest, too, is a treasure trove for discovering standout designs and talented designers. X it's not just good for networking but also a great place for inspiration.

Also, I really enjoy diving into Steve Jobs' thoughts, which always spark new ideas. I also loved Tony Fadell's latest book, which is a fascinating read. Beepl's unique art and design perspective is awe-inspiring. And if you're into the urban-cyberpunk aesthetic, Noe Alonzo and Liam Wong are masters at translating cityscapes into digital art.

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

Vision Pro The Vison Pro's integration of AR and 3D design excites me not only for its capacity to craft new realities but also because it heralds a significant shift in spatial design, fundamentally changing our interaction with the world. This advancement in spatial design is particularly inspiring, suggesting a future where our engagement with spaces becomes more intuitive, immersive, and profoundly transformative.

Rocka Flame, a Japanese company, with their attention to detail in creating some of the most thrilling electric bikes, is simply admirable; I really love mine!

Analogue is another brand that stands out for its stunning design. The team at Analogue has really put their heart into crafting products that users will not only love but feel a deep connection with. They've genuinely infused their products with a unique spirit.

Toilet Paper Magazine is one of my favorites, enriched by its captivating art collection and innovative and fresh ideas. I'm very lucky to have collected all the issues. This ongoing collection serves not just as a source of inspiration but as a testament to the magazine's role in shaping contemporary design narratives.

When it comes to fashion, brands like Onitsuka Tiger,  FR2, HUF, PUNK DRUNKERS, and SUPERARE truly stand out to me. Their relentless innovation in design, coupled with their bold use of colors and styles, always grabs attention. It's their inventive approach that really speaks volumes, making each piece feel like a fresh perspective on fashion.

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

Choosing a single favorite project is a formidable task, yet I'm delighted to share highlights from my portfolio that hold special significance.

One project that particularly excites me is my work on OSO, a groundbreaking healthcare app developed by the Nectelier team known for its Kron App. OSO is poised to redefine our interactions with people, companies, and products. Despite being in the nascent stages, its forthcoming updates promise to unleash its full potential, and I await its evolution with bated breath.

Another endeavor close to my heart is Studio for Kids, an educational platform I co-founded. This project holds personal value as it was born from a collaboration with my wife, aiming to teach our children the Arabic alphabet. Our project caught Apple's attention, earning us a spot in their entrepreneur camp, an honor that underscores the platform's impact.

My journey into Web3 and Fintech, particularly through designing for a crypto exchange platform, marked a pivotal expansion of my expertise. This project allowed me to dive deep into product design and illustration, providing a rich and fulfilling experience.

The creation of promotional videos also stands out in my work. From animating a course for Design+Code to producing a video for Tailwind, and not to forget the promo video for Kent C. Dodd's learning platform, each project offered unique challenges and rewards.

A significant milestone was designing an AI platform for a government institution, a project that was intellectually stimulating at every turn.

Lastly, the opportunity to craft 3D art for a leading VR company was not only a highlight but also a deeply satisfying creative venture.

Each of these projects, distinct in their challenges and triumphs, reflects my passion for pushing the boundaries of design and technology.

Vision Pro Arabic 4 Kids
Intro Promo Video made in Cinema 4D by Daniel Nisttahuz

What design challenges do you face at your company?

Currently, I’m deeply engaged in the design of a healthcare platform that integrates a distinctive array of technologies, including AI, Three.js, and 3D modeling. This initiative is exhilarating as it focuses on making advanced AI solutions accessible to patients. A significant challenge we encountered was transitioning the assets from Maya to glb format. We overcame this by exporting the assets from Maya into FBX format, then importing them into Cinema 4D, from which we could efficiently export to glb.

In parallel, I’m working on the product design of an AI/Tracking platform named INNFINI, created by Innovent. This platform is designed to track items worldwide, offering expansive possibilities across various markets. One of the primary challenges with INNFINI is its vast scale, which can make navigation and organization daunting. To address this, I recommend maintaining rigorous organization to ensure the platform remains user-friendly and navigable, even as it grows and evolves.

On a more personal front, a few years ago, my wife and I embarked on a project very close to our hearts named Studio 4 Kids. Studio 4 Kids is an education platform, where we offer educational apps in different languages. This venture originated from a personal need – we were on a hunt for an app to teach our child the Arabic alphabet but couldn't find one that truly met our expectations. The reason for this was particularly special, as my wife is from Egypt, and we wanted our child to connect with her cultural roots. However, we couldn't find an app that suited our needs, so we created one.

Developing an app from scratch has involved challenges such as company formation, trademark registration, ideation, design, UX/UI, user research, gamification, and more. Each step has been a learning curve, pushing us to innovate and adapt in our journey to bridge cultures through language.

What music do you listen to while designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

To succeed in design, continuously ask, "How can this improve?" Embrace learning, not just in design, but also in public speaking, business, and management. Authenticity and humility are key; always be genuine and learn from both successes and failures.

View the world with curiosity and an eye for design, finding inspiration in everything from nature to human innovation. Criticism is a tool for growth, not a personal slight, so stay open to feedback. Keep expanding your knowledge, and remember, adopting an "AND" mindset opens more doors than a "BUT" mindset, fostering collaboration and creativity. Stand out by going beyond what's expected.

Anything you want to promote or plug?

Sure, I would like to take the opportunity to spotlight the app I created with my wife, Arabic for Kids. It's an engaging journey for 3 to 7-year-olds to explore and learn the Arabic alphabet. We believe it's going to make learning fun and impactful for the little ones.

It started as a love letter to our kids, and now the app is more than just a learning tool. Today, Studio 4 Kids has evolved and expanded into a bigger language-learning platform for children aged 3 to 7, starting with Arabic and planning expansions into Spanish, English, French, Italian, Japanese, and beyond. This initiative has grown from a simple app into a global project aimed at making language learning engaging and accessible for children through interactive technology.

Our efforts were recognized when Apple selected our app for their entrepreneur program, a milestone that has provided us with resources and support to further our mission. We’re also developing a specialized Vision Pro App for “Arabic for Kids,” enhancing the interactive learning experience.

In the same vein, I'm always keen to dive into new projects or collaborations. I'm also always available for freelance opportunities in Product Design, UI/UX, Promo Videos, 3D Design, Illustrations, Motion Graphics, and more. Whether you have a specific project in mind or need a creative mind to help bring your ideas to life, I'm here and ready to dive in.

You can always follow me to get a sneak peek into the various projects I'm involved in. I'm all about sharing my journey and hopefully inspiring others along the way. I can't wait to connect and create with you!