PantuflaCuantica (Freelance Product Designer & Digital Designer)

Product Designer based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Currently, focused on product design for innovative technologies and immersive web experiences.

She/Her • Buenos Aires, Argentina • June 5, 2024

What led you into design?

NOTE: I did this interview when I was a freelancer, and now I'm working at MetaLab.

My journey into the design world started when I got a computer and internet at home. It was a mind-blowing moment for me. At first, I just explored the internet by visiting places with computers, browsing different websites, and downloading images to diskettes. Then my uncle, who's a software engineer now, introduced me to Microsoft FrontPage, and that was it. I realized that I could create an index of the images I had stored on my computer.

After that, I got into digital cameras, high school, and Geocities. I remember spending a lot of time at school taking pictures of my classmates and publishing them on the class website for everyone to see. But sending a zip file to thirty-something people via MSN with a dial-up connection was a real pain. During that time, I also discovered indie movies, jazz music, and other things that were outside of my world, thanks to the internet. Then I started combining all those discoveries to create shorts, collages, websites, and interactive CDs.

Now, I'm super excited about the rise of IA and the comeback of skeuomorphism. What a time to be alive!

What does a typical day look like?

I usually wake up at 7:45 am, but if I had the choice, I would start even later. While having breakfast, I read something or watch short documentaries to wake up fully. If I plan to work from home that day, I go for a run after I'm done eating. Otherwise, I quickly attend to some things at home and then prepare to go to the studio I rent with other freelancers.

I've set my work hours from 10 am to 5 pm, during which I work on different projects. In the morning I use my best brainpower on the most difficult project I'm working on. I then have lunch with my partner if I'm working from home or with my studio mates if I'm there.

In the afternoon, I'm more relaxed and explorative, so I use that time to design new UIs for the projects we are working on in my studio. Sometimes I play around with the new trends that are around Twitter to test and improve my craft capabilities. And sometimes I just do chores haha.

When I finish my work day, I usually go to take a walk with my dog, go to play Padel with my friends at the club or take a coffee with a friend.

What's your workstation setup?

Where do you go to get inspired?

When I'm in a relaxed state of mind without any to-do's and with a clear vision, I usually find inspiration from a variety of sources. My favorites are architecture, movies, and industrial design. In Buenos Aires, there are many Brutalist buildings that I enjoy visiting whenever I can. For example, I like going to the public library which feels like a space station in the middle of a park. I enjoy travelling exclusively to visit buildings or houses that I like. The last one I visited was the Stahl House in Los Angeles. It was awe-inspiring.

I also love watching movies, especially the less common ones. Currently, I'm obsessed with the Cinema Noir genre, specifically those filmed in Los Angeles like Mulholland Drive and Chinatown.

But I usually end up connecting all these dots by talking with others. Conversations are the most powerful source of inspiration and convergence. You know, that "Bingo!" moment.

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

I'm really intrigued by these industrial design projects I found online. One that caught my eye is Meticulous Home, which aims to create a coffee station with precision and attention to detail. I'm impressed by the thoughtfulness and creativity behind this project, and I'm excited to learn more about it.

Continuing, I really love what Teenage Engineering is doing :). The visual interface reminds me a lot of Dieter's work at Braun.

At the last one the keyboards of Electronic Materials Office, the current Altar I is something really interesting.

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

Whenever I begin a new project, I strive to enhance every aspect of the process, including UX, UI, communication, and iterations. So here there are the latest UI I did:

UI Animation for Contra's first landing page
Kinetic animation for WASH®

What design challenges do you face at your company?

As a freelancer, I face many challenges, some easier than others. One of the challenges is attracting more clients, which requires being more active on social media by showcasing my work. However, the most significant challenge is understanding what is happening outside of work. For instance, the US recession in 2022/2023 made workload scarce, and it took me time to realize that it was not my fault. For five years, I had been receiving several work inquiries every week, and suddenly, there was a slowdown. It was a moment for me to think creatively about attracting more clients, although my efforts didn't yield the expected results.

Another challenge that I'm currently facing is working alone. For five years, I have been working alone at my computer, and it has been a bit lonely. However, after running a few experiments by collaborating with other designers, I realized that teamwork can be amazing. I believe that a group of designers can create better work than just one person. Therefore, I am opening myself up to the designer community in Argentina to expand my practice by creating a Design Team as a service. I want to meet new people, have fun, and create something really cool together.

What music do you listen to while designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

Enjoy the ride of being a part of companies at different stages. Startups can be fun if you're not afraid of the blank page. Big companies can be fun if you enjoy maintaining stability. Discover what suits you best and experiment with different variables.

Design is important, but no more important than other departments within a company. It's more about the ensemble than the individual piece.

Also, never stop learning. Make time to read about new topics or things that interest you. It doesn't matter if they are related to design or not.

And always make time for your loved ones :)

Anything you want to promote or plug?

You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you want to chat :). Also, you can visit my website