US-bred Pinoy chosen to head Huawei’s smartphone design team

A multi-awarded Filipino-American designer has been chosen to head a team that will design Huawei devices, including smartphones, the company said in a statement.

Michael Joseph David will head a group called the “Dream Lab” in the mobile division of the China-based telecom equipment manufacturer. Dream Lab is the design team of Huawei Device Consumer Experience Design Center.

Michael Joseph David  heads the Dream Lab in Huawei's mobile division

Michael Joseph David heads the Dream Lab in Huawei’s mobile division

“Many of our projects provide archetype and future design solutions. We drive to innovate and a big part of our job is to approach and execute projects creatively/disruptively in order to inspire and demonstrate what the future of Huawei design should be,” David said. “Our aim is for all of our smartphones, to foster an emotional engagement with the users, whoever they may be.”

Based in various centers of global design excellence such as London, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Tokyo, Dream Lab includes a core team with expertise ranging from user interface and customer research, to product structure and architecture.

Comprising people from multi-cultural backgrounds and a variety of specialties, the team delivers Huawei’s current and future devices to fully showcase their innovative design capabilities.

David pursued a degree in product design at the Art Center College of Design in California, one of the best in the field of design. Despite his parents’ inclination towards the medical field, David forged his own path and eventually gained his parents’ support.

“Before I learned how to write, I was already drawing and building things from my surroundings and from my imagination. In the design industry, I felt I could be the best at what I do. It may have been a little selfish but I was confident I could make it. When my father saw this, he worked hard and sacrificed a lot to put through design school,” he said.

Nature and culture top the list of factors that shape David’s design ethos.

“I find answers to many of my questions in how nature works. As for culture, I believe that one must completely immerse in and experience culture to gain an insight into what people in this globalized world truly desire,” he said.

The works and design ethos of iconic industrial designers Dieter Rams and Naoto Fukasawa, along with furniture designer Hans Wegner, provide David a hefty dose of inspiration. He also turns to automotive, graphic, advertising, architecture, culinary, engineering, and fashion design.

David also owes his success and discipline to hard work.

“Competition was strong. I worked hard and embraced it. It builds character, strengthens relationships, and enriches experience,” he said. “There’s so much effort and thought put into every detail and I am a bit of a perfectionist. This is not unique to Filipinos per se but I see these attributes in many Filipino people around me who work in different fields.”

His hard work paid off as the multi-awarded designer explored everything the world of design has to offer.

In 2000, David kicked off his career in the mobile industry in Tokyo, Japan where he stayed for almost seven years. His next move took him to the United Kingdom to work for industry giant Samsung.

In 15 years, David gained an impressive design portfolio ranging from household appliances to furniture, from desktop computers to tablets and mobile phones.

Fifteen years of design experience taught David that a well-designed product improves a person’s quality of living, influencing how people interact with the product and go about their everyday tasks.

Design is currently experiencing a tectonic shift and most of the impact is seen in mobile and electronic devices.

Looking ahead to the future, David said, “Huawei has the infrastructure, resource and technology to be a global leader and I believe this will happen in the near future. It’s all about the journey and I am excited to be a part of it.”

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