Office tale of Anton Repponen, designer and co-founder at Anton & Irene

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AntonRepponen

Your current job
Designer and co-founder at Anton & Irene, a Brooklyn based design studio

In which city are you located? 
Brooklyn, New York

A word to define what kind of worker you are : 
Self motivated

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..) 
Photoshop, Mail, Spotify, Dropbox, Evernote, Things, “Read Later” type of apps

Studio_01

What does your office space look like? 
When we started our studio the only place we could afford space in New York was Gowanus, an industrial area in Brooklyn, New York. We are in one of the old warehouse buildings but our space looks really nice and has a lot of sunlight. We both don’t like clutter and stuff being all over the place, so unlike many artists who are in the same warehouse, we keep our place neat.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ? 
Electronic music mostly, I try to get into somebody’s playlists on Spotify to discover new music I don’t know. I listed to a lot of podcasts — The Collective Podcast is my favorite one. Sometimes I find videos of design talks recorded from different conferences and listen to them on the background.

Studio_02

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ? 
I do a lot of planning. The type of projects I am working on are all about 3 month or longer, so I can actually spend an hour in the morning just planning my day. I do all the e-mailing in the morning to make sure I reply to everything that is urgent. Then I go over the tasks I need to do for today and I usually create to-dos in Evernote. Right after that I jump into designing without being distracted for couple of hours straight.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ? 
You just have to discipline yourself and not waste time. Designer is a job and you should be trained to come up with ideas and solve problems when you have to solve them. I don’t believe much in “inspiration”. My inspiration is a task or a problem and the moment I have one I am already inspired to solve it and get it done.

If there are moments when you feel stuck and keep doing one task that doesn’t get you anywhere, then quickly switch to another task and start solving something else. Most of the time that helps me to find solution for something else. An example would be: if you’re working on the Home Page of the site for 2-3 hours and everything you do doesn’t seem to solve the problem, move on to another page of the site and you might find certain solutions that would help you to revisit the Home Page later.

You're better than your colleagues to : 
Convince myself that something should be done

Photo_AntonAndIrene_Fencing

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
You always have a no, but you might get a yes.

What is your best tip for saving time ? 
Don’t get distracted on stupid shit :) Make a list in the morning of what you have to do and stick to it. If the list is too big, or items in the list are too complex, then break those items into smaller pieces/portions, that way to-do list will look easier to complete. Don’t open Facebook during the day, that would another one :)

What is your routine start and end of the day ? 

After waking up and taking a shower I bike to work for 30 minutes. Biking helps me to wake up and I get to work already energized. I usually don’t have breakfast, just a cup of coffee when I get to the studio. End of the day is the same, I bike back from Gowanus to Williamsburg but this time I take a more picturesque road on East River. The view is just too nice during the sunset to resist it. In the evening at home I usually reply to personal e-mails or anything to do with personal side projects.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without? 

That would be it to be honest. Other than Kindle, the rest I can survive without.

One of the gadgets that inspired me a lot and I actually think it is the best example of interaction design since the iPhone is Teenage Engineering OP-1. Couple of times a week I can spend hours late at night making music with it and just disconnect form design for a while.