Fjord Faces: Peter Esveld

The Fjordian talks detours, dinner guests and the importance of looking up from your phone

Role: Interaction Design Lead

Studio: Toronto

Years at Fjord: <1

How did you end up in this role?

I took the long way — a detour from advertising to art school, making some wonderful Fjordian friends, and marrying a Canadian were all key milestones in my journey.

What’s been your favorite part of working at Fjord?

We’re seen as young and scrappy, but because of where we work we get the chance to make a massive impact in terms of thought leadership + strategic impact. Rise up, designers!

Where do you find inspiration?

Art is definitely always at the forefront for me — a lot of good ideas are already kicking around, they just need a bit of synthesis. Otherwise, I have to say that just watching and listening closely to the world is the best way to get inspired — you miss a lot when you’re glued to your screen or phone.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?

Alice Waters, David Chang, and Anthony Bourdain. I would go for famous humanitarians/politicians, but we’re talking about drinking and eating here!

What’s the weirdest or funniest thing that’s happened to you on the job at Fjord?

Kitted out in my safety vest, glasses and steel-toe boots in the cab of a freight train, pulling the horn and waving to the kids in the minivan waiting at the crossing. So fun!

What are your three favorite things to do on the weekend?

Bake fresh sourdough bread, cycle the city and spend time at the park with friends.

How does your role as Fjord affect your life outside of the office and vice cress?

Once you really learn how to learn, you can’t turn it off. Our design research lifestyle bleeds into everything you do — and the approach of continual experimentation and iteration is something that can be applied everywhere. I think Stanford now even teaches a class on applying design thinking to your life!

What are your three office must-haves for a successful workday?

Coffee from Sam James, A stylish hat, and LOTS of sharpies

If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing?

No idea– possibly something agricultural. I’m originally from a tiny town in Iowa, after all.

What’s your hope for the future?

I hope design as a practice continues to mature and become more comfortable with itself. Creativity is one of the most fundamental, useful and valuable traits humans possess. We need to make sure we’re stewards and spokespeople of that in a way that’s responsible and sustainable — not just profitable.

We’re always looking for smart, talented and passionate people like Peter. Want to join the team? See all open positions and find out more about why it’s good to be a Fjordian here!

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