HELLO! I'M VLAD
Welcome to my Portfolio! I am an Engineer and Designer who dives into the process to create meaningful solutions.
Ever since I was a kid, Design was one of my greatest passions. My mind was constantly occupied with the latest Italian supercar, Apple Product, or B&O Sound System. I was drawn in, amazed at how people were constantly improving upon perfection. Some of my favorite encounters and design inspirations are showcased to the left.
Fast forward a few years, and at Brown, I carved my own path, creating a major in Product Design to complement my highly technical Engineering Degree. I obtained most of my critical skillsets through coursework, projects and by living in the Brown Design Workshop (our maker space), where I constantly gave myself projects to engage in the hands on learning that was so important to me.
Today, I very much see myself as a hybrid designer. I am a researcher, sketcher, prototyper & fabricator, all in one. My design view dives deeply into the process, and always attempts to better the human experience in some capacity.
DESIGN IS HOW I OBSERVE AND
APPROACH THE WORLD AROUND ME
PART 1 : SELECTED PROJECTS
PROJECT 1 : A - Z FURNITURE DESIGN BOOK
Within 6 weeks of time, I researched, illustrated, and wrote an entire children's book. I am now looking to have Adobe sponsor my project in order to get copies of the book to a number of low-income schools in the St. Louis area.
When the final furniture building project for my Design Studio course got cancelled due to COVID-19, I knew that I still wanted to create an impactful project that circled around Furniture. As the future of education became incr-easingly uncertain, I thought it would be cool to create a book that could teach young adults about Furniture Design.
Given my target audience, I decided to create an "A-Z" style book that would be fun and digestible. I researched into the canon of 20th century furniture design to get a better idea of who and what the book needed to include and proceeded to illustrate 26 furniture drawings using the Adobe Suite. I wrote 26 mini bios for each piece for a quick, yet informative read, & built the final prototype of the book in Illustrator. The hard copy was ordered using Mixbook.
HELPING TEACH YOUNG ADULTS ABOUT
THE ICONS OF MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN
PROJECT 2 : CHILDREN'S MUSEUM EXHIBITION
BUILDING AN INTERACTIVE SPACESHIP
FOR KIDS TO ENGAGE IN IMAGINATIVE PLAY
Originally meant as my Senior Design Capstone Project, I created (in collaboration with the Providence Children's Museum) a 10-foot tall rocket that kids could climb into and feel like they were getting ready for blastoff. I worked with a fellow RISD Grad (Aleksa) over the course of 7 months with a budget of around $1000.
As a duo, we oversaw every step of the design process, including ideation & child development research, as well as prototyping, sketching, and constructing. We became master woodworkers, electricians, and structural engineers, taking our concept from an idea into a fully fledged exhibit complete with a light-up control panel, screen, and ceiling.
Our exhibition was completed in March 2020, but, due to COVID-19, the installation was cancelled at the Providence Children's Museum. Fortunately, the rocket will be finding a new home at the St. Louis Magic House's STEM Exhibit in September 2020. Pictures of the live installation to come.
PROJECT 3 ; FCA BIOMETRICS RESEARCH
DEVELOPING FIAT CHRYSLER'S
NEXT GENERATION CABIN EXPERIENCE
Over 3 months, I contacted & met with 7 suppliers and 23 companies across the tech. automotive, higher education, and medical industries. I conducted a multitude of desk research and read through countless articles & publications. Afterwards, I concluded that biometrics should be applied to FCA vehicles in 3 key areas: (1) Identification, (2) Life on Board, and (3) Personal Wellness, varying based on each vehicle's specific use case.
By the end of my internship, I created a confidential 52-page report containing my assessment of the current and upcoming technologies available in the Biometrics sector. I then gave recommendations as to their implementation into key vehicles, including the RAM 1500, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Challenger, and Chrysler Pacifica.
To address the increasingly wide-ranging demands of cars on the market today, automakers are starting to experiment with Biometric Technologies to up the anti in active interior comfort and safety. As a summer intern at Fiat Chrysler, I lo-oked into the current state and standards of Biometrics, and was tasked with addressing how current and up-coming sol- utions should be deployed into future FCA products.
PROJECT 4 ; DESIGN@BROWN DISP REPORT
We divided ourselves into 3 groups, each responsible for researching 1 of 3 categories: the State of Design at Brown, Design at other Institutions, and Aftermarket Sector. I saw through the research of the Aftermarket Sector, where I analyzed job postings and reached out to Industry Leaders to understand what they look for in new hires.
After a semester of work, our report was received by the School of Engineering with great success. We are now in the process of creating an Introduction to Engineering Design course that will debut Fall 2020.
Every year, Brown attracts many students with a strong interest in Design. However, at the moment, Brown does not officially offer any curriculum or resources that directly addresses this interest. Fed up with this lack of formalized structure, a group of 9 students and I created an official 62 page report that justified the case for a stronger emphasis on Design Education at Brown University.
ENVISIONING A DESIGN EDUCATION
WITHIN A LIBERAL ARTS INSTITUTION
PROJECT 5 : IED TORINO AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN
IMAGINING THE NECESSITIES OF
FUTURE URBAN TRANSPORTATION
Working within a team of Designers, Engineers and Auto Enthusiasts, my group of 14 was tasked with designing a vision for the future of Fiat's city cars, one that would represent the "near future" model that could hit the market in 5 years, and one for a "far future" model that could hit the streets in the next 10-15 years.
We began by discussing the needs for each model. Our goals for both were to create stylish and emissions free concepts. For the near future model, we choose a Fiat 500 influenced design, powered by an electric, plug-in battery. For the far future model, we envisioned a solar powered vehicle with almost insect-like stylistic cues. From there, we brought our visions to life via a clay model.
After 5 weeks, our final clay model was presented along our sketches to a handful of Fiat S.p.A. executives, who were delighted by our recommendations and visions for the future of Fiat's Urban Transportation and Mobility.
PART 3 : SPECIFIC SKILLSETS
FABRICATION + MAKING
SKETCHING + RENDERING
RECREATING A FURNITURE DESIGN ICON
USING AFFORDABLE EVERYDAY MATERIALS
For my architecture final, we were tasked with recreating a 1:1 scale model of one of the pieces we studied in class. The requirements were simple: create a model whose dimensions were identical to the original and could support our professor's weight without collapsing. I choose to build one of my all-time favorites, Marcel Breuer's "Wassily" Chair.
I began by researching into the exact dimensions of the piece, both by exploring the Knoll Furniture Company's web- site and by measuring Wassily Chairs from the Brown Rock-efeller Library. From there, I decided to use copper tubing and connections to make my chair, as I didn't have the tools to bend the tubes. The copper was cut & polished, the leather cut & sewn, and the chair assembled using JB Weld & screws.
After about 3-ish weeks of researching dimensions, testing, and fabrication, my project was at long last completed. It was put on display in my class's end of the semester exposition, and successfully held the weight of my 6'4" professor!
USING AN OVER 200 YEAR OLD TREE
AS THE INSPIRATION FOR A SLEEK BENCH
While I was working at Brown over the Summer of 2018, I stumbled upon a 200+ year old tree that had been cut down from Brown's Main Green (the central green space on campus). Awed by its natural beauty, I asked the arbor- ist in charge of removing the tree to cut me off a section so that I could use it for some sort of furniture design piece.
i spent the large portion of the first month chiseling out the center of the tree so that it wouldn't be around 300 pounds
(sadly, I had zero access to a chain saw that would make my
life easier). After about a month of hacking away, I de-cided to make a protoype for a bench that would provide a sharp contrast between the earthy, natural world and the stark, modern one. The results are pictured left.
The first prototype is seen left. Now nearly two years later, for the fall of 2020, I have decided to try and turn the pro-totype into a more polished, usable final product. Pictures of the updated design and product coming soon.
RENDERING FOUR GENERATIONS
OF LAMBORGHINI'S V12 MASTERPIECE
For my RISD course, titled 'Sketching + Rendering for De-sign Thinking,' we were taught the essential skills for creating accurate, hi-fidelity renderings. For the last final project of the class, we were tasked with creating a "gen-erational series," for which I decided to fully render out all four of Lamborghini's V12 halo models.
I began the process by printing out four images that I used as a reference for the drawings. I edited their intensities and vibrancies in order to more easily choose the shades of yellow that I would use in each area. From there, I hand drew the four cars using pencil, before going in and add-ing the base layers of colored pencil. From there, I added extra intensity to certain areas using markers and pen.
In around two week's time, I successfully drew out and rendered my entire project. The final project was presented to my RISD class and professor, who complemented the accurate, real life look of the final results.
After around a month of on-and-off again work, I at last completed this car drawing series. I am now proud to say that that all four drawings now serve as the primary splash of color in my bedroom.
Just like before, I began this project by printing out ref-erence images to make the initial pencil sketch that much easier to create. Like before, I used photoshop to alter the image's saturation levels to make coloring and shading the hand drawing simpler. After laying down a few base layers of red, gray, and black colored pencil, I went in with marker to make the drawings more 3-D in appearance.
After completing my final project for RISD, I decided to use my newly improved rendering skills to create a sequel to my previous project. To complement my yellow Lambos, I de-cided to recreate four models from Lamborghini's greatest arch rival, Ferrari. So, I began the process of creating a series of all red prancing horses to fight my yellow raging bulls.
RENDERING FOUR HALO MODELS
FROM ITALY'S RED PRANCING HORSE
USING PHOTOSHOP AND ILLUSTRATOR
TO CREATE HIGH FIDELITY RENDERINGS
During my 2D Foundations coursework at Brown University, I learned the ins and outs of Adobe's Photoshop/Illustrator Suite. With it, I took the opportunity to not only perfect my knowledge of each individual visualization tool, but I creat-ed two portfolio worthy rendering projects (the Supercars Duo and my Romanian Castles Trio).
For each project, I was tasked with using a different soft-ware. The supercars (McLaren and BMW) were my midterm project, which required the use of Photoshop. The castles, meanwhile, were made using Illustrator. Both were created using photos I had taken previously, and then edited and rendered using each software's specific features to create clean, crisp final illustrations.
By the course's end, I feel like I thoroughly learned more than I had ever expected about each software program. As such, my new found illustrator skills have allowed me to make clean, crisp renderings with relative quick ease.
COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN
For my CAD course at Brown, I learned a few software pr-ograms, including AutoCAD, OnShape, Solidworks, and my personal favorite: Fusion360. For the final project in class, we were tasked to create a fully assembled CAD model of an item we use an a daily basis. The rule: the piece had to be composed of at least 8 different sub-components.
I ultimately choose to try and recreate the bottle of my all time favorite cologne: Versace Pour Homme. I began by calculating all of the external dimensions of the bottle in full, before breaking the bottle to gain full access to all of the internal parts, springs, and pumps. From there, I mod-eled each component one by one, before assembling the final model and rendering it in Fusion360's software.
After only about 5 or so hours of work, I had successfully gone from zero to full CAD model, complete even with the cologne solution inside. To see all of the individual comp-onents on the full drawing sheet, please
REFINING MY CAD SKILLS BY RENDERING
A VERSACE POUR HOMME COLOGNE BOTTLE