Please share a summary of yourself and your career "in a nutshell" to help introduce you to the community.

Stefano Caliandro is a young Italian Creative Director currently at Gusto IDS who loves interactive design, cinema, tennis and magic mouse. He leads a powerful group of creatives between Italy and Germany while improving his culture, talent and his fear of flying.

In The Beginning:

1. Can you remember who or what gave you the idea to begin a career in design?

After some years spent studying coding at university I found out the other side of the Digital World... And it was love at first sight.

2. What was the first website you were involved in designing and / or developing and how well did it go?

I was involved in the design of a corporate site for an Italian shoe maker. The result was very good in terms of personal experience and relationship with a real client. Nevertheless the level of my talent has improved since that day :-)

3. How would you describe your career thus far? Is it all going to plan or is there no plan?

Honestly, my career now is even better than I ever dreamed of in the beginning thanks to my partners and to some luck. I have built a great team of professional people that everyday share with me their talent, giving me the chance to thrill my mind with big challenges and new adventures.

4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send yourself a "temporal text" 5-10 years into the past?

First of all I would text me all the results of the five latest Champion Leagues so I could bet on the matches and become crazy rich today, like Biff in Back to the Future Part 2. Then I would suggest me to take it easy, everyday.

Favorite Things:

1. What are your favorite aspects about working in design?

There's no gap between the people. No class, no hierarchy. The best idea wins!

2. If you could pick only one favorite project from your experience thus far, which would it be and why?

I would choose the next project yet to come, with a lot of expectations.

3. What would be your favorite trend in web design and development from the last 5 years?

Well, I come from Flash. So I'm working hard to not feel nostalgic. Certainly the design and the development related to the new devices stimulate me to change everyday my points of view and my certainties. As a trend I'm a great SCROLL DOWN lover.

4. Are there any favorite trends you would like to see more of in 2016?

I'm expecting more projects that allow a real interaction between the users and their devices: webcam, mouse, microphone...

Life Hacks:

1. Did you always want to work in the creative industries or did you consider any other career options?

I started as a bartender before deciding to have my education at the design university. More or less I use my creativity in the same way.

2. Do you have a good work and life balance or is it a work in progress? Any tips?

My work is perfect since I have realized that money does not buy your mood. Nevertheless I'm always working on my balance to improve my life approach and the relationship with the rest of the world.

3. What advice would you give to younger professionals wanting to find success in design?

To find a master and inspiration in someone, to set-up their culture living in a community. Real life, not a Macbook.

4. If you had all the money you would ever need, what would you do with your life?

Buy a dream-house next to Roger Federer, invite him and his family for an Italian barbecue on my rooftop. Design his new website.

Projects:

1. What type of projects and what industries do you prefer to work in?

I love digital, obviously. My best skills are at architecture, design and art.

2. What memorable challenges or highlights have you experienced from the projects you have worked on?

Don't work for your friends and be always sure that your love for your creations do not overpass the balance with the project's goals.

3. What are your, or your company’s, greatest strengths?

Our people, their simplicity and their passion for our brand. They live together all day long and they even spend time out of the office as friends. This is a family!

4. What is the latest project you worked on or what are you working on right now?

Too much secret but...

Stefano is Founder and Creative Director at Gusto IDS. He loves pixels, minimal design and few fonts. In the free time he likes to work ;-)