Judging an international design competition is no easy task. It takes a special kind of person that is willing to give their time and experience for the betterment of the industry.

It's time to shine a spotlight on these special individuals and dig a little deeper to see what makes them tick. Therefore, on behalf of the CSSDA founders and crew, please enjoy the following interview with one of our esteemed judging panel members.


Filippo is an award winning Art Director and Visual Designer focused on elevating the art of storytelling. Formerly Senior Interaction Designer at Second Story Interactive Studios, part of SapientNitro in Portland, OR. For many years Filippo has been pushing the boundaries of graphic, digital, and interaction design, working on projects for Fortune 500 companies in Italy, UK and USA. His work has been recognized by international design awards and honorees. Currently freelancing as Independent Digital Storyteller.

Time Warp:

1. When and what was your first ever computer? Can you remember the spec?

This is scary :) Commodore 64, then Apple Macintosh II in 1987.

2. When and what was the first website you were involved in designing/developing? Which elements of the project did you do? Can you remember the 'cutting edge' tech used at the time? How did the site turn out and what did this experience teach you?

My very first website was my wedding one. The thing that amazes me most when watching it nowadays is that it's so small compared to the current display resolution. I remember using most of technologies like Real Player and QTVR.

3. Which project has been most rewarding for you over the course of your career and why?

Definitely "100 Years of Design" for AIGA, which is the most awarded website ever in Second Story's history.

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

I'm happy with my career, I got to travel a lot for work, I would have started doing it earlier.

5. Better still, if you had your own hot tub time machine, what time period would you travel to and why?

In the future. I am extremely excited by the Internet of things and I desire to know what technologies will be more successful, popular and useful.

Favourite Things:

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

The opportunity to explore different worlds through design. Any brand or industry has different requirements, so you have to be always hungry for culture and knowledge to offer a better work for each of them.

2. What are your favourite design tools, sites, fonts and resources right now?

Photoshop and Illustrator, I am also looking for an efficient rapid prototyping software. I think it is very important to evaluate design interactions before begin the actual development.

3. What are your favorite devices right now from mobile to desktop?

Macbook Pro and iPhone (battery charger always in tow) above all, not yet convinced by tablets and wearables.

4. Which 3 cities would be your favorite to open an office in and why?

  • San Francisco, because it is the center of the digital economy.
  • Amsterdam, because it is so open to innovation.
  • Milan, because it is now time to recover lost ground by Italy.

5. What is your favorite activity outside of work?

Cooking, swimming, listening to music.

Life Hacks:

1. How do you stay motivated?

Ambition, never stop dreaming.

2. Do you have a good life/work balance? Could it be improved? If so how?

The quality of life in Italy is great, which is why I always come back.

3. Do you have any career advice for young designers and developers?

Keep up learning, attend design conferences, do networking.

4. How do you keep up with the latest trends & tech?

Web design awards & tech blogs are the best way to keep up with latest trends. There are some websites and designers that I always keep an eye on.

5. If money was abolished and nobody needed to work anymore, what would you do with your life?

Just travel around the world.

Versus: In your opinion...

1. Are great designers born Vs. made by experience?

Talent is mandatory, experience can help you grow and evolve.

2. Is the best long term goal to be a founder Vs. freelance Vs. full­time job?

Full-time job I presume, but I will never stop freelancing :)

3. iPhone 6s vs Samsung S6 vs other?

iPhone 5s.

4. Printed book vs eBook?

Definitely printed.

5. Star Trek vs Star Wars?

Neither, Back To The Future.

See Filippo's work...