The best gifts for designers

It can be tough to find the right present for that special designer in your life – that’s why Gravity Sketch has gone right to the source in bringing you gift ideas from designers working in a range of industries; read wish lists from Joey Khamis, Daniela Paredes, Michael Hritz and more.

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Each designer has selected their top gift ideas from themes of professional, play and personal. Coming from design backgrounds surrounding transportation, footwear and industrial design, here’s what is on each of our chosen designers’ wish lists, to help you pick the right gifts for the most creative and innovative minds.

Joey Khamis, independent footwear designer

Joey Khamis - gifts for designers

Joey is an independent footwear designer based in Boston, known for his work with brands including Reebok and Columbia Sportswear. He’s a regular speaker at AROUND 3D design festival, with his latest talk covering his collab with Gravity Sketch: designing and producing a casual trainer using Gravity Sketch as the main tool for design.

Here are Joey’s ideas for the best gifts for designers:

 

Meta Quest Pro VR headset

Joey’s preferred headset is the Meta Quest Pro – the latest VR headset from Meta. Used with the Gravity Sketch app it enables designers to express ideas in 3D, including using mixed reality with the color passthrough feature. Joey recommends setting up a comfortable space to move and design in, and recording the process both in-headset and externally with a phone and tripod.

iPad / Tablet

Perfect for working on the go, and making sure ideas are recorded as and when designers think of them. With a host of design apps having a version for the iPad (including Gravity Sketch), it could be a sure bet for a gift that a designer would get professional use out of within their workflow.

Unique footwear

As a footwear designer, Joey finds inspiration and appreciation in innovative footwear. Buying some unique footwear for a fellow designer reminds them you can create anything and push the limits however you choose.

“The Innovator’s Handbook” by Hussain Almossawi

Tried and tested by Joey, this book inspires ways to get designers out of creative blocks and slumps.

Basketball hoop

The best gift Joey’s ever received growing up, and one that remains in place at his childhood home. It still gets used today, making it a gift that has really stood the test of time.


Daniela Paredes, Co-Founder of Gravity Sketch

Daniela Paredes - gifts for designers

Daniela Paredes is co-founder and Chief Experience Officer at Gravity Sketch. She is a former industrial designer now bridging science, design, and engineering to explore ways the design community can embrace 3D communication to share ideas. Part of this mission is creating Gravity Sketch, a tool that puts the user at the center of the creative process, enabling the physical and the digital worlds to converge.

These are Daniela’s top picks you might find on a designer’s wish list:

Meta Quest 2

For a VR headset, Daniela recommends the Meta Quest 2 (previously known as the Oculus Quest 2). With no need for an external computer, and one of the most accessible prices for a VR headset, it’s an easy way for designers to use their existing skills alongside VR and begin communicating in 3D. Gravity Sketch is free to download, so once the headset cost is covered designers can start creating to their heart’s content.

3D printer

Access to 3D printers is becoming increasingly democratized alongside technology such as VR. Producing digital prototypes with a VR headset, and then a physical prototype with 3D printing, brings to life new possibilities for designers’ workflows.

Cooking classes

Cooking classes offer designers an opportunity to explore materials in a different way that can inspire them in their professional work. Daniela in particular suggests that a class focused on molecular gastronomy could be a brilliant way to feed a designers’ imagination.

Robotics class

In a similar vein to the cooking class, getting designers hands on with robotics is a sure way to boost exploration of ideas as they create with technology.

Travel

Daniela’s favorite gifts are those that involve experiencing new cultures, food, and environments to draw inspiration from.


Michael Hritz, senior industrial designer at Polaris

Michael Hritz - gifts for designers

Michael hails from South California, and transitioned from draftsman to transportation designer via an ArtCenter education. Following freelancing for five years, he’s currently a full time Senior Industrial Designer at Polaris Industries designing for their off-road RZR range. Michael spoke at AROUND 3D design festival 2022 on using Gravity Sketch models as armatures for design intent.

These are the items Michael thinks should be on every designer’s wish list:

Meta Quest Pro

As a headset set up, Michael recommends the Meta Quest Pro tethered to a PC. The pro is well balanced, has light and air coming through, making for a more comfortable design session in apps such as Gravity Sketch.

A design class

Buy a ticket to a class for a designer to brush up on a particular technique or skill, but don’t forget to get one for yourself too! Michael recently attended a zbrush sculpting class with a couple of friends, and believes that going with others makes the experience more enjoyable and sociable. He thinks you’re more likely to remember the skills, tips and tricks if you’re talking through them with others.

Bouldering shoes

The parallels of problem-solving and being creative with movement makes bouldering a popular pastime for designers. Some bouldering shoes are the perfect gift to get any designers you know to head to a climbing gym and give it a go.

Motorcycle

Not the cheapest gift on the list, or something you’d casually buy, but Michael’s love for motorcycles means he couldn’t leave this off a wish list. Unlock the city and be inspired by its weather, smells, and terrain from two wheels. 

A playlist

This is something you can curate for a designer to give them hours of enjoyment, for free: hand pick a playlist that can be the soundtrack for long creative sessions. An incredibly personal gift that can be packed with meaning.

 

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