People to Watch in 2012
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, 4SIGHT INC.
Stuart Leslie is an entrepreneurial industrial designer with over 20 years experience in the industry. He is founder and president of 4sight inc., a New York City-based design firm specializing in Strategic Product Innovation, that transforms consumers’ everyday brand and product experiences while creating competitive advantage for clients. His firm works as a strategic partner with the world’s leading consumer products and packaged goods companies including: PepsiCo, Samsung, SONY, Johnson & Johnson, S.C. Johnson, Baxter, Honeywell and LG. Some of his work includes: the launch of Wrigley’s “5” Brand of gum, the Heinz Dip & Squeeze ketchup packet and the first rechargeable Sonic SpinBrush at an affordable price point from Church & Dwight. A graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design, Leslie also studied product design at the Art Center College of Design. Prior to starting his own firm, he was design director of the prestigious Walter Dorwin Teague Associates and a senior designer at Deskey Associates, both in New York City.
Where were you born or grew up, where do you live, does this effect your design style or sensibility?
Being born/growing up in Las Vegas certainly had to affect my sensibilities! It has taken 25 years of living in New York to rehabilitate my sense of aesthetic from “glitzy, bright lights, over the top, no such thing as too much” to something a little more sophisticated!
If you were not a designer, what would you be doing for a living?
Building something somewhere. As a kid I was always building things from Lego, then wood/clay, then metalworking and such. It has stayed with me.
What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer or design manager?
Early on, I always had to do everything myself, as I believed that was the only way to truly realize my vision. Now I have become much better at providing an initial vision and letting the realization of it come in new and unforeseen directions from all the creative people surrounding me.
Steve Jobs and team, they have transformed the world of Industrial Design — and the real world too!
Anything rich and saturated that I can lay down on canvas with my printer.
Notetaker HD on my iPad, it has changed my world! Finally a paperless office/desk.
Favorite TV Show?
The Office. Every time I am about to say something stupid at work I hear “David Brent-Michael Scott” saying it and catch myself just in time!
Oops, must be spending too much time online and keep forgetting to read books!
Anything that doesn’t end “like I think it should”.
Florence + The Machine, Muse, Kate Bush, She & Him, Gorillaz
Favorite Fine Artist?
Claude Monet. As I delve deeper into photography I am even more inspired by his “Haystacks” series.
I am a confirmed news and photography blog junkie!
If I’m not into it, it’s not going to get done!
New Year’s Resolution?
Workout more. My body isn’t keeping up with me!
One Thing You Can't Live Without?
Internet connection-where’s that neural implant I’ve been promised!
Talent You Wished You Possessed?
To see something inside a giant stone and set it free like Michelangelo.
Best Gift Ever Received?
Crossman pellet gun when I was 12.
Mantra or Saying You Live By?
“A journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step” — Lao Tzu or as I preach it — “Just start!”