Today we had a technical visit to KISKA Design in Salzburg. This is probably going to be one of our most colorful visits as far at the organization and company meetings go. KISKA Design focuses on “Designing Desire” and the first thing you notice walking in is the very white showroom, mostly made of hard concrete, is their KTM car right up front. Our visit started with a presentation with the COO, an engaging Englishman named Steve. He took us through his company and their idea of design and what differentiates them from other design companies. The advantage with KISKA Design is their integrated design process. They have six departments, such as engineering, design, and communication, that all collaborate together to form one overall brand for a company.
After our presentation and question session, we signed confidentiality contracts and received visitor passes to tour the center. It was a creative atmosphere with many of their designs on display in the center of the room for constant influence as well as to be played with by the designer to get a feel of the material they work with. The designers all sat at their computers with decorations around their desks and many had large headphones in order to listen to their choice of music. It appeared as though much of the work was done originally on post-it notes. These post-it notes were then stuck together on a board and the designs were revamped from there.
This would be someplace I could definitely see myself working at. As someone who originally studied Fine Arts in college, the creativity of this place intrigued me. However, it was interesting to find that KISKA has a high employee turnover with their designers. I guess it’s a field where those who are in it often get bored fast and need to move on to a new place and country. But at KISKA, if a designer stays for at least three years, which doesn’t happen too often, they receive a 6 month sabbatical to travel for inspiration. How amazing is that?
Overall, KISKA is a company based on three elements: excellence, integrity, and curiosity. They strive to be more than just a design company or consultancy, but actually reach out to be a trusted adviser for their clients dealing past just the design of the brand, but actual branding of the person. For more information you can check out their site here. KISKA