Meet the Virti Team: Søs Hejselbæk, Product Designer
In her role as Product Designer, Søs applies her creative talents and rich design experience to help enhance Virti’s features and user experience.
Can you tell us a little about your professional background and career journey before joining Virti?
I’m originally from Denmark, where I earned my bachelor's degree from the Kolding School of Design. After graduating, I was fortunate enough to spend time at Design Denmark, as well as working with a number of fashion designers in Copenhagen, before making the leap across to London to complete a masters degree in Fashion Womenswear at the Royal College of Art.
Fashion was my first love, and it was through my studies and work in this sector that my passion for design was ignited. That passion has driven me to hold a diverse range of professional roles, from designing clothes to products and digital platforms.
More recently, I’ve experienced life as a freelancer and also been the Digital Designer for an (not yet launched) mindfulness app, Zenmind. Throughout everything I do, sustainability has always been my focus and motivation.
When did you first become interested in virtual reality technology?
I first became fascinated by VR technology during my masters degree. I discovered the software Gravity Sketch, which uses Virtual Reality to facilitate 3D design, and then there was no looking back! I became increasingly focused on designing virtual environments and on designing with living organisms, and VR was soon heavily integrated into my work and my final project. It helped me create a 3D printed photosynthetic body sculpture that erases its own carbon footprint over time, using an active green algae species embedded in the structure of the dress.
When (and why) did you join the Virti team?
I joined Virti in February 2021. Having become a bit disenchanted with most of the fashion industry’s limited ethical and environmental values, I’d decided to branch out into other projects where I could use my skill set to really make a difference. Virti was the perfect match! This role encompasses every one of my key aspirations: to work in innovation, research, and the digital space.
What skills did you bring to the team, and what skills have you developed since joining?
Coming from a background in fashion design, I brought a unique perspective to the team. But design itself is very universal, so I’ve been able to transfer the foundational theories, skills and digital experience I’d already gained into working with technology. Now, having crossed the bridge into tech design in my role at Virti, I’m loving getting to explore and develop a whole new range of skills.
Can you describe your role at Virti? What does a ‘typical’ day look like?
A ‘typical’ day will look extremely varied! As Product Designer, I’m responsible for user experience and user interface across our products and platforms. But I’m also the in-house graphic designer, which means that the responsibility for Virti’s visual identity rests in my hands. So on any one day, you might find me sketching, or developing brand and UX/UI design, and then working alongside the engineering team to plan user stories. This involves looking into human psychology and analysing how we perform actions.
What excites you about being part of Virti?
Virti strives to create change around the world, which is my ultimate goal in my work. I’m so excited to be a part of a company that has a future-thinking culture and is working to significantly improve human performance. My own personal mission at Virti is to create the most intuitive and user-friendly concepts which will help accelerate the advancement of remote training across the globe.
What’s your proudest achievement (so far) as part of the Virti team?
That’s a tough question! Working on our new AI-powered Virtual Human concept has been such an interesting journey. I’m really excited to see where our take on this part of the industry enables us to go.
Looking ahead, what do you think the rest of 2021 holds for Virti? What are you particularly looking forward to?
Virti is really scaling up this year, so it’s a very exciting time to be a part of the company. There’s so much I’m looking forward to, including incorporating new designs in our platforms to maximise our products’ functionality, and delving into development and design for our VR environment. I can’t wait to watch us keep growing and start reaching new markets.
How have you found working remotely since the start of the pandemic?
Like most people, I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship with WFH. On one hand, working remotely definitely has its advantages: I’ve been able to travel, and have had a lot more freedom than I might have otherwise had. But I’ve really missed the social aspect of working alongside other people. It’s just not the same! Ideally, I would work flexibly and have the best of both worlds.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies, talents, projects etc…
Outside of work you might find me practising my downward dog, working on extra artistic and conceptual projects, or out surfing every wave I can find! A lot of my spare time is also spent snapping away on my camera as I’m a passionate freelance landscape and travel photographer.