Andrea Varalli

Work

I had a passion for well-designed objects and products ever since I can remember. I got a Master Degree in Architecture from the Politecnico, in Milano and, in 1997, I moved to New York in 1997.

The methodology used in designing building and industrial products translated really well into the design of digital products, and that is what I decided to focus on, along with brand communications. I worked as a Creative director, Design Strategist and User Experience expert in a variety of environments: agencies, digital and non-digital startups, tech companies and consulting.

In 2015 I joined legendary consulting firm McKinsey & Company as as an Associate Partner and Design expert. With McKinsey I have been advising top international companies on customer experience and design strategy. I am deeply invested in omni-channel user experiences, which blends together all the different design disciplines I have been and the combination of digital, physical, service design, and brand communications, has become the center of my design focus, as it blends together all the disciplines I have been developing through the years.

Beyond work

I love swimming. Particularly in open water and I spend as much time as I can in the ocean. I completed a few marathon swims but I am always looking for new adventures.

I have travelled extensively throughout all of my life. I like traveling with a purpose and my passions have always brought me to interesting places—India to study yoga, Hawaii to learn about sustainable design and living and many others.

I am a strong advocate of using non-disposable products and minimizing waste. I am passionate about mechanical watches, fountain pens and old-school tools in general—I believe that there is value in high-end instruments that demand care and are not simply discarded after been used a few times.

What's next

My next goal as a swimmer is going to be the 28.5 miles around Manhattan. I have been thinking about it since completing the 17 miles swim from Battery Park to Sandy Hook in 2014.

As a designer, my aspiration is to bring to life a high-end lifestyle brand centered around re-using plastic from the ocean.