Hello! My name is Aaron Pavkov and I’m glad you found this site. I’ve built it to highlight some of my professional pursuits, including engineering, design, and product development. But when I’m not thinking about these topics, I enjoy spending time with my wife & kids, traveling, learning something new, running, playing foosball, and coaching soccer.
Having practiced mechanical engineering since 2002, I’ve worked on projects for Rolls Royce, the US Navy, Ford, Westinghouse, Mine Safety Appliances Co., and others. However, in parallel I’ve been training (ok… playing!) in design since that time. From 2002 to 2007 I did freelance graphic design, web design, and photography on the side for fun. But the itch on the right side of my brain wouldn’t stop, so I decided to more formally “scratch” the itch by enrolling in Carnegie Mellon’s Master of Product Development program in 2007. While also working full-time, my manager didn’t understand why I wanted to take courses in industrial design, photography, interaction design, and animation. I couldn’t articulate why in a way that made logical sense at the time. Was I less of an engineer for pursuing these things? Was I some sort of freak? I eventually came to realize that:
I am a passionate Design Thinker, cleverly disguised as a mild-mannered Engineer.
After the program, I began doing a lot of reading and also started presenting on what I was learning. Among this reading were books like Scott Bedbury’s A New Brand World, Roger Martin’s The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage, Carnegie Mellon professors’ The Design of Things to Come: How Ordinary People Create Extraordinary Products, and those written from within innovative companies like IDEO and Apple. In the process, my eyes have been opened to the concept of “Design Thinking” and its role in innovation and in crafting brands that people love.
Companies like Apple, OXO, KitchenAid, Philips, P&G, and 3M have begun to “get it” when it comes to recognizing the value of design to their bottom line. Others aren’t there yet, which is the reason I’ve developed presentations and outlined design implementation strategies for corporate executives. Some of this work is included in the Design Strategy section of my site. If you’re interested in learning more about me, I’ve embedded a brief bio below. Feel free to contact me as well.
Here are some words from others who appreciate the role of creative thinking in a complex world:
Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein
Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation. – Steve Jobs, Apple
Rigorous explicit thinking… limits people to conscious thinking and hence to using just a tiny proportion of the potential in their minds – like the ice above the water. – Bill Moggridge, IDEO