I try and get inspired by everything around me. I once came up with an idea next to a hospital bed looking at an emergency button. It became The Escape Machine (seen to the right of this interview).

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I work at Wieden+Kennedy, mostly as a writer, though I know my way around both a Wacom tablet and the human body. I’m Persian, was born in Paris, grew up in Germany and speak 5 languages. My favorite video game is Metal Gear Solid and Im currently learning tactical espionage action out of our Sao Paulo office.

What do you do for inspiration?

I try and get inspired by everything around me. I once came up with an idea next to a hospital bed looking at an emergency button. It became The Escape Machine (seen to the right of this interview).

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.




What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

It is yet to come. 

How many hours do you work each week?

I always think about ideas and projects so it's hard to say. But at Wieden it goes from 70 to 35 depending on the workload.

We jokingly call it Weekend+Kennedy.

How do you relax or unwind?

I have two giant maine coon cats. If you look up the breed on google images you'll see what I mean. They're amazing fluffy creatures. I love them. I also love video games. I'm playing the Last of Us right now and it's amazing.

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

I'd be in product development, R&D, Industrial design.

What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

By far the coolest part is that we can create anything and label it as ads. I've made installations, games, interactive stories and apps. The only limit is our will power.

Which brings us to the hardest part of our job. Having to convince a huge amount of people that the ideas we come up with are the best for our clients.

My advice for when you get stuck is to continue writing. Just write any idea that comes to mind. One of them will be good. Promised.

What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?

It was 3 days straight when printing my first portfolio. I made a clothbound book and die cut the last 100 pages to fit a Nintedo DS inside of it. It was mental.

What software could you not live without?


Adobe Creative Suite

and a browser

In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?

I'm really impressed by 3D scanning and printing. The creative applications are endless. I think that we'll move into a new era where consumers will start taking control over the things they own.

Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

Teenage EngineeringTurner DuckworthFuseproject.

Who is your target audience?

Ideally the work is liked by everyone.

Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?

Kickstarter to me is an awesome platform. It's so great to see such a simple idea take off and see some really innovative projects get funded in the past 4 years. That's something I would have loved to be a part of.

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

I think it's nice when you're showcased among so many other amazing ideas.

When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?

It's very hard but at the same time very satisfying when your work is released in lots of countries and millions of people see it.

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

It was called Chlorophyllo and was my first fwa. It's not online anymore but I'm hoping to get it up again on some server. It was a keyboard mashing interactive mexican wrestling adventure. Super fun to make.

Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?

I always try and find the weirdest resources and obscure art and science projects to keep me on top of what I personally regard as fresh. I think it helps a lot when your benchmark isn't in advertising.

The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?

I think this is the great thing about working at a creative agency, we're not confined to any medium and are free to work in digital as well as above the line. It's most fun when everything is linked and works together as a whole.

Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?

I think that we're already seeing the web change a lot thanks to mobile and even more with the so called internet of things. With the iBeacon API in iOS7 our phones will become the control center of all our connected objects, thermostats, door locks and many more. The web will be everything around us and websites will be much more connected as a result.

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

The most important thing to get a job is your portfolio and work experience, not your educational experience. Work on making a great book and everything else won't matter at all.

If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Don't try to impress others. Do what you think is right and stand by your opinion. Work a lot and don't stop when you're satisfied, stop when you hate the project.

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

The Hyperloop. I don't have a drivers license so I'm relying on public transport for innovation.

What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?

I think Japan always makes that one thing every year where I'm like fuck I wish I had done that.

There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

As a kid I always wanted to make a dishwasher that works as a cupboard. That way you don't have to move them from one to the other.

What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?

I'm learning my sixth language right now - portuguese - and I want to learn C++

What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?

Fruits. Since I'm in Brazil, I've been buying all the weirdest fruit I can find. They all taste like nothing I've had before. I love it. My favorite one right now is called Fruta de Conde.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Surround yourself with people who are better than you. Find what you love and get paid doing it. And to end with a Wiedenism: Fail Harder.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much


Keep in touch: hello@siavoshzabeti.com


Siavosh Zabeti, Wieden+Kennedy
Siavosh Zabeti, Wieden+Kennedy

Tropicana - Billboard powered by oranges

Attraction - Interactive Anime against smoking

Escape Machines for french travel agent SNCF

The facebook book for Bouygues Telecom

Global music sharing platform Placelists for Coca-Cola in partnership with Spotify
Global music sharing platform Placelists for Coca-Cola in partnership with Spotify

Chlorophyllo for Wrigley's Airwaves - an interactive mexican wrestling adventure

Chaos at Home - DIY game for the Wii featuring 17 minigames

Mobile Optimized website for Carrera Sunglasses
Mobile Optimized website for Carrera Sunglasses

WILDCARD - created for the Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam website

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