At Red Antler, we are lucky to work with an incredibly talented and interdisciplinary team, so we’ll be sharing snapshots of our team members. This week features Alex Malkin, who spearheads UX at Red Antler when he’s not busy riding around on two wheels (motorcycle and bike), or planning his next adventure to far off places.
Alex Malkin, UX Designer Resides in: Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Originally from: It’s kind of a long story, but a combination of Australia and Massachusetts
Studied: Urban Studies at Brown University – i.e., not UX design
Guilty Pleasure: Keeping books on my bookshelves that I know I’ll never actually read.
I’m addicted to: Caffeine and cheap dumplings.
I collect: Weird things from weird places. Mementos of past lives, people, and travels.
Do you have a secret talent? I can saw pretty nice dovetail joints, and lay down pretty nice beads on a TIG welder.
Drink of choice & what it says about you: Espresso. It says: I’m addicted to caffeine and aspire to high culture.
My spirit animal is: My spirit animal is a raccoon, apparently. Ask Emily G.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?: Nothing. Almost always nothing.
What are you reading?: In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman
What do you want to be remembered for?: For being memorable.
Tell us the most impressive thing you’ve seen in New York so far: Crossing downtown bridges into Manhattan at night, and looking up the East River at the wall of buildings and their lights and the mass of humanity on humanity that they contain.
Favorite NY hotspot: Fort Tilden Beach. It makes every Saturday feel like a vacation.
What’s been the greatest adventure of your life thus far?: Life has been the greatest adventure of my life.
What has been the most fulfilling project you’ve worked on?: A touch screen motorcycle dashboard, because I like motorcycles – and because it raised a whole new set of problems to solve.
How do you approach your work?: Like I have no idea what I’m doing, every time.
What influential factors have most shaped your career?: Straight out of college I started a small furniture design company with three friends. We treated the whole enterprise as basically its own project: building a business that we cared about was just as important as building the furniture itself, and certainly far more important than making money (we were just scraping by)! It was our own private grad school. Even though I’m no longer making furniture with those guys, the experience remains a touchstone for me: I’m always striving for that level of constant collaboration and attention to details that defined how we thought of our business. What is the best part of working in Dumbo?: The view. And being able to bike to work without having to break a sweat crossing the bridges.
What, in your opinion, makes Red Antler special?: The people. And how much the people like being around the people.
Do you have any tattoos?: No, I missed out on the Red Antler free tattoo day, much to my disappointment.
Tell us about the most incredible place you’ve visited: Ha Giang, hands down. It’s in the northern mountains of Vietnam, by the border with China and it feels like you’re at the end of the world. Or at least as far away from the world of New York as is possible. The landscape has been described as looking like an egg carton turned upside down. And tourists are almost nonexistent. If you could time-travel to any era where would you go and who would you seek out?: My 12 year-old self would probably want to go back and be aboard an 18th century British naval frigate with Nelson. My college self would most likely travel to the 60’s and lie around on some college campus plotting a revolution. My current self has overly romantic dreams of some Paul Bowles-like existence, exploring a larger seeming world.
Random fact: I have this gnarly scar on my right wrist from a very rare bone disease when I was a baby. It started out tiny but it’s grown as I’ve grown. It’s how I learned my left from my right.
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