‘We visualize possible futures,’ says Robert Wong, Vice President of Google Creative Lab. ‘We distil very complex ideas into products people are attracted to. Things that they want to use, things that engineers want to make.’ Google Creative Lab is Google’s innovation motor where ‘wildly creative people invent new stuff’, as Wong puts it. Here projects like Google Glass, Google’s self-driving car and Project Loon are developed and adapted to the end user.
Wong: ‘Imagine a dotted arrow connecting a Google product straight to a single user. We create along the whole spectrum, sometimes at the tip of the arrow, where the benefits of a product are so clear all that needs to be done is to tell people about it. Sometimes we create all the way back within the tech, where we may even help shape it into a product.’
Robert Wong (1966), who was born in Hong Kong and raised in the Netherlands and Canada, started out as an accountant working in Canada before deciding to travel from Toronto to New York to start studying graphic design at Parsons School of Design. Since then he has been working for leading brands including Starbucks, Apple, Harley-Davidson, Jack Daniel’s, Timberland, ESPN and MTV. In 2008 he joined Google Creative Lab.