Bio / Overview
Recently named by CNET as one of the 20 Most Influential Latinos in Tech in 2017, Alberto Villarreal is an accomplished designer with experience across the fields of industrial design, interior architecture and design strategy.
He currently works at Google in California, as Creative Lead in the hardware group. Leading a team of industrial designers, he is responsible for the Creative Direction of Google's mobile computing hardware product portfolio.
He is one of the active Mexican designers with more international recognition and arguably the one whose work has reached the largest amount of users worldwide.
With more than 30 international awards over the past decade, his work has been recognized with some of the most prestigious honors of the industry, including: Red Dot Luminary Award, Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award, iF Hannover Product Design Award, and IDSA Industrial Design Excellence Award, among others.
In 2011 he was included in the list of 11 Most Influential Mexican Entrepreneurs of the year, by Milenio Press Group. And he was also featured by ProMexico's Negocios Magazine as one of the “50 Mexican Names in the Global Creative Scene".
His work spans a variety of industries and products such as: consumer electronics, interiors & furniture, sports equipment, transportation, medical devices, and appropriate technology.
His previous clientele has included Fortune 500 companies as well as small start-ups and non-profit organizations. Throughout his career, he's worked with companies such as: Volkswagen, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Plantronics, Google, Fila, HTC, GreenToys, SanDisk, Adidas, Engineers Without Borders USA, Avaya, Conaculta, Coca-Cola, Motorola, BDF Beiersdorf, Johnson Controls, Konica-Minolta (to name a few).
Some of his recent speaking engagements include: Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts (China), Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain), California College of the Arts (San Francisco, USA), United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Sustainable Transportation (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and TEDx (Mexico City).
His work has been featured on major international media such as TV, print , and web; it has also been exhibited in Asia, Europe, North and South America.
As a leader in the creative community of the Bay Area, from 2006 to 2008 Alberto co-founded the San Francisco chapter of Pecha Kucha, hosting 29 monthly events, including co-hosted shows with IDSA, AIGA, AIA, Oracle (OpenWorld 2007), and Autodesk University (Las Vegas, 2007) with attendance ranging from 100 to 500 people.
Although Alberto's work reflects a high charge of technology, he believes the cultural aspects are key in the design process and consequently in the success of a product or service.
Alberto started his career at automotive-design studios such as Pininfarina (Italy), Johnson Controls Advanced Design (Germany) and Volkswagen Design (Mexico). In 2004 Alberto joined LUNAR where he worked as Senior Lead Designer in San Francisco for four years, and gained experience leading projects with clients internationally. At LUNAR, he was also a founding member of the Elements team (internal sustainability group).
In 2009, Alberto partnered with architect Michel Rojkind to start AGENT, a strategic design firm with a disruptive innovation approach. Working for clients in 3 continents, AGENT rapidly acquired international recognition with awards and exhibitions worldwide and it was included in the list of Top 10 International Design Studios by the Red Dot Institute 2012 Ranking.
In 2013 Alberto joined Google at the Headquarters in Mountain View, California.
He has also been involved in several Social Design programs, and in 2009 he funded Razón Social, a non-profit network of volunteers focused on Social Development Design programs in Mexico.
He obtained a Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from UNAM (Mexico) and a Masters Degree in Transportation Design from Umeå University (Sweden). He is fluent in Spanish, English and Italian, and has a basic understanding of Swedish, Portuguese and French. In 2000 he received the “Gabino Barreda“ Medal, given to the top performance students at UNAM, Mexico.