DESIGN ISN'T JUST A TECHNICAL FORM OF ART, BUT RATHER A TOOL TO PUSH OTHERS TO BETTER HABITS AND INTERACTIONS.

Patricio is a product designer with over ten years of experience in user interface, branding, and content creation. He has an undergraduate degree in art history from Oxford Brookes, as well as two masters degrees, also from Oxford, in International Politics, and Visual Communications. After his stay in the UK, Patricio returned to Mexico where he worked briefly as philosophy professor and later led social media strategies for a presidential campaign. He then began his career as a designer more formally, with a keen interest on how to influence user behavior. Before joining Auba, he worked for the likes of the VR AR Association, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca. Now, he leads our design team, and creates all the iconography you see in this website.

From a young age, Pato—as everyone knows Patricio—had an interest in understanding the world. Be it by breaking apart radios to see their internal mechanisms, or pondering over the decisions made by those around him, he always found time to reflect on the many forces at play in society. Above all, he found himself interested by us, humans, and how we interact with all the things around us. Thus, if one thread unites his character, it is that of curiosity, and one deeply founded in the human experience. 

His story, as those of many others, begins way before he was born in a country different to the one he calls his own. His mother’s side hails from Argentina, and from it comes a long tradition of designers—even if a younger Pato was reluctant to consider himself as one. His maternal grandfather began one of the first design magazines in Mexico, while his mother studied design in college as a supplement to a music career as a concert flute player. Design thus became the most predictable path for him, amongst a constant push from his grandfather for him to enter the world of publicity and those of his mother, hoping he would join the family trade.

But Pato, a rebel, decided that the best way to explore his own curiosity for human interactions was not through the pre-established route all hoped for him. Instead, he gained a scholarship to study medicine in Oxford, aspiring to eventually become a psychiatrist and, in so doing, fully understand the human mind. 

However, upon reaching the UK, he was hit with a starch discovery: medicine just wasn’t for him. After eight months of study, his curiosity didn’t find the same spark as before. Thus, he took the decision to drop out of the course and, instead, pursue a degree in art history in hopes of better understanding humanity as a whole. With the knowledge he had acquired from his brief stunt in medicine, he was able to get a part-time job as a paramedic to help pay for his tuition.

After finishing his undergraduate degree, the same curiosity prevailed. Combining his brief time in medicine, knowledge of art, and interest in the human mind, he got a position at Oxford Nanopore Technologies, where he was faced with a task from his past. The lab wanted to better understand human interactions with computers. That is, to enhance their UI. At this point, Pato rediscovered design with a new perspective. It was, as he had previously thought, a technical form of art, but rather a tool to push users to better habits and interactions. For it to work, one needed to fully understand humans and their decisions. Design suddenly presented itself not as an heirloom from past generations, but rather as a path to actually address the problems he had always been passionate to understand. At the same time, with the same curiosity, he began studies in two different masters degrees. On the one hand, he undertook a degree in international politics trying to understand the complex interactions between nations. On the other, he decided to further expand this new found interest for design with a degree in Design in Visual Communications. In a way, this was a rediscovery; making his own what had previously been imposed.

In the summer after completing both degrees, Pato returned to Mexico for a brief holiday which was to become a lifetime. It was the beginning of a love story in an unusual setting. As a comic book fan throughout his life, Pato got a short term gig cosplaying as a character of Final Fantasy VII in Mexico’s biggest comic book convention. Amongst the visitors to that convention was a woman who stole his heart. She was soon to be his wife. After the convention they got coffee and, on a whim, Pato changed his life’s plans. Instead of going back to the UK as he had expected, he sought jobs in Mexico to stay alongside his now wife.

Then, an odd proposition arose. An old-time mentor recommended Pato for a position as a philosophy professor in Marabatio de Ocampo, a small and remote town in the western state of Michoacán. At the same time, he was chosen to lead the first social media strategy for a presidential campaign in Mexico, yet another means of combining his childhood interest for comprehending human actions—as well as putting his masters degree in politics to good use.

Once the campaign had finished, hungry to explore his newfound interest in design, Pato went back to his native Queretaro where his family has established a joint studio to pursue publicity clients. This would be the starting point for a decade-long career that would take him to clients of the likes of AstraZeneca or Pfizer, always with a profound interest in using design to enhance other’s experience and decisions. 

Most recently he joined the Auba Team with a goal of devoting the latter part of his career to not just influence user experience, but to create an entire focus on design as a tool. Even if you do not see Pato daily, he is ever present in Auba, be it in the icons for our app, the typography on our websites or the careful wording in some of our emails. If we hope to understand, at depth, how others react upon using our products, we have Pato to thank.

So, we come to the end. Pato never returned to Oxford, perhaps for the better. In Querato, despite his joint history with the city he found his own space in turn. Sure, it might be his hometown and he might work  for a sector that long belonged to his family. But, after a couple of trips across the Atlantic, and a handful of experiences in between, he has managed to make it his own. 

He now lives in Queretaro with his wife, two children, and four cats.