Five Questions with Lex Mensah

5 min readMay 24, 2024


Five Questions is a monthly series profiling argodesign creatives, highlighting their influences and inspirations.

How do you ‘Think by Making’?
I test a lot of my ideas with low-fidelity prototypes or by simply drawing things out on paper so I have more mental space to process things from different points of view. Sometimes you need to make something to really understand what form it needs to take. Even if the function is clear from the beginning. At times you might even find that this process gives you an opportunity to discover other problems your ideas might be more suitable for. I apply this perspective to all of my creative process(es).

I find this especially rewarding when making music. I may hear a section of a song I want to sample from and think it’s perfect. I extrapolate on how it would take shape in my head especially if i hear a song in passing. Most times I discover that the point of inspiration or sample isn’t going to work in the way I envisioned. This provides a window of exploration and discovery. Like “okay that obviously isn’t the vibe I’m going for or initially felt in my head/body, butttttttt.. if I halftime (slow the sample down by 50% in speed) or mess with the bpm in other simple ways, I’ll discover something quite wonderful.” As a designer, musician, and artist, I see a majority of my creative pursuits as ‘me at play,’ and with that I give myself permission to go down as many tunnels as I want, without an intention to ‘create value’. This is how I discover deeper value—an experience more meaningful than my forebrain could come up with. This is where I’m met with greatness. Some ideas cannot take ideal form without a serious amount of aimless exploration or what I call ‘play’.

What’s one of the gnarliest design problems you’ve ever solved?
Group chemistry in design challenges with non-designers in college — a multi-disciplinary team with young, talented, and learned individuals is not always easy to wrangle. Different disciplines cultivate different perspectives and unique expressions of confidence. What comes easy or natural to some may be very foreign to others. Especially when their grades are involved. The design problem itself wasn’t immensely challenging, especially considering the fact that it was an innovation project. I have a knack for those. But given how strong willed every team member was, it wasn’t easy being as flexible as I needed to be to ensure we were all on the same page. In the end, trust was built (like 2 weeks before our final project delivery) and we got an A. The experience taught me that sometimes you may know the answer to things, but facilitating the space for others to arrive at the same conclusion is an act of goodwill. At the end of the day, some things are about the growth of the journey, not the destination.

What’s your current obsession?
MUSIC. I recently bought a Sony Walkman (CD player) and it’s been incredible experiencing music in a way that only my child-self knew. I collected some CDs while in LA in January, despite not having a CD player, because I desire to step more into the analog world. Physical things, I love those. The grooves and shapes we imprint on materials to create exceptional form feeds into the overall experience. Having a separate device for music keeps me off my phone. It also opens me up to discover ‘older’ music in a much more fitting way. I love art. Cover art is one of my favorite platforms for visual art. Being able to enter a record store and be pulled in by something other than a name is very refreshing. So in a way, I guess my current obsession is taking on aged technology. I just got a Playstation portable from eBay. I never got one as a kid, so it’s nice to fulfill vintage desires.

If you could remove one word from the design dictionary, what would it be?
Widows & orphans. Can we call them something else? They make me sad :/

Who is your design hero? Why?
I wouldn’t really call him my hero but Virgil Abloh. We had similar childhoods and foundational design circumstances. Coming from a non-traditional design background, I think about design from a deeply personal lens. Took me some time, years, to unravel my identity from my function as a designer. Virgil’s multi-faceted/multi-disciplinary approach to design makes me feel validated. With a rich tapestry of design awareness, Virgil questioned the status quo of design in certain spaces, such as fashion, music and architecture. He often spoke in metaphors and extended that perspective into his design practice. He acknowledged how unique decisions in highly specialized fields can apply to completely different contexts when one thing is changed. His take on design was not always generative but rather iterative. Asking questions like, “How does one take what already exists and build further upon it to align with the current nature of society?”, “What is the value in an idea that cannot outlive its creator?” Sometimes philosophical, sometimes practical, I found his viewpoints on design as a human right to be very appealing. His commitment to layering history and sampling design ideas to create new meaning or new purpose was super cool to me. He did his part in bringing underserved populations into design and empowering them to use their creative sensibilities to improve the quality of one’s life and community within which they dwell. His commitment to sustainability and leadership with humility puts him up there for me. Cool guy, wish we had met. May he rest in peace and prosperity.

Lex Mensah is a Designer at argodesign, applying his skills and knowledge in UX/UI, Industrial Design, and Strategy to create user-centered solutions for a range of problem areas. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in Cognitive Neuroscience, with a concentration in Industrial Design and Innovation. Lex is also a professional musician with a concentration in the abstraction of world music, particularly Ghanaian Highlife, Reggae, Bachata, Hip Hop and Alternative Rock. He offers his creativity in a wide range of efforts including art direction, writing and fashion design.




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