What’s The Problem?

Design boils down to a person and a problem.  Objects, experiences, processes, services, even ideas… no matter the subject, at the deepest level the question is the same... how does a person solve their problem in the most elegant possible way?

Industrial Designers combine the rigors of engineering with the spontaneity of art to maximize the range and vision of possible solutions, centering on the user but also reaching as far as possible into the world around them.  We mix rationality with creativity, generalities with specifics, hand-craft with high-tech, resulting in a powerful and effective approach to problem solving that applies at any level, in any field.

A design approach that's appropriate for a mass-produced product must adapt for a one-of-a-kind piece.  Here's an example of how our design process was applied to two projects that are about as different as possible... a hand-held photographic product and a children's exhibit.

"Douglasaurus" Children's Exhibit

No matter the specifics of the project, the design process has common beginning, middle and end phases.  Here’s our process in action on the design of a lens removal tool for LensBabies, from their existing product to our finished design...

Concept

  • Research and define the problem
  • Establish goals and criteria for the solution
  • Generate broad design ideas
  • Refine to establish initial concept options
  • Refine and review against initial criteria
  • Select design concept for Development

Development

  • Refine the Concept
  • Test the result
  • Repeat

Installation and Documentation

  • Create final engineering drawings, prototypes, or models as needed
  • Document final design evaluation and recommendations
  • Production oversight or assistance as needed
  • Create as-built documentation package
  • Archive all final materials for later use

LensBabies Lens Removal Tool

 

LensBabies is a local Portland company that produces specialty lens inserts for high-end photographers.   The tool they supplied to remove the inserts was just a tapered acrylic rod, and it was our job to rethink that to match their other product offerings.  Rough ideation quickly led to modeled CAD options and rapid-prototyped design models for approval.  From there it was a quick jump to final production documentation.

Concept

  • Research and define the problem
  • Establish goals and criteria for the solution
  • Generate broad design ideas
  • Refine to establish initial concept options
  • Refine and review against initial criteria
  • Select design concept for Development

Development

  • Refine the Concept
  • Test the result
  • Repeat

Documentation

  • Create final engineering drawings, prototypes, or models as needed
  • Document final design evaluation and recommendations
  • Production oversight or assistance as needed
  • Create as-built documentation package
  • Archive all final materials for later use
Design process chart and text on bkgrnd