What challenges do you face in your work?
We have the unique challenge of designing products for multiple brands in the Whirlpool Corporation portfolio. This means that one decision can impact several other brands at the manufacturing level, so the impact of a new design choice must also be carefully evaluated from a manufacturing and assembly perspective. Product changes must be not only ready when it comes to the consumer market, but also seamlessly feasible on our production floor.
Additionally, when it comes to trends influencing design, the world is changing faster than before and challenging us to continue leading the industry with new product configurations, new business models, and more tailored experiences. We are continuously working with internal process partners to think differently about product design, manufacturing, and marketing, in order to stay in-tune with consumers expectations across the multiple brands in our portfolio.
How do you find inspiration for your designs?
I search, sort of like a journalist. If the project is about a future vision more than 5 years out, I’ll immerse myself in material related to the subject area, such as documentaries about food and cooking, or videos and podcasts of speeches from futurists. I also look for historical information, asking, ‘where did this design movement stem from?’ and, ‘how can we tie a brand’s DNA from the past to a brand’s future without copying it exactly?’. Inspiration is everywhere – the biggest challenge is making sure you are getting a diverse enough selection to eventually create designs that contribute something truly new to the field.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The people I work next to is what keeps me at my job. I enjoy being a part of a design studio where creativity and art are still a big part of the design equation. It’s essential to surround yourself with creative types, true artists, mechanical minds, and provocative thinkers. They keep me optimistic about our profession’s future.