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New Furniture Designs for Working from Home

Nobody expected a global virus quarantine, but here we are, trying to adapt our living spaces for homeschooling, class sessions, office meetings, and focused work in addition to everything else that we do at home. We quickly realized that our home spaces and furniture were not designed for these new functions.
This spring, the industrial design students of Western Washington University worked on designing new furniture solutions for working at home. And they did it while working from home themselves.

The Problems
They first investigated the problems that we are experiencing during lock-down:

Sharing small spaces. Multiple people sharing the kitchen table to do work. Lack of privacy. Lack of square footage. Bad acoustics for video calls and meetings. Echos, noise, distractions. Online video conferences are notorious for poor audio. Bad lighting for video calls and meetings. Most people look horrible in meetings due to poor lighting. Distracting backgrounds, messy rooms, b…
Recent posts

The Application of Virtual Reality in the Industrial Design Process

With the recent introduction of effective and accessible virtual reality systems this new tool can be used in the context of industrial design and augment the design process. Virtual reality (VR) can be a useful tool and has the potential to radically improve the work flow for designers. The thesis of this research is that VR can improve the efficiency of the industrial design process through early visualization and evaluation of design concepts.

In the early stages of a design project, many CAD sketch models can be created more quickly than physical models. These CAD sketch models can then be viewed and evaluated using VR very effectively. A one on one critique and discussion between a manager or professor and the designer can happen while viewing the designs in VR and on a screen. This allows for a convergence onto a design direction, which can then be further refined as a physical model. At the end of the design process, VR is also more effective at communicating design form …

The Hottest Products Today Designed by Western Industrial Design Alumni

by Prof. Jason A. Morris 

May 11, 2018

Did you know that some of the latest and greatest product designs were designed by Western Washington University's elite industrial design program alumni? Here are just a few examples:

Oculus Go
Virtual Reality device: designed by Peter Bristol, creative director and Head of Industrial Design at Oculus, (class of 2004), Joe Sullivan (class of 2005) and Mauricio Romano (class of 2015) and the rest of the design team at Oculus.

Microsoft Surface Pro
Designed by Carl Ledbetter, Principal Director of Design at Microsoft, (class of 1987), Benjamin Peterson, Industrial Designer at Microsoft Surface (class of 2011) and the rest of the design team at Microsoft.

Xbox One X
The world’s most powerful gaming console. Designed by Carl Ledbetter, Principal Director of Design at Microsoft, (class of 1987) and the rest of the design team at Microsoft.


Minimal + Beautiful Utility Knife now on Kickstarter

Quadrato Retractable Knife By Jason Morris - Designer

I've been designing products as a consulting industrial designer for about 20 years now. And here’s what I’ve learned: many good designs never make it to the market. And even if a good design does gets through; a company has to guess how many hundreds of thousands to manufacture, with the hope that they will sell them all.

But today, two things have changed the whole system. One is crowdfunding, like Kickstarter, allowing you to decide which designs you want to support. Second is affordable rapid prototyping manufacturing. Where I can get parts made, with CNC or 3D printing in low quantities, on demand, in just a few weeks. So from the designer, to the customer, directly. No massive tooling costs, no middle-managers mucking things up, and no over-production. 

The common retractable utility knife is very useful, you probably have one in your kitchen drawer. But they’ve been designed to live in a garage tool box, not on your q…

Western Industrial Design Program News

Western Washington University
Industrial Design Program News Update December 2016

Jolee Nebert – Outstanding graduate of 2016
Jolee Nebert is the outstanding graduate from the WWU industrial design program. She has grown from being an excellent student to becoming an amazing professional. She was selected for an internship at GE Appliances, where she worked full-time as a part of the design team. Then she designed a beautiful microkitchen for a competition. Among 80 international entries, she won Grand Prize and $2500.
Then, her design was given the grand prize for innovation in small space living in the New York City Big Apps competition. Where she was awarded round trip expenses to NYC to present her work and was featured in the Seattle and New York Times.
After her time at GE, she went to Austin, Texas and worked on the creative team at Argo to explore the role of future technologies in the office environment.
That led to being approached by a French start-up company, Adok, to work on …

Romantic New Furniture Designs from Fresh Graduates in Seattle