Studying to be a biologist, I didn’t realize until the end of college that I was meant to be a designer. I had been creating things for as long as I could remember but didn’t know there was an occupation for that. It was more of an obsession than a calling. At first I thought the lack of formal design training was a hindrance, but now I see it as a blessing. Having little guidance while learning the design process meant making lots of mistakes and false turns while finding my way, but it has given me a unique perspective and approach to design that provides more innovative solutions. I am constantly looking for new creative projects to challenge me.
I started my first design related business in college and now have over 20 years experience as a product designer. This ranges from developing one-off, self-fabricated projects to designing mass produced products selling in the hundreds of thousands. One of these projects, developed with Espiritu Design, led to winning the Red Dot Award in product design in 2010. My goal is to create products that generate emotional connection with the user, have longevity, and are sustainable, with the overall intent of preventing their transition to the the waste stream and reducing their environmental impact. Technological improvements and visual appeal alone are not enough to create successful products; it is the experience people have interacting with the product that determines that.
In addition to working as a designer, I am also teaching in the design program at the University of Utah, as well as mentoring students at Lassonde Entrepreneurial Center. My struggle to become a successful designer without the help of a mentor has made me want to empower and assist others on their own paths to become designers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.