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product design portfolio

chris santosiD | (612) 308.7955 |

I AM A WELL-ROUNDED, INSIGHTFUL & CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVER. Chris Santos is a native New Yorker and industrial design graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He is a non-traditional graduate with extensively diverse work and life experiences that he believes have allowed him to come into design with a wealth of accumulated insight: making him a well-rounded, aspiring designer.


3400 Tryon Avenue, Apt B12, Bronx, NY 10467 612.308.7955



Insightful, well-rounded designer with strong communication, problem-discovery and solving skill sets, seeking to apply professional as well as relevant life experiences to good design.

University of Wisconsin - Stout Menomonie, WI September 2007 - December 2011 BFA Industrial Design, GPA 3.3 Chancellor’s Award Recipient: 2008 & 2009

EXPERIENCE Tovolo ICI-USA; Seattle, WA December 2013 - May 2014: Contract Junior Industrial Designer Assigned full-on solo projects consisting of quick ideation, market research, polished 2D renders and presentation boards, CAD modeling, 3D Stratasys prototyping and hands-on mock-ups, testing and final preparation for RFQ. Collaborated with design team on projects involving product photography and set-up, basic graphic design, color studies, creating texture specs and intense brainstorming sessions. World Kitchen; Chicago, IL April 2013 - June 2013: Industrial Design Intern Contributed supplemental support to design team with their projects via sketching, mock-ups, 3D Objet printing and clean-up station, presentation board printing and mounting, basic product photography, and ethnographic observation-documentation. Assigned a confidential project specifically for the PyrexÂŽ brand (with guidance from design team), which involved online trend and product research, basic survey and ethnography studies, ideation and refinement sketches, final presentation involving the design, brand and marketing teams. Streng Design NY; Brooklyn, NY August 2012 - December 2012: Industrial Design Intern Conducted market research and developed trend boards, created quick ideation and refined sketches, and participated in brainstorming-problem solving sessions with design staff. Assigned one-on-one projects with Chris Streng that involved 3D Rhino modeling of several of his personal projects where I reported to him for modifications and final approval.

SKILLS Digital Proficient with Adobe Creative Suite: Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign, Sketchbook Pro, Rhino 3D and Keyshot, Microsoft Office Suite: Outlook, Word, Excel & Powerpoint. Currently teaching myself Solidworks. Hardware Windows 7 & Mac OSX, Wacom Cintiq, Z Corp & Objet Rapid Prototyping. Studio Able to communicate ideas two dimensionally and three dimensionally; from rapid low-fidelity ideation to refined rendering (both analog and digital) as well as foam and paper mock-ups. Languages Native English, Fluent Spanish: speaking, reading & writing.





IT’S ALL IN THE GRIP. The act of whisking involves various types of hand grips that are unique to the task being accomplished; from lightly mixing dry ingredients to vigorously whipping liquids. I observed some users tilt bowl towards them for faster whipping action.



HURTS SO GOOD? Regardless of grip, a typical balloon whisk’s handle lends the user to contact injuries on the inside of hand because of straight, stubby handles that don’t extend past the entire palm. Straight handles force the user to bend their wrist instead of maintaining an ergonomic straight hand-forearm alignment. The task of whisking can be a drippy, messy one as well. Some users weren’t sure what to do with the whisk in-between whisking or when pouring out the bowl’s contents afterwards.

WHISKING SHOULD BE PLEASANT, NOT A CHORE. How can we implement a design that not only addresses ergonomics but doesn’t scream “geriatrics”. A stylish yet unisex design that accomodates multiple hand grips would be the ultimate goal. It should also reduce “in-process” drippage thus making “post-op” clean-up manageable without creating more clutter?

sp o o ns h ave sp o o n re sts. w hy no t w hi sks???



egg dripped down sides of handle

WHICH ONE FEELS BETTER? Multiple handles were created to test out on users. Not only was resolving the issue of comfortability a priority during this stage but also addressing drippage and mess. Some handle configurations were more prone to creating mess than others and some where complete failures. I had to then use that information to decide on the most appropriate solution that addressed both ergonomics and cleanliness.

RUGGEDLY UNISEX YET SLEEK. I ultimately decided on an aesthetic that wouldn’t be intimidating to either sex; especially with the upsurge in men either cooking more or being stay-at-home fathers. The final solution is highly unconventional for a whisk design but I felt that adding a separate drip tray was the best solution to prevent mess as well as addressing the issue of not knowing where to place a whisk in-between uses .

f i n g e r re s t c o mfo r ta b l e


Whisk handle design allows user to whisk for the most part with a straight hand-wrist alignment, whether beating eggs with bowl at an angle or stirring ingredients with handle upright. Whisk can then be transferred in between use and placed on tray to catch drippage. Tray can be washed/ rinsed afterwards and whisk snaps into place onto tray for easy storage. silicone whisk wires recessed indents allow snapping onto tray rubber ribbed handle for non-slippage upright tabs for resting whisk in between uses or snapping down for storage plastic hand guard rubber foot for surface grip

9.00� (whisk)

7.00� (tray)




IS IT EVER OK TO SCREAM AT YOUR LOVED ONES? IT IS IF THEY ARE THREE ROOMS AWAY. Most people needlessly yell throughout the house when trying to get a family or household member’s attention. It can be annoying, stressful and create miscommunication. Regardless if one lives in a multi-story house or small apartment, one is always reduced to yelling through thick walls just to be heard in another room or feel compelled to do a lot of back and forth walking.




IT DOESN’T HELP THAT HOMES ARE GETTING LARGER. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average home size in the United States was 2,500 square feet in 2009, up from 1,400 square feet in 1970. The move toward ever larger homes has been accelerating for years. Even large family condos, which have always been a small segment of the housing market, have grown as developers have started to build more of them. This makes communication within a home a lot harder and tedious.







PAGING DR. KILDARE. Plug-in table top “intercoms”, which used to be somewhat popular decades ago, weren’t seen in any of the homes I visited during my ethnographic research. The only communication devices I witnessed were one-way devices, such as baby monitors. Most had used intercoms in the past but found them to be eyesores. The common complaint was that they were cheap-looking and gave off a “Radioshack” vibe that didn’t blend with their home decor.

can you say eyesore?!





DECIDING ON A FORM. Building several forms from my refinement sketches allowed me to test out a few for correct dimensions as well as aesthetic appeal. I wanted to also make sure that the main unit and the recharging docks were easy to access and weren’t too conspicuous. I also played around with configurations for buttons, such as volume, interface location, on/off buttons, etc.

MINIMALLY DISCREET AESTHETIC. I do tend to go for minimalist design, when appropriate; and in the case of a home intercom device that lays out in plain view, I decided on a discreet, unassuming form and a simple grey - white color scheme that allows it to blend in any decor. I chose the egg-shape form because I believe it visually conveys a feeling of security and comfort when handling it or transporting from room to room.


intra-home communication device

press soft button to talk; let go to listen. glowing lamp lights up during in-coming call or can be used only as a night light. soft-glo charge indicator; starts to dim to indicate a need for recharging. left and right decal touch sensitive volume buttons in-coming call speaker and microphone charging dock with non-skid pads

set &change channel, set time.

power button

Safe-charge base has no exposed electrical components





AS LONG AS IT’S DRIP. As it stands, drip-brew coffee makers dominate the coffee appliance market and has for decades with the exception of espresso machines, which have made a slight dent (thanks to Starbucks!). Yet during my visits to department stores, monotonous, bulky drip-brew machines, in all types of finishes and colors, offered consumers few fresh and interesting alternative brewing methods.


THE SENSORY EXPERIENCE. Surveying coffee lovers in online coffee forums, I gathered that those that invest in more “involved” coffee-making products enjoy being consumed by the coffee-making experience (even if it means getting a little dirty and dealing with lots of parts). Coffee fiends want to see, smell, feel and hear the coffee being made even if sacrificing convenience.



There are many other ways of enjoying coffee that most Americans have not been exposed to, such as french press, moka pots and even percolators. Most are just obscure and even though I witnessed them on store shelves, they are still a niche market and most didn’t stand out well enough amongst a sea of bulky drip-brew machines.





WHAT DO THE USERS HAVE IN COMMON? ■■ Most took pride and pleasure in making their coffee.

■■ They were willing to sacrifice convenience for quality. ■■ They appreciate “classy” and “elegant” kitchenware they can proudly display.

■■ Most appreciated the small footprint of such appliances. Lack of counter space is always an issue. ■■ They were conscious of the materials that come into contact with their coffee.

■■ They were experimental and liked trying out different ways of brewing coffee. Most were former drip users.

GOOD DESIGN SELLS THE OBSCURE. As it stands, percolator users are mostly hipsters who frequent second-hand stores looking for “old school” kitchenware, or nostalgic (40+) folks who came back to percolators after being disappointed with drip-brew. At first glance, its apparent that their styling has lagged behind in terms of appliance design. Why not bring good design to the percolator market, to attract broader appeal? After all, the few companies still producing them have not shaken off that 1950s June Cleaver vibe.


t o o ta l l

WORKING THE FORM. Working in Rhino, I was able to rough out the initial form using a standard percolator’s dimensions as reference; to then print off templates to glue onto my blue foam. I soon realized after that I had to scale down a bit. Further refinement was accomplished back in Rhino to focus on smaller details, working parts, etc. A final Zcorp 3D print of the final model helped confirm dimensions.


UNCONVENTIONAL ELEGANCE. My prototype’s previous pastel color choice appeared too “retro”, so I chose instead to go with a clean white aesthetic that would convey the sophistication typical of percolators but without appearing dated. After researching the use of ceramics in some small appliance design, such as electric kettles; it inspired me to consider an unconventional, yet elegant material for a modern percolator. Inspiration for the final look came from the simplicity and affinity for natural materials of both Japanese modern kitchenware as well as Scandinavian design.

tandem dual-chamber percolator



Locking both top + bottom chambers & pushing down on lid (which pushes down on brew basket) will activate the percolation process. Both upper & lower stems nest into each other creating a fully enclosed singular stem.


8.00” lid spreader upper stem brew basket PIN-SPRING MECHANISM CLOSE-UP: CONNECTED STEMS upper stem spring hollow metal pin rubber gasket lower stem

rotationally-molded matte PP stainless-steel interiors

lower stem

ready indicator & power button

slip-cast glossy ceramic housing

heating base






02 06 Tw i s t t o u n l o c k t o p b r e w i n g c h a m b e r from bottom carafe. Lift off.

P u l l o ff l i d t o e x p o s e s p r e a d e r, b r e w basket and stem.

Remove spreader from upper stem.

Grab brew basket by stem and remove basket; fill with coffee grounds.



08 Replace stem, spreader and brew b a s k e t i n t o b r e w i n g c h a m b e r.

09 Place lower stem in the bottom carafe. Snap into place.



Push down lid to connect top stem into bottom stem. Press power button.



12 Fill carafe with water up to desired water level (units marked on inside).




Power button glows when brew is done. Unlock chamber; place in sink.

Tw i s t - l o c k b o t h c h a m b e r a n d c a r a f e . Place the unit onto the heating dock.


Remove lid from brew chamber and place onto carafe.

Serve coffee. Return carafe onto warming dock.




HUMANS ARE CREATURES OF HABIT. SO WHY DON’T CREATURES FLOSS REGULARLY? Most people, myself included, find it hard to keep a consistency to our flossing. Some habits are bad for us; those seem to be the ones we have a hard time controlling. But flossing is a good one, yet some of us have trouble sticking to a schedule.



CAN’T I JUST BRUSH? Brushing everyday is important but flossing is what removes the plaque from between the teeth, where the toothbrush can’t reach. Most Americans separate oral health from overall health when in fact, oral health is often associated with other conditions, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes; not just gum disease.

STICKING TO THE HABIT. Habit memory is the type of memory formed through repetition. If we can somehow make floss (or the act thereof) a very obvious, visible presence in a user’s environment; whether that presence be tangible, visual, virtual, or audible, it might help them stick with a consistent schedule. This is an area that needs attention and an aesthetically-pleasing design solution that doesn’t give off a sterile, “clinical” look, doesn’t stigmatize the user or create clutter.


SMOOTHING THE KINKS. I decided to focus my design direction on creating a unit that could sit on a standard bathroom vanity or countertop; with a small enough foot but that wouldn’t topple over easily. I had to then figure out how the floss would load and dispense as well as the easiest way to access the buttons. The buttons had to be discrete yet simple and easy to understand.

FORGET ME NOT. I chose to create a memorable, sleek form that was whimsical and would appeal to all ages yet have a grown-up, mature aesthetic. The tapered “tooth-like” form was purely unintentional; yet in this case it works well at keeping the device from appearing boxy. Integrating both the toothbrush holder and floss dispenser eliminates added clutter without taking up too much space.

hilo [ee’-lo] oral care motivator device

How it works: After the user is done brushing and the toothbrush is placed back, a sensor beneath the interior cavity floor detects the placement of the toothbrush. Instantly, the device alerts the user to floss by repeated flashing of the indicator light which is accompanied by a beeping sound.

Pressing down on the DISPENSE button releases the floss. You can also press SNOOZE to remind you at a later time. The alert will automatically turn itself off after dispensing the floss.

When you have the desired length of floss, pressing down on the CUT button will cut the floss for you. Automatically, the device recognizes you are finished and dispenses a half-inch wick for the next time.

Rubberized wheels help grab onto and push the floss up the interior middle groove.

An extra feature exists for programming the unit; which is entirely optional. The option was given to increase the chances of success in helping users maintain a consistent flossing schedule. 3G

4:08 PM


Main unit can be paired with any Bluetooth mobile device. A simple companion app allows the user to select their desired flossing schedules without having to directly access the main unit.

A floss spool manufactured for this unit would fit into the compartment below. Snap-on lid keeps floss inside.

Place the floss spool into the unit underneath. Unravel enough floss to place up into the groove.

A recessed bottom helps keep the unit lifted off the counter and dry. When floss finishes, the user can buy more.

A sensor within the groove detects the floss which then activates the motor & rubberized wheels: clasping onto the floss and pushing it up the groove.

Unit runs on 2 AA batteries that fit into the compartment.

THANK YOU FOR VIEWING. [ in-depth portfolio showing more process and problem-solving skills available here. ]

Chris Santos Industrial Design Teaser Portfolio  

Industrial Design Portfolio

Chris Santos Industrial Design Teaser Portfolio  

Industrial Design Portfolio