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STEVE MONTALVO Designing for the masses

Steffany Tran Designing a positive impact

n industrial design senior at SJSU, Montalvo worked as an intern for Disney in Florida, where he designed products for the company’s theme parks. He attributes his year-long experience at Disney to his love of designing products for manufacturing. “I always knew that I liked art, or liked creating things, but there was never really a business aspect to it,” Montalvo explains. But it’s about more than just making money, he continues. “That’s why industrial design is great—because you can take your desire to create things and turn it into something that can be commercialized.” And commercialization is how you reach the marketplace. In the process of going commercial, designers must adhere to the qualifications supplied by a company’s research team. But even when working under these circumstances, Montalvo holds that the process of product design offers designers plenty of room for creativity. “That’s where a disconnect comes with a lot of people,” he says. “They don’t understand that you can still express yourself even if you’re working under constraints.” And there’s satisfaction, he says, in bringing an idea from vision to reality. “It’s really all a matter of what you enjoy,” he reflects. “I enjoy sitting at my computer and making three-dimensional models that are gonna be mass-produced as something that I can hold.”

here’s power in design, says industrial design junior Steffany Tran. And opportunity. Tran began her studies in architecture. ���That was my first step into design,” she says. While architecture focuses on how people interact with space, industrial design looks at the psychology of products and how people interact with them. “I fell in love with that more so than anything,” she says. Tran uses the knowledge she gleans from interviews to capture what will benefit users most in a product’s design. As a product designer, she describes herself as organic, emotional, and sensible. Through her work, Tran hopes to design products that last. “I’m really big on our planet,” she says, “and industrial design is probably one of the biggest contributors to pollution and garbage.” The process of developing products can be detrimental to the environment, from the countless factories to the transportation it takes to move products around. “All those things that we do to make things has really impacted our Earth.” The products of generations past, she explains, used to be made to last. Products today have a shorter lifespan so that the latest, newest version can be introduced to the market at a quicker rate. “I think the culture has changed in a way that none of us noticed until recently,” she says. “A passion of mine is to change the system.”

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Allie Sieban Designing for meaning

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llie Sieben’s eyes widen with joy as she describes an artistic twist to a rather mundane object. “It’s like a generic product trying to appeal to everybody, but then it really doesn’t appeal to anyone, right? You know, it doesn’t have to be that way.” It is possible, industrial design junior Allie Sieben explains, to heighten the aesthetic appeal of even a toothbrush. At about the age of six, Sieben became deeply interested in sketching. She describes her constant need to draw. “I was doodling on my papers and homework more than I was doing the actual work.” Now she’s turning her drawings into reality. Her craft as a designer goes beyond mere functionality of the product. Her approach to design is unique in that she focuses on how products can add meaning to everyday life. “How can we make things that transcend basic functionality and get them to be really meaningful experiences when people use them? Things that they remember and hold on to.” Sieben explains the approach she follows when brainstorming new product ideas. For her, the focus is on the quality of the product. “If you use certain materials, you can change the quality of something and the quality of the interaction with it,” she explains. “I’m a consumer myself, and I appreciate things made with care and attention.”

“It’s really fulfilling to see “All those things that we do “I was doodling on my papers someone enjoy something to make things has really and homework more than I that you’ve created.” impacted our Earth.” was doing the actual work.” twitter: sjsuid

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