Industry & Research
Industry & Research
For over 30 years I have been working in the worlds of design, manufacturing, and academia. Concurrent with my full-time assignment as Associate Professor in the Design Department at SJSU, I engage in professional research and projects that leverage the power of design to improve the lives of people and communities challenged by economic marginalization around the world. My primary focus areas are co-design, design-for-need, design-for-the-majority, and design for sustainability.
I founded, and am director of, the Simple Limb Initiative, an open-source collaboration resource for designing, developing, and producing low cost prosthetics for amputees around the world. Building prosthetics that are affordable, durable, and manufacturable and repairable locally, is a major challenge in many developing parts of the world. We focus on leg prosthetics, including the knee joint, which are far trickier due to the weights and stresses involved.
I was invited by the Ministry of Culture in Costa Rica to work with the artisans of the village of Sarchi. The goal was to help them create new products that would have broader appeal, and encourage the artisans to collaborate on products that they could not realize through their traditional approach of working independently. Over a five year period I did several trips to Sarchi, about two months in total, to work with the artisans on their developing products and business ventures.
Over several years I worked with artistans from different industries (basket making, candle making, rug weaving, woodworking) to expand their product offerings and enter new markets in Mexico and abroad.
I played account manager, design, project manager and business development roles at this Silicon Valley industrial design and engineering consultancy. Projects included medical products, consumer electronics and consumer goods.
I headed the American studio of this German industrial design consultancy, doing creative direction, business development, and project management. Projects included medical products, consumer goods, furniture, and tableware.