This is my story,
Originally from Noblesville, Indiana, I gained an appreciation for the outdoors at a young age through backpacking, fishing, running, cycling, and snowboarding. In high school, my education interests varied from sculpture and photography to environmental science and writing. It wasn't until March of my senior year that I read about the Outdoor Product Design and Development Program in Outside Magazine and decided my path from there.
I am an analytical, diligent, and nature-inspired product designer with a goal to create goods that last, are versatile, and a catalyst for stories that bestow unto others an appreciation for the environment.
Developing an appreciation for the natural world is the main objective, yet my passion to create so others can more joyfully interact with nature originates from my own experiences and recreation. Inspired by such, I keep myself alert and imaginative in my designs by consistently reading, sketching, learning, and practicing mindfulness.
This is hard to juggle because in modern society we are tethered one way or another through our phones, jobs, etcetera. To take a step back and just breathe is simply lost. In admiration, we look up to those who do while we don’t. Our own experiences can seem uneventful and mundane. This simply isn’t true, and I want those who interact with my ideas, products, or art to feel encouraged to design their own story in a way that expresses themselves and a positive connection to the Earth.
“That combination of thought and action defines creative confidence: the ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to try them out.” Tom Kelley, co-founder of IDEO, co-author of Creative Confidence...
The design process doesn't have to be the humdrum define, research, design, prototype, and evaluate. No, it can be much more.
Personally, I like to look at existing needs/gaps in the market or observe human interactions in the outdoors. From there I can research, collect data, and ideate using software or a sketchbook: prototyping can be from cardboard, fabric, or plastic, depending on the end goal. I like to prototype iterations quickly from here. This allows me to collect user feedback, re-evaluate, and iterate which is key. I ask questions like "does it solve the problem, is it cost-effective..." These scrutineers make me a better designer and allow for a better user experience.
The most influential part of my process is what a professor once told me. The fact that one must be able to design for others not just themselves.