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News . Feature Stories . Designing for beauty and utility


October 25, 2016

Designing for beauty and utility

Industrial Design student sharpens skills at Moen

Designer Charlotte Zale spent the summer working at Moen, an international bathroom and kitchen products brand, based in North Olmsted, Ohio.

“Moen is primarily known for producing faucets, but the company also designs bathroom products like shower and spa items, accessories and lighting as well as kitchen products like sinks and garbage disposals,” Zale says.

“The industrial design team consists of about seven people including myself. To kick off a project, we were given a prompt by the marketing team that delineated the ideal style and price point.

“From there, we sketched around 10 to 20 concepts, which were eventually narrowed and refined. The best concepts were 3D modeled on the computer, sent to engineering for refinement, and finally 3D printed and metal plated to create a convincing model,” she says.

Moen products are known for being beautiful, which piqued Zale’s interest in the internship. “I was enticed by the idea of designing forms in a range of styles, and to a high level of refinement, since I haven’t had the opportunity to have that as the main focus of a project in my ID career thus far,” she says.

Along the way, she honed her technical chops as well. “I’ve improved my ability to make 3D model designs in SolidWorks, and to render the final product in Keyshot,” she says. “I’ve also learned a lot about laying out presentations in PowerPoint, which sounds kind of silly. Typically, design students use InDesign, a much more complicated and design-focused software. I had to learn to transition to PowerPoint since it’s the most universally used software throughout all departments.”

After Zale earns her BFA, she hopes to use her school and work experience to snag a position at a design consultancy firm. She’ll take along some nice memories from Moen, too. “The best days were when we had brainstorming sessions with the whole design team on cool new innovation projects,” she says. “There were always a lot of laughs and, of course, great ideas that developed from bouncing ideas off of one another.”

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