Former Beyond Design Intern        

Catching up with former Beyond Design intern, Justin Wear

April 10, 2015

Our second featured intern is Justin Wear, who had the opportunity to learn from our designers, but also our engineers as he has a design engineering background. We asked him some questions about his time here as an intern at Beyond Design.

1. When did you intern?
I interned May 2008 through December 2008.

2. What was your favorite project that you worked on during your internship at Beyond Design?
My favorite project that I worked on was designing decorative finnials for Kmart (I think it was Kmart). Coming from a design engineering background, this project gave me the opportunity to think purely about aesthetics and flex my sketching skills. It was a complete change in pace for me and a great project to get exposure on a different part of the design process.

3. What was the best part about Beyond Design?
The best part of Beyond Design was the space. It was gorgeous, fun and collaborative. I loved the Cintiq station which allowed everyone to comment on each other’s designs. The outdoor space was also fantastic in the summer and allowed the team to bond.

4. What three things did you feel were the best takeaways during your internship?
a. Always get access to examples. We always had physical examples in the office. When working on the AeroBed, I remember having multiple tents and building them, taking them down, deconstructing them. To explore and use the physical products everyday is one great takeaway.

b. Prototype everything. We were always cutting foam core, shaping modeling foam, or building something in the shop. It was a great hands-on experience and helped evaluate and evolve designs.

c. Guerilla Research. When I was there, there weren’t any researchers (I don’t know if that has changed since), but there was always opportunity to learn more about a product or user. Doing secondary research online or going out into the field and experiencing the product yourself was often our only option for research, but any little bit counts.

5. What are you doing now / how did Beyond Design help you advance in your career, life?
I’m now a lead design researcher at a user experience consultancy. I lead design and research projects with Fortune 500 clients to help them understand and redesign the complex services and software they provide their customers (both internal and external). Coming into Beyond Design as an engineer, I learned solid modeling, but came out with a great appreciation of industrial design, aesthetics, design research, and sketching. Beyond Design helped present me with different options for what I could do with my career and I decided that I wasn’t content just with engineering – I wanted to work in the overlap between engineering, design, and business. That drove me to explore more options in the design field and finally end up on design research.

We thoroughly enjoy having interns each summer and helping them to improve their skills – in both design and communication. Justin was no different. He took advantage of his time at our studio to learn everything he could from our designers, as well as our engineers. We hope that he continues to pursue his career in engineering, along with design and business and wish him the best of luck working on design and research products.

Please check out our blog next Friday to learn about another former intern from Beyond Design.

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