This video explains the background of the instructor in the context of what a materials designer does.
- [Scott] , you just heard from me that I said my title was a chief, design and innovation officer. What is that? So let's talk about RKS. RKS is a design and innovation consultancy. So, we're an agency. We work in all markets from healthcare, consumer, electronics, transportation and we work on strategy research to industrial design, mechanical engineering, prototyping, and we support our clients in manufacturing.
My roles here at RKS is to support the innovation side and the design side, and I'm also heavily involved in the leadership of the company here, and so I help mentor our design staff, our creative staff, and I help with our business side of things, and I help with our clients. And the clients are always looking to grow their businesses and that's what we focus on. What I want to do before we get too deep into the class, I want to share with you how I got into materials in the first place.
So, I was very lucky. I grew up in a family that were a family of makers. My father, he was a, he worked on the line in Buick in Flint, Michigan but on the weekends he was a machinest. And then whatever spare time he had, he was also a carpenter. So, I was born into this environment of we just did everything, and so everything from building my father, or grandfather's house to machining my own parts to modify cars to go faster, as I grew up.
And so, starting at a very early age, I was laying bricks, mixing my own concrete, raising my own walls, probably six, seven, eight years old, and then by the time I was in my teens, I was making my own things. And so, that led to a lot of advantages that I have today. Those experiences gave me the experiences I need with materials to understand how to manipulate them, how to control them. And as I transitioned, and I got older, I started my career path in my teens in a civil engineering firm.
And though it wasn't material heavy, it did start my path towards architecture where my real love was. And architecture is very material heavy. And there's some elements to it that, again, I wanted more challenging, and so I evolved my skill sets from architecture into automotive design. And so architecture and automotive are quite different in a lot of aspects but still very creative and very satisfying, and then I continued that career into product design. One of the things that occurred to me early in my architectural days, is I wasn't getting satisfied with the execution, or the deliverables of some of the designs I as coming up with.
The materials didn't perform the way I was wanting them to do. I wasn't able to do the things I was coming up with. I was always compromising my designs, and I wanted to move forward without compromising design. And so, that's how I got into the situation where athen I'm not going to do what I was told. I'm not going to stick within the guidelines of what a material tells me to do. I'm going to get outside of that, and I'm going to change the material myself. I'm going to make my own materials, and I'm going to use processes that probably aren't standard.
And so, when I started doing that, it all came to light that it gave me an advantage to making better designs, better solutions, and going farther with innovation than most people assumed. So, I want to leave this part with you, is that I would like you, while you listen to this course, that you assume nothing from this point on when it comes to materials, and that as long as you assume nothing, and then you design for life, you're going to become a very great designer, or architect moving forward.
- How the five senses influence design
- Finding inspiration from nature
- Creating a product from a sustainable material
- Practical application of automotive design
- Product and transportation design
- Custom materials for manufacturing
- Reviewing options for custom materials
- Labs that create custom materials
- Exploring new applications of product materials for product design