Once the fundamental concepts are in place, it’s time for the sketch battle. Pens hit paper. Ideas flow. The drawings come out quick and dirty. Moving from 2D to 3D, I grab a stack of cardboard, scissors, and tape, and get to work making rough models. It’s one of my favorite parts of the design process. Kevin joins me, and we work quickly, cutting, folding, taping and gluing. Our models begin to take shape, one inspiring the next.
After lunch (ramen), I’m pulled aside to work on an engineering problem with Ken and our design engineer Galen. After Kevin and I finish designing a new product, it’s handed off to Galen, who shepherds it through the engineering phase. He takes our pie in the sky concepts and figures out how we’re actually going to manufacture them as real products, sourcing the materials and vendors along the way. Right now, he needs my input on whether to etch or engrave our logo on a new steel part.
Back in the design space, I find Kevin surrounded by a mountain of material and models in various stages of completion, his head just peeking over like a kid in a ball pit. I dive in. The hours pile up, and soon it’s time to pack up for the day. Our space looks like a tornado hit a craft store. Cardboard shrapnel litters every surface and the smell of hot glue hangs in the air. We stand back and admire our work with a mixture of satisfaction and terror.
After sweeping, lining up the models, and gathering our things, Kevin and I high-five each other and any other willing participant. It was a busy and productive day, and we deserve every five we can get.
When I walk through my front door, my daughter absolutely screams, toddling towards me with her arms raised. My work-brain is already switched off. I’m home. I’m happy. I AM DAD.