I’m a practicing industrial designer, but also a professor, twice a Fulbright scholar, and sometimes an expert witness in legal matters. In all my work I look for innovative, elegant, and practical solutions that are powerfully and clearly expressed.
Successful companies like Nike and Apple have taught us all the strategic value of great industrial design. It’s a relentless pursuit that requires top down commitment. Every line, surface, shape and detail works together to become a distinctive expression of the company which makes it and the culture which accepts it. It is easy to see why good industrial design has tremendous intrinsic value which deserves maximum protection.
The challenge of protecting and defending industrial design rights often relies on compelling expert witness testimony. Design experts must understand the visual, functional, business, and manufacturing dimensions that influence our culture and resonate with the public. An expert needs the education and experience, but also the skillset and ability to explain verbally and visually exactly why two designs may appear similar to ordinary consumers. I was one of the “113 Distinguished Industrial Design Professionals” to sign the Amicus Brief in support of Apple in the recent Apple v. Samsung Supreme Court decision.
I enjoy the challenge of being asked to serve as a legal expert- it pulls together the full extent of my experience as a design educator, practitioner, writer, and presenter. The work is creative, demanding, precise, and intensely scrutinized. I have worked with some of the top legal firms in the US on a broad range of projects – each requiring the unique perspective of a qualified, multifaceted industrial designer. In June, 2008, I was qualified to serve as an expert design witness by the Industrial Designers Society of America. I have since written numerous reports, provided deposition testimony, and I also have experience testifying at trial.
I have prepared myself for this challenge with 2 degrees in industrial design, 40 years as a practicing design professional, and 35 years as a design educator. Honored as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2015 and currently Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Kansas, I have also taught or lectured in New Zealand, Sweden, Israel, South Africa, India, Nepal, and Finland. As a practitioner I have worked on designs for boat, motorcoach, and aircraft interiors, consumer electronics, footwear, lawnmowers, motorcycles, bicycles, paddleboards, fencing equipment, plastic tool boxes, home exercise equipment, audio amplifiers, fishing bobbers, bags, portfolios, snowmobiles, playing cards, skateboards, furniture, packaging, exhibitions and displays, space heaters, microfiche readers, clothes hangers, condiment dispensers, medical products, farm products, lawn tractors, string trimmers, inflatables, and car care products.
To me, industrial design is about creating things that in some tangible way make people’s lives better. I’m a practicing designer, but also an educator, a Fulbright scholar, and sometimes an expert witness in legal matters. In all my work I look for innovative, elegant, and practical solutions that are simply and clearly expressed.