Working as an industrial designer, Schuyler Livingston ‘04, utilizes his design skills and creativity to bring innovative products to life, including the creation of medical devices, furniture, clocks, toys, outdoor gear, mountain bikes, and more.
Industrial design is the practice of creating and developing concepts and specifications for products that are intended for everyday use. It's a dynamic field that has undergone significant changes over the years. In the early days, industrial design was primarily focused on aesthetics and creating visually appealing products. Today, the field has evolved to prioritize user experience, functionality, and sustainability.
Schuyler’s passion for design began at a young age. One of his fondest memories at St. Anne’s was in Rick Sigler’s art class crafting a woodworking project with a classmate, Tucker Larson ‘04. “I remember we grabbed some blocks of wood and began engraving them with a dremel tool,” Schuyler recalls. “This evolved into a full on landscape with water features built from hot glue and wood engravings of fishermen and trees. As the classroom filled with the smell of burnt wood, Mr. Sigler wondered what the heck was happening at the far side of the room.” Today, Schuyler and Tucker’s woodworking project (pictured below) is still prominently featured in the middle school building right inside the main atrium doors. “I realized through this project that I had an affinity for designing and building,” Schuyler reflects.
Throughout high school, Schuyler continued to fuel his passion for design and arts while also excelling in math and science. As college approached, engineering felt like the most obvious next step combining his skills in math, science, and art. However, Schuyler quickly realized that he longed for more creativity that was missing from the engineering world. Instead, he decided to enroll in the Industrial Design program at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU).
“I didn’t fully understand the field of industrial design until I was already a year into the program,” he admits “I just knew I enjoyed working with my hands, being creative, and finding solutions for real-life situations.” As it turns out, industrial design was a perfect fit for Schuyler, launching him into his career working for (with a team of fellow designers and engineers at) Link Product Development, a Denver-based design studio. Schuyler particularly enjoyed the furniture design projects at MSU and continues to pursue this passion in his free time.
Working remotely while living in Seaside, California, Schuyler designs a wide range of consumer products. “The design process involves extensive research, ideation and sketching, mockup development, and prototyping, all culminating in the final production,” Schuyler explains. “To be successful in this field, you need to study people in everyday life and figure out how to solve the problems they encounter. It's about designing products that are not just aesthetically pleasing, but meaningful, serve a functional need, and meet the expectations of a target market.”
Industrial designers need a combination of technical and soft skills. They need to be proficient in computer-aided design software, have excellent communication and collaboration skills, and be able to work in a fast-paced, constantly evolving environment.
Schuyler was able to teach himself many of these skills at a young age (which was complemented by his formal education at MSU). Now, all St. Anne’s students will be able to develop these skills in St. Anne’s new Innovation and Design Center. When Schuyler learned about the plans for constructing this new space, he was eager to hear more about a space he would have thrived in as a St. Anne’s student.
These collaborative and creative workspaces provide students with access to tools, materials, and equipment for designing, prototyping, and building. They offer a supportive environment for students to experiment with new ideas and technologies, and to collaborate with others to develop innovative solutions. “I look forward to the construction of the Innovation and Design Center and would love to come back to campus to work with students once it’s complete!” Schuyler stated.
Overall, Schuyler's success as an industrial designer serves as a testament to the power of a strong foundation in creative freedom and hands-on learning, such as one that St. Anne’s hope to build upon with our new Innovation and Design Lab at St. Anne’s.
Check out Schuyler’s industrial design projects and woodworking creations on his website: You can check out his woodworking projects at www.schuylerlivingston.com!