St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) May 3, 2008
"Create an air circulating device." That was the instruction given to junior-year students at Auburn University's School of Industrial Design in Auburn, Ala., from leaders at Emerson Ceiling Fans, the company that invented the A/C-powered ceiling fan more than 100 years ago.
What started as a semester-long design studio class at one of the top-ranked industrial design programs in the country not only led one shining student, Bethany Klausing, to a summer internship and full-time job upon graduation at Emerson Ceiling Fans, but also secured her spot as one of the most dynamic emerging design talents in the industry. Emerson Ceiling Fans is long-recognized for its quality and design leadership, making the young student's contribution to the company's legacy even more significant.
The Origami™ -- the ceiling fan that Bethany created as part of her school project in May 2006 -- is now on the cover of Emerson Ceiling Fan's 2008 catalog. Now working full-time at Emerson, she also developed a whole line of ceiling fans for the company, the Elite Series™, which features high-end designs and high-performance motors to satisfy today's upscale home market - the segment that is still seeing growth in spite of the housing slumps and home improvement markets. Another fan in the new collection, the Tureen™, is also a product of designs presented in the class.
Steve Cox, vice president and general manager of Emerson Ceiling Fans said, "Thanks to our partnership with Auburn University, we were able to discover raw talent and nurture her skills in all aspects of ceiling fan design. Bethany brings a fresh perspective to the industry. Whether it's finding a new way to attach the blades or different ideas for the motor housing, she makes everyone reconsider how to approach ceiling fan design. More than that, Bethany is designing products that our customers want to display in their showrooms and people want to have in their homes."
Klausing explained that teams of Emerson professionals from various departments traveled often from St. Louis to Auburn to work with the students over 16 weeks, helping them to develop and refine their concepts. Students were involved in every step of product design and development, from researching patents, packaging and marketing, to sketching concepts and building prototypes. Emerson coached the students each step of the way. Klausing said, "It was a very intense class with 70-hour weeks, with us doing everything from studying the packaging to visiting showrooms to see products on display, but it was so exciting to see concepts become full-scale designs."
"Since our relationship with Emerson started in 2002 with students designing wet/dry vacuums, it has been one of those rare opportunities in which everyone wins," said Clark Lundell, head of Auburn University's Department of Industrial Design. "Our students are involved with a multi-billion dollar company, but Emerson is exposed to our students, whose 20-year-old views of the world have not been limited by their experiences," he explained. "The result is an environment where every idea, every notion, is new and valid."
Professor Randall Bartlett, who works directly with the students in the design studio, added, "It takes a very bright student to succeed in industrial design. They have to have the perfect balance of artistic and mechanical thinking. By working with a company like Emerson, we not only offer these students a great teaching model and a real-life professional experience, but we deliver for the client as well." Testament to the quality of the results, Bartlett said of the Origami ceiling fan, "I want this fan in my house! And, it looks very close to what Bethany designed in class."
What has it been like to bring her classroom learning to the workplace? Klausing said, "It's crazy busy. I have 20 projects going on at once. But I love it. I still get to focus on the creative process and I love that I am developing more than an appliance, but a part of home décor." Another difference? "People here don't have Doritos and Mountain Dew for breakfast," she quipped.
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Sales in fiscal 2007 were $22.6 billion. For more information, visit http://www.GoToEmerson.com.
Emerson Climate Technologies, a business of Emerson, delivers innovative technology, services and performance-based solutions to meet the critical needs of the global heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration marketplace. Key brands include Browning®, Copeland Scroll™, Emerson Motors™, Emerson® fans, Therm-O-Disc® and White-Rodgers®. For more information, visit http://www.emersonclimate.com.
Emerson Ceiling Fans' collections are available at approximately 1,500 upscale lighting showrooms and specialty fan retailers across the country. Go to http://www.emersonfans.com