Success By Design – MSU Denver RED


Vintage car dashboards. Incandescent lamps. Warm and soft light.

These are the evocative elements that industrial designer Schuyler Livingston and the team at Link Product Development prioritized on their mood board when designing the OneClock, a sleek, audiophile analog watch that raised nearly $2 million. in crowdfunding campaigns.

“It’s emotion; it’s the nostalgia – it’s the experience you want with this product,” said the 2016 Metropolitan State University of Denver Industrial Design graduate. “And not only that – it’s hard to create something so simple without any visual cues to get that clean, slick look.”

Link Product Development designed the OneClock, available at the MoMA Design Store, with a lifespan of 10 to 20 years. Photo courtesy of Link Product Development

The OneClock is one of more than 60 projects Livingston has worked on over the past six years at the Denver-based boutique product development company. And whether it’s wheelchairs, toys or mountain bikes, the key is to get in the mindset of the end-user experience to make the right choices.

“Link approaches design differently,” Livingston said. “It’s a small team with the resources to coalesce around clients and find the right approach for what they’re really trying to accomplish.”

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Part of the secret sauce, he noted, is a comprehensive end-to-end approach that incorporates market considerations, extensive competitive research and distribution, and rapid prototyping. Link founder Marc Hanchak prioritizes a “fail early, fail often” approach frequently found in tech startups, a philosophy that is even reflected in the physical layout of the office.

“Fabrication and prototyping are integral to a successful project,” Livingston said. “You can hop into the shop right next to us and quickly test your ideas to see which solutions work and which don’t.”

Link also recognizes the symbiotic role that applied education plays in shaping the next generation of designers. Link regularly hosts interns from MSU Denver, providing career development opportunities for students and nurturing a labor pool for the company. Livingston has also served as an affiliate faculty member at the University, teaching courses in surface modeling, while he and Hanchak continue to lecture there as subject matter experts.

Whether industry or individual products, sustainability is always at the forefront of the design group’s strategy. In a standard operating environment of planned obsolescence, Link designed the OneClock with a 10-20 year lifespan in mind.

Portrait of Livingston
Art lessons based on creativity and applied knowledge from his Industrial Design major and Mechanical Engineering Technology minor helped bring Schuyler Livingston’s ideas to life. Photo by Alyson McClaran

Livingston credited his MSU Denver professors for this insight into calculating comprehensive environmental impacts and other factors in his career success, including Amy Kern, Ted Shin and “the entire team” of MSU Denver’s Industrial Design Department, as well as Aaron Brown in mechanics. Engineering technology. The creativity-based art courses and applied knowledge of its combined industrial design major and mechanical engineering technology minor help bring those ideas to life, he said.

Livingston’s career path was not a straight line. After a few zigzags in his academic journey, it was a chair — more specifically, a bentwood lounge in his advanced furniture design class — that helped him find a place at the product design table.

“We were building mockups, looking at ergonomics and doing competitive research,” he said. “I remember asking, ‘Why is it that color? Why is this the shape it is?

“That’s when it all clicked. And while I definitely put on more than I could chew at the time, it’s part of the process of becoming a better designer.

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