Ergonomics in Session: Presentation to Marquette and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design


In November I had the privilege of presenting to Marquette and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design’s first crop of “Da Vinci” students. Along with an engineer from Shur-line, John Jacobson, we shared experiences that prove that when design and engineering work together, products can be infused with outstanding user experiences at prices that won't break the bank.

The “Da Vinci” course is an innovative new program that brings together Mechanical Engineers from Marquette with Industrial Designers from MIAD to collaborate on projects. Led by Professors Richard Marklin, P.H.D. and Mark Nagurka, P.H.D., it is an opportunity for these two groups of students to work together long before arriving at their first day on the job. With Professor Marklin’s deep expertise in the field of ergonomics, he knew that Shur-line’s products would make excellent case studies for these product development trainees.


John and I have worked together over the last twelve months on several products that focus on bringing superior ergonomics to painting. Our goal has always been to empower the Do-It-Yourselfer with tools that give professional results. Armed with insights derived from user research and product testing, our collaboration led to the creation of new tool platforms, a redefinition of the visual brand language, and a good deal of engineering and manufacturing ingenuity.


During our presentation, we shared many of challenges we overcame on bringing these products to market and how designers and engineers can combine their unique perspectives to create immense value for both the Customer and the Brand.