Recently, DDSTUDIO Senior Industrial Designer Lee-Anne Stossell was featured at IDSA’s Women in ID Show, an event held in San Francisco that highlighted the work of 11 professional women (and 7 up-and-comers) making waves in the industrial design community. Lee-Anne’s work was put on display for hundreds in attendance at Astro Studios, where the women were celebrated for their innovation, passion, and workmanship.
Because we think Lee-Anne is kind of a big deal, we want you to get to know her better. Read on for a Q&A with our uber-creative colleague!
What university did you attend and why?
I studied ID at Carnegie Mellon University. I had heard about it from a guy who was a really amazing artist, and it inspired me to look into it. It was my #1 school, so when I got in it was a no-brainer.
Why did you choose to study industrial design?
I was intimidated by ID at first, and instead was interested in graphic design and architecture. Luckily at CMU you go into a general design program freshman year, and then your sophomore year you choose ID or communication design. I found out in that first year that I was better at 3D design, and chose the industrial design route.
What brand/company inspired you to become an industrial designer?
Oakley and Nike. Even though I only dabbled in sports, I’ve always been drawn to the design aesthetic of athletic gear and brands. As an 8-year-old I collected baseball cards because of the bright colored logos—not even interested in the sport itself. I collected mini football helmets for the same reason even though I didn’t know a thing about football. Eventually, I grew into an avid sports fan—Go Steelers!
Tell us about the project that was featured at the Women in Design event.
The Luxe Paintball Marker: It was a project that was really done from scratch–allowing for innovation–unlike previous projects that had been just applying aesthetics to pre-engineered blocks. We were able to integrate ergonomics and usability with brand new paintball technology to create a form with custom proportions. Other guns we had created had strict parameters, whereas this really was a totally original product and the team wasn’t concerned with cost (a luxury when you are used to creating within strict budgets and cost restrictions).
What has been your favorite project at DDSTUDIO?
The Cobra-PUMA Sapphire Women’s Golf Bag and Club Set: It was cool that they stuck to the original design and implemented it in production as close as they could. The corset cord feature on the bag and head covers was a way to use form more than color to add a softer feel to what had previously been a re-branded men’s set.
What was your favorite part about the Women in ID Show?
Meeting other amazing women in design and learning about their work. It was an honor to be a part of the show. Visiting San Francisco is always a plus!
You are an East Coast native—what drew you to California?
The design culture in CA is much more prevalent than the areas on the East Coast that I had lived in. 6 years ago, I decided to pack up my life and drive cross-country to move here without a job or place to live. I had never even visited San Diego! I wound up landing my job at DD within 2 weeks and the rest, as they say, is history.
What is it that you like best about Southern California?
San Diego in particular is full of innovation, which leads to a lot of design opportunities. Also, the craft beer movement here is amazing, as are the ocean views.