Ruegg demonstrates his New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Costume from Halloween 2014. The ball is manually raised and lowered via cords on pulleys.
Ruegg demonstrates his New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Costume from Halloween 2014. The ball is manually raised and lowered via cords on pulleys.
Share:

Introducing Gabriel Ruegg, the first full-time faculty member in MCAD’s brand-new product design major.

A product designer since 2007, Ruegg was most recently a senior industrial designer with Lifetime Brands, Inc., in New York. His practice has included design research, branding and marketing, and user interface, and his clients include Williams-Sonoma, KitchenAid, and ESPN Books.

Here are nine things to know about one of the newest additions to the MCAD community.

His interest in product design was first sparked by . . .

Being frustrated with products. “I’ve always felt like a lot of products and spaces didn’t quite fit me. Don Norman, an early advocate of user-centered design, uses the classic example of the symmetrical  push-bar on a door, where you don’t know which side of the door to push on. So encountering these little everyday things and thinking ‘there’s got to be a better way!’ is what first drew me to product design.”

You can find his products in . . .

The kitchen.


Savora Rotary Grater

Reo Knife Block

 

As well as in kids’ rooms!

AirMaze: Out of this World

 

He was drawn to MCAD for . . .

The opportunity to build a product design program from the ground up. “Since starting this process I have been talking to colleagues about what they wish they would have known before they started working as well as favorite aspects of their design educations. I’m excited to be involved in getting things up and running and fleshing out the curriculum.”

First on his list of things to do in Minneapolis is . . .

Explore. “I’m just excited to see more of the city. It’s funny, I haven’t even been to St. Paul yet.”

The thing he’s most excited about in the field of product design right now is . . .

Accessibility. “Today you can start a company or create a product with so much less than you could in the past. With things like Kickstarter, 3D printing—3D knitting now, too—you don’t have to have a million dollars to start up a business. I find that really interesting, and it is something that I think is going to be one of the focuses of the new product design program.”

Speed round!

Most recently binge-watched? Orphan Black

Currently listening to? Memory Palace and a bunch of other podcasts. “I’m a total podcast junkie.”

Cool company to keep an eye on? Festool. “They’re sort of like the Dyson of power tools."

All-time favorite product? A really good kitchen knife. “I work in kitchenwares, but I’m also kind of a purist, so something that is classic, functional, high quality.”