Colin Corrado
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BFA in Furniture Design
2014
Furniture Designer for Blu Dot

In a couple sentences, describe what you do for work and how you feel about it.

I am a furniture designer for Blu Dot, a Minneapolis-based furniture design company. I develop designs from sketch all the way to production using 3D modelling and physical prototyping. Blu Dot produces its own brand of furniture but we also work with major retailers and chains to develop custom furniture specific to their needs.

How did you get your job? 

Blu Dot contacted me and asked me to apply based on a recommendation. I believe I stood out as a candidate based on my portfolio of physical furniture pieces (instead of only renders and drawings) and work experience as a graphic designer.

What was your major and how did you choose it? Was it the right choice?

I entered MCAD for the furniture design program, in the interest of becoming a competent maker. During my time in the program, I realized I wanted to focus on the design aspect of furniture making, and tailored my projects to meet that goal. 

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Although he only taught a single class, my favorite teacher was Mac Plumstead. He introduced me to the history of product design through his personal aesthetic, one that mirrored my own interests. His class also let me bring my design thinking background into the realm of furniture making.  

Tell us about your internship.

I interned with Tuohy Furniture, as both a graphic designer and furniture designer. Although the work I was doing was not too informative to my practice, the relationship I developed with my manager was incredibly valuable. I was allowed access to learn about the internal processes of furniture manufacturing, as well as encouraged to engage with the field through attending conventions, photo shoots, and parties. 

Name your one biggest takeaway from MCAD?

My biggest takeaway from MCAD was that the results you desire will only manifest if you put the work in to make them a reality. There are no free lunches, if you want to do amazing work or work with an amazing company the only way to that goal is through dedicated time and effort.

What inspires you/your work?

Currently my work is inspired by modern Scandinavian firms as well as diving into the prototype process work of Stefan Diez's firm. I think it's incredibly interesting to see the working styles of other designers and firms. 

Has your work evolved since leaving MCAD? How so?

My work has definitely evolved since leaving MCAD. I am designing for a mass market, meaning I must work within the constraints of manufacturing and cost. Although these are limits, it has forced me to think more creatively about my designs to allow them to stand out.

What advice do you have for current MCAD students?

Do some deep self-reflection and try to be honest. Find out if this is what you want to do for the rest of your life, or if it's just a personal passion. Making a career out of art and design is both intensely rewarding and draining, as your work and psyche are so intertwined that it blurs the line between personal and professional. 

How do you network yourself and your art?

Working at a company allows a lot of stability, so I do not network myself or art currently.

Current obsession?

Building scale models.