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A chat with CRU’s industrial design intern

Industrial design is the art of creating products in a way that makes them visually appealing, easier to use, and convey a brand identity. It combines engineering, marketing, and creativity in a way that can lead to products that not only look cool, but that also can provide a better experience for the user.

Mary Beth Merrick is an industrial design student from the University of Cincinnati who was recently hired by CRU as an intern. I spoke with her about what she hopes to learn as a result of her internship with us.

“I am excited to apply my ideas from school to a real-world environment,” she said. “Learning about different materials and finishes is something that I want to learn from working here. I am also interested in learning about constraints, which is a big part of designing something.”

She expects to hit the ground running with CRU. “I already have to present ideas for products in development,” she said with a smile.

How is industrial design different than art? “One difference between art and industrial design is that with art, you are focused on observation. With industrial design, it’s about perspective.”

How did she become interested in industrial design? “My brother is an industrial designer. He designs cars, which is pretty cool.”

She’s in her third year of a five-year program in the school of design, architecture, art, and planning. “I applied there and then was accepted. Then I realized it was the top ranked industrial design program in the country.”

Students are required to spend five quarters in a real-world setting. This way they have plenty of practice applying their knowledge. Mary Beth also sees it as a benefit. “I was very excited to get this opportunity,” she smiled. “It’s cool that they are already loading me up with projects.”