© 2016 Elizabeth Reuter created with Wix.com

ABOUT ME

Throughout all of my schooling in design, I have been constantly trying to expand my knowledge to become a more diversified and well-rounded designer. Through my work experience and my obsessive consumption of literature by Henry Petroski and Donald Norman, I realized I still had gaps to fill. I applied to the University of Illinois and began to take graduate level courses in computer science, sustainability, human centered design, and engineering- necessities for the skill set of the kind of designer I wanted to be.

Then an opportunity presented itself to join a new and experimental curriculum, and help build something special with incredible people. Armed with my morbid curiosity of astronomical humidity percentages, I transferred to the University of Houston to be a part of the first graduating class of Master of Science in Industrial Design.  Here I was able to take all of the supplementary knowledge I’ve gained and prove that I can synthesize it through the lens of design. I finished my thesis- with a heavy examination of design philosophy, research, and stakeholder needs. I graduated with a Master of Science degree in Industrial Design in May 2016, and moved to Austin to pursue my career where I consulted, contracted, and freelanced. I worked with small start-ups and independent inventors who might not have the resources to approach large design consultancies. I helped guide them toward their product vision, conducting research, helping construct patents, and taking their ideas and creating beautiful, meaningful products. 

In 2017, longing for the strong design culture of the city I frequented in my school days, (but admittedly dreading the winters) I moved back to Chicago to join the Kenmore team and take on two categories as the Design Lead: Dishwashers and Small Kitchen Appliances. Here I am dipping my toes into the wonderful world of manufacturing, and am blessed to be working on products that will bring everyday joy to people in their homes.

To be a designer is more a way of life than an occupation, I have noticed. It is something that just doesn’t turn off. From the arrangement of food on a plate, to the styling of my living room or emails; design has infused itself into everything I say, I do, and how I carry myself. It is something I notice everywhere, whether it be color pairings, font choices, the spacing of floor tiles, or the grip of a milk carton as I’m walking through the store. I am drawn to textures and form like a moth to the candle.

I have grown into this lifestyle the way many others have: I had always loved art and design, drawing before I could walk, but also getting in trouble for taking things apart. I grew up fascinated how things work in the physical realm; an engineering point of view, perhaps. When I learned about industrial design, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Industrial design was the perfect marriage between my artistic skills and creativity, and my pragmatic, mechanical point of view. I was accepted to Purdue University’s Industrial Design program,and absolutely flourished; graduating with honors and a BFA.

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