Kitchen products and recreational motor yachts may not have much in common. But Stephen Minarsch had no trouble transitioning between designing the two. In 2008, he left his job as a lead industrial designer at Zak Designs and accepted an industrial design position with Brunswick, working specifically with the Bayliner, Maxum and Meridian Yachts brands in Seattle.
“The creativity we are allowed as designers is what I love most about this job,” said Minarsch. “About 90 percent of what we design actually goes into production. Instead of being told ‘no,’ the engineers look for ways to make our ideas work. It’s a nice change.”
With a team of five designers on each of the US Marine brands, Minarsch concentrates on the exterior, interior and its components—dash display, theme and overall layout.
“As I design, I’m thinking about proportions and styling—how it looks on the water,” Minarsch explained. “Each brand has its own feel…I also have to consider people’s reactions to confined spaces when I’m planning the layout of the cabin. In some ways it’s like designing a motor home.”
While working at Zak, Minarsch specialized on shape design or the conceptual design of the product. The artist began each project by brainstorming and using illustrations to formulate ideas. As he reviewed each design, he considered the product’s look, practicality and cost. Then, relying on engineering knowledge, he put the design into the computer to create a prototype.
Originally from southern California, Minarsch made the decision to transfer to CCS after one year at another design college on the West Coast.
“When I was an art student, I heard about a really good design school up in Detroit,” said Minarsch. “I looked into it and was eventually offered a scholarship. I couldn’t pass up the school’s affordable tuition or its impressive reputation.
“CCS helped teach me discipline, as well as provide a rich knowledge in design and manufacturing. The experience helped prepare me for where I am today.”
- Graduation Year: 2005
- Major: Product Design
- Employer: The Boeing Company
- Title: Senior Industrial Design/System Engineer
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