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Human Factors - Industrial Design for Start-ups

Design has never been more important to launching a hardware business than it is today — form factor, usability and appeal are now key considerations in the birth of any new product. With so many new tools and technologies involved in the process, it's important to know when and how to incorporate good design in your prototype. 

The next Hardware Startups Vancouver will be focused on industrial design for start-ups. We will hear insights from three local designers, each with a wealth of local and international experience. They will share lessons and principals on how design practice can encompass everything from ergonomics, to manufacturability and packaging. 

Our speakers will be;

Afshin Mehin (WOKE Design)

Rob Nathan (4139 Design) and Quin Sandler (Plantiga)

Ryan Nussbacher (OOCO Design)

We will also have an update from the Energy Aware team, which just rounded 200% of their Kickstarter goal for the Neurio. Talks will be followed by Q&A, open mic and chance to meet others involved or interested in the Vancouver Hardware scene.

Hope you can join us!


Afshin Mehin (WOKE Design)

WOKE is a creative studio that specializes in Industrial Design,  Interaction Design and Design Strategy. Founder Afshin Mehin will be sharing some of the learnings the studio has gained working on a wide spectrum of projects  - from  heads up display sunglasses for Recon Instruments  to electric vehicle dashboards for Renault  to the olympic torch for London 2012. His presentation will also touch on how he thinks Design can best be utilized within a startup environment as well as why he thinks Vancouver is such an exciting city for hardware startups.

Prior to founding WOKE in 2012, Afshin spent the last decade exploring the overlapping worlds of design and technology working for design companies such as IDEO and Whipsaw in San Francisco, BarberOsgerby and Terrence Conran in London as well as the  M.I.T. Media Lab Europe in Dublin.


Rob Nathan (4139 Design)

4139Design offers consulting services in product, packaging and POP design, development, sourcing, production and marketing. Making your product successful is not only about making it beautiful, it’s about fostering a great user experience and sharing this with users, present and future. The experience starts with seeing the product on the shelf or online, and doesn't end until the product has worn out or is passed on to a new user.

"4139Design is me, Rob Nathan. I am a freelance industrial designer with a diverse education, wide skill set and varied experience. I attended Art Center College of Design in California and have worked for design firms across the US, on projects ranging from footwear to housewares and trade show booths. I moved to Vancouver, BC in 2003 and was the Product Director at SOLE for nine years before launching 4139Design."

Quin Sandler (Plantiga)

Plantiga is a new type of footwear company that offers custom, smart and adaptive footwear. Plantiga has developed Suspnd™, a patent-pending footwear technology that changes the way shocks are absorbed from walking and running.

All shock and impact force is now absorbed by the footwear’s perimeter sole, side-walls and energy return system. This technology distributes the force around the perimeter of the shoe, cancelling out all impact directly under the foot..


Ryan Nussbacher - OOCO Design founder

OOCO is a Vancouver design studio co-founded by Industrial designers, Jacky Kaho Ling, Ryan Nussbacher, David Dong-hee Suh, and Zackary Yao-Tsang Yu.

Our mission is to take on bigger challenges and adventures with the best people available. We maintain an environment for free thought and create opportunities for more promising creatives to work together because we believe in the extraordinary results which bloom from collaboration between designers and experts of different cultural backgrounds, work practices and life experiences.

Ryan practices a flexible and open-minded methodology in order to allow discovery of  more opportunities for innovation and cooperation. "Where one creative person can produce something good, multiple creatives working in concert with each other can give birth to something truly extraordinary.”

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  • Jake M.

    Thanks, I enjoyed this. I was thinking afterwards that a good question, or a potential topic for a future talk, would be on how to get industrial designers and engineers to work together effectively.

    November 29, 2013

  • Dallas L.

    Thanks to everyone who came out to this event.
    We've posted the talks here:

    1 · November 27, 2013

  • Ryan N.

    The most fun one can have with their clothes on in front of 100 people.

    1 · November 26, 2013

  • Ryan N.

    Thank you to all who attended. What a good looking crowd! We've got some photos of you guys up on the OOCO facebook page. Come on over, say "helloo", share magnanimously and hit Like to keep updated on Stage Knife and more!

    2 · November 26, 2013

  • Eli H.

    Very informative and well done

    2 · November 26, 2013

  • Taylor C.

    I haven't RSVP'd and would still like to attend, is it possible to drop in anyways?

    November 25, 2013

    • Derek G.

      Hi Taylor, feel free to come (you don't need to RSVP)

      November 25, 2013

  • Timothy W.

    Is the address The Cranium, 308 E 5th Ave?

    November 19, 2013

  • Roger K.

    Looking forward to my first meeting with you all.

    November 12, 2013

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