Stuart Karten Design

Stuart Karten Design

Stuart Karten Design

Stuart Karten Design, also known as SKD, is a Los Angeles-based industrial design consultancy founded by Stuart Karten in 1984. With a staff of 20, comprising design researchers, industrial designers and mechanical engineers, SKD assists companies in multiple stages of product development, from customer research and concept generation through product engineering and production. In 2008, SKD was one of five industrial design firms profiled in Fast Company's Masters of Design series [Shierlitz, Tom (October 2008). [ "Five Top Design Firms Make the Gadgets We Love"] . Fast Company] .

Clients and Products

SKD works in the fields of consumer electronics, medical instrumentation, housewares, business products, toys, sporting equipment and transportation design. Recognizable designs include the Jabra FreeSpeak BT200, which a 2005 Jabra press release [Jabra Press Release. September 26, 2005. [ "Introducing the Next Generation of The World's Best-Selling Bluetooth Headset from Jabra"] ] calls “the world’s best-selling Bluetooth headset,” and its next generation, the BT500. Other notable projects include:
# [ zon] - a hearing aid designed for Starkey Laboratories. The zon was targeted specifically at style-conscious older adults who are reluctant to adopt traditional hearing aids. [ [ Core 77 Studio Bullitts] ]
# SimpleDrive and the (re)drive - eco-friendly external hard drives designed for Fabrik. The 500 GB SimpleTech (re)drive introduces new sustainable materials to Fabrik's product line and the SimpleTech SimpleDrive makes steps toward improved sustainability by using the materials and manufacturing processes already in place at the company. [August 15, 2008. [ "SKD Designs Green Hard Drive for Fabrik"]]
# LifeBook A Series Notebook for Fujitsu that was recognized by Appliance Design Magazine as "an elegant, yet value-priced laptop computer designed specifically for a targeted segment of conservative-minded, home-based technology users in the U.S" [Adams, Larry (June 1, 2007). [ "Excellence in Design: Clever Creations"] . Appliance Design ]
# VG Pocket Caplet and VG Pocket Tablet for Performance Designed Products
# G3 automated external defibrillator for Cardiac Science
# CoolGard 3000 for Alsius
# Jobclock for Exaktime
# a Time Empowerment Research study for Johnson Controls

Awards and Recognitions

Since 1984, SKD has received national and international design awards, including the [ Spark Award] , [ Good Design Award] [T-Line Blood Pressure Monitor [ Good Design 2005 Award Winners] ] , iF product design award [ [ iF Communication Design Award: Jobclock] , [ Red Dot design award] , Appliance Design Excellence in Design Awards and Industrial Design Excellence Awards.

The firm’s proprietary design research process, ModeMapping, which uses a unique form of information design to organize, communicate and analyze research findings, received an IDEA Award in 2006. [ModeMapping. [ "IDEA Winners: Time Empowerment Research"] . BusinessWeek] Stuart Karten has presented ModeMapping at the Rhode Island School of Design Center for Design and Business in 2006 and the IIT Institute of Design Design Research Conference in 2007. [IIT Institute of Design. [ Design Research Conference 2007: Speakers] ]

SKD has received much recognition in the field of medical design. Its Clarion Speech Processor for Advanced Bionics – part of a cochlear implant for patients with severe hearing damage – received a Medical Design Excellence Award in 1998. [ [ MDEA Award Winners 1998] ] In 2004, Stuart Karten was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Medical Device Industry by MD&DI Magazine. [June, 2004. [ "100 Notable People"] MD&DI]


The Museum of Modern Art featured one of SKD's conceptual art project, "Epidermits," as part of the "Design and the Elastic Mind" exhibition in 2008. The epidermit was described as an interactive pet of the future "spawned from a skin-and-hair-cell culture grown from a human cheek swab." [Glausiusz, Josie. March 12, 2008. ["Exhibition: Beauty meets utility at MoMA"] ] It was subsequently posted on as "The Scariest Toy Concept Ever." [Fermoso, Jose. September 17, 2008. [ "The Scariest Toy Concept Ever: The Epidermits Thing"]]

External Links

* [ SKD web site]
* [ BusinessWeek on ModeMapping]
* [ BusinessWeek Q&A: Designer Stuart Karten]
* [ Stuart Karten speaker bio- IIT Institute of Design, Design Research Conference]
* [ Design is Transforming Business: IDSA Los Angeles Chapter]
* [ IDEA Awards Since 2000]
* [ MD&DI Roundtable: Medical Product Design]
* [ Stuart Karten Design-- Zon Hearing Aid]
* [ New York Magazine: Artist Stuart Karten Finally Finds a Use For That Excess Skin You Have Lying Around]
* [ Stuart Karten Design Snap Saver]


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