Whirlpool L10 Ideation: 2007 - Tres Design
Well, like my college flashlight project, I suppose I’m lucky to only have one supremely terrible experience working with a client. The client was a total dick, but I also place much of the blame on my boss Steve, who basically dumped me on their laps with no understanding of what was to happen or what I was to do. He on the other hand was off on a fieldtrip with his students…
So I’m shipped off to Michigan to join in a 3 day ideation session with the Whirlpool staff designers, and it eventually turns into all of us just listening to this one guy describe how he wants us to design the next generation of products – only a small tweak away from a previous proposal he couldn’t get through earlier in the year. So the ideation session is a total white wash and we’re tasked with making products that can’t be made using their materials and methods, but he doesn’t listen. We go through the motions and exercises that are supposed to be ideation aids, but they’re just steered towards his specific goals. It ran the gambit from annoying to outright insulting. The guy had no idea who I was or what I was capable of doing. I think he was pissed because he thought Steve had passed off an intern as a staff designer. I tried to be professional and do actual design work, but it was just impossible. When I got back we still had another three weeks of work to do with the guy. We expected to be used for our industrial design expertise, not just some guys who would help collect and compile a final report. We weren’t even allowed to design our own report template, just keep guessing until he gives us the exact look of what he wanted.
This project was a total bust and has convinced us to never work with Whirlpool again.