Larson-Juhl Sponsors Innovation Design Challenge at UC Berkeley’s Innovation Through Design Thinking

Larson-Juhl sponsored a design tournament challenge in UC Berkeley’s Innovation Through Design Thinking course in Fall 2013. The course is part of the MEng concentration in Product Design in Mechanical Engineering and the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership.

The top two teams (Sports Fanatics and Mood Frames) had an opportunity to present their ideas to Larson-Juhl’s executive management. Larson-Juhl is now moving forward with a modified version of the Sports Fanatics concept using NFC technology. They are sending out award certificates to each winning team member in June 2014.

To identify new opportunities in the picture framing industry, Larson-Juhl recently sponsored “Framing Innovation,” a Design Thinking challenge for students at University of California, Berkeley. Doug Rozenboom, Larson-Juhl’s senior vice-president, Global Merchandising & Product Development, sponsored a tournament in a graduate class titled “Innovation Through Design Thinking,” taught by Alice Agogino (Mechanical Engineering) and Alan Van Pelt (Design Strategy Consultant). The class was instructed to identify new innovation opportunities in the framing industry by studying potential new consumers and creating concepts to best reach them.

“At Larson-Juhl, we’re always looking to think outside of the frame, and working with the students of UC Berkeley was a great way for us to gain new innovative insights into our industry and the many possibilities of what is to come,” shares Rozenboom.

Six student teams researched specific customer segments, conducted interviews, built prototypes, and presented their ideas to Rozenboom and their professors. Judging the competition, Rozenboom selected the top two concepts. Those teams went on to present their innovative creations to Larson-Juhl’s executive team, which then selected the winning design team Sports Fanatics of Dizhou Lu, Toby Ricco, Logan Van Engelhoven, Chris Gotianun, and Hoseok Lee (photo above, left to right). The Runner-Up Mood Frames (Dian Dong, Katy Van Lieshout, Chen Zhuang and Theerapat Yangyuenthanasan) team’s concept is also being considered for a new product.

Larson-Juhl will incorporate aspects of the winning team’s design concept into upcoming products. “We strive to find the next generation of products for customers. These students are tomorrow’s consumers, and collaborating with them gives us a great opportunity to accomplish our goal,” Rozenboom said.