ATOM Hosts ASU School of Design "Welcome Back" Program for Students
By Stephanie Trotto
More than 100 enterprising and creative ASU students gathered Sept. 15 at the ASU/SkySong Innovation Center to learn more about the design process from people who know it best - Jodi and Yani Deros and our team at ATOM Innovation + Product Development.
Graduate and undergraduate design students met at our company’s headquarters at SkySong, mixing and mingling before the presentation. Others gathered in the front office that displays the products we have developed over the course of 14 years. Yani showed one young student how to make a pet tag for her cat using the FIDO Pet Tag engraver ATOM Developed for Hillman Group and now found in Petco stores nationwide.
Since Yani and Jodi relocated to Phoenix from Boston 15 years ago, they have had an affinity for mentoring students at the ASU School of Design.
Each year, Yani attends the Welcome Back Orientation to discuss the design and product development process at ATOM and answer questions. He also does portfolio reviews at the end of the year and gives students feedback and advice.
Jodi taught graphic design in the industrial design department at ASU. She has a background in branding, advertising and graphic design and said teaching at ASU brought her world full circle.
“I was teaching students life lessons,” she said, “And the way they present their work is just as important as how they create it.”
We decided to host the Welcome Back for ASU Design Students at our headquarters because we wanted to give students the opportunity to meet the entire team, answer questions, mingle, share ideas and learn more about our field.
“We wanted to host an event here allowing students to learn and interact not just with Yani but our entire team of designers and researchers,” Jodi said.
The design students at ASU come from all parts of the world and that was reflected in the audience. They listened attentively to Jodi’s and Yani’s overview of ATOM and its development process.
Additionally, Kirsten Rutherford, who holds a Masters’ Degree in Industrial Design from ASU and serves as User Experience + Design Research Manager at ATOM, presented the firm’s proprietary STREAM Research and the importance of user research in the design process.
Afterward, the students mingled with team members. Overall, the event was considered a great success compelling the students to be inspired and motivated to advance in their careers.
Summing it up, Yani said, “We believe it’s Important to work with future generations of designers and explore their needs, help them with questions, and offer ideas.” At the same time, he said, there is a lot ATOM can learn from students. “It’s exciting to meet these talented design students, hear their interests and learn what tools and techniques they are using to create the next generation of innovations.”