Meet 219 Design: Smart Product Development

219 Design is a product engineering firm in the Bay Area that specializes in product development across different industries. After 15 years in the business, 219 Design continues to invest in their team by training and supporting their work on a wide range of challenging projects. This allows their team members to create some of their best work for the clients!

They are opening their San Francisco studio to the public on September 5th, spend the evening meeting the 219 Design team and experience their Virtual Reality prototypes! They are inviting all guests to send one non-confidential 3D file to by Wednesday Sept. 4th. Solidworks files are preferred, but they can accommodate most other types. Buy tickets here.

AIGA SF: Where does 219 Design find inspiration?

219 Design: The moment when a product first comes to life in a user’s hands can be magical. The physical form, electronic sensors, and control software working in concert is always delightful.

AIGA SF: Assuming the goal of the Studio isn’t necessarily to produce the professional designers of tomorrow, what are the main skills fostered or lessons learned?

219 Design

A. Skills fostered:

  • 219 engineers find the best tools for the job, whether it’s latest CAD software or 50 year old machinery, and the team works to become highly skilled at using them.
  • 219 fosters detail-oriented craftsmanship to design and build physical products - whether the client needs 1 or 10,000.
  • 219 values a deep understanding of how our clients products fare in the real world so we design products to work for the long term, not just to look good on day 1.
  • B. Lessons learned:

  • We don’t get overly attached to our initial vision. We learn as much as we can early and we’re open to tearing concepts down and rebuilding them based on our evolving understanding of the solution space.
  • We involve end-users at every step of the process. We prototype and test concepts early and incorporate learnings often.
  • The best time to make changes is early in the process. We explore a broad range of concepts early in the product development process, so our clients can invest their resources in pursuing the best path forward.
  • AIGA SF: Do you see this primarily as a competitive game, and if so, what does that teach about the competitive nature of design?

    219 Design: 219 Design’s mission is to help our clients succeed. We achieve great outcomes by constantly learning - adding to our skills and expertise - and striving to make our client's product the most competitive on the market.

    AIGA SF: What can this experience teach about the value of constructive critique?

    219 Design: At 219, our development process relies on building, then testing, and then iterating. Asking well-formed questions and listening to the answers is required to make something truly remarkable.

    AIGA SF: What are your hopes and dreams for your VR projects?

    219 Design: We put our all into every project we work on and strive to incorporate the latest technology, interdisciplinary knowledge, and cross-industry expertise. We use VR at a tool to get early feedback in a very cost-effective way.

    AIGA SF: What is a VR trend you're currently excited about?

    219 Design: We are very excited about the rapidly changing capabilities of VR. Today, we can use it to evaluate products in context for scale, usability, and features. Soon, we expect to see improvements in visual resolution and software with more desired features like room scale VR, flashing animations, spatial audio, and multi-user capabilities.

    AIGA SF: Fun Facts?

    219 Design:

  • 219 Design is 15 years old!
  • All of our founders have been here since the beginning. They met in Stanford’s Smart Product Design Lab (ME218).
  • We also have offices in Mountain View and Raleigh
  • To meet the team at 219 Design buy tickets here!