Insight and experience, concentrated

Douglas Carpiaux

I did my own research…

It’s a phrase that’s gotten a lot of scrutiny this past year. Experience has taught us that surveys and online resources can only take one so far in the design process. Getting out into the field for first-hand observation, communication, and context provides a more nuanced understanding to enhance those “armchair” methods.

You don’t have to be a user to be a good designer of the product – but you must be prepared to watch and listen intently to them.

A Happier Hour

No doubt that the new (to most of us) format of working is having a toll on us all.  There are some benefits in flexibility and convenience, matched up with some drawbacks in collaboration and boundaries.  One near-fatality of the pandemic for me was professional networking and mentorship.  Online webinars have not been scratching that itch…

I have to hand it to the IDSA-Northern Lakes chapter for stepping up and continuing a series of online events that encourage actual interaction of the participants.  I missed a handful recently because of other commitments, but I can say that I was anxious to get back in the fold. (I jumped back in yesterday evening).  For me, the face-to-face interaction that I benefitted from with IDSA was invaluable, and the “topic-less” happy hour chats of this chapter help fill a bit of that void.  It is only a part of the full solution, but I feel it is a part that is often overlooked.  Thank you!

IDSA-NL Third Thursday Happy Hour


Back-To-School Season

Wilson Beebe joined the DistillPD team in 2019, bringing with him experience in the bicycle and medical product worlds.  Now settled in, we are proud to share the news that he is starting in on his next big change.

Wilson starts classes this week for the Master of Product Design and Development Management (mpd²) program at the Segal Design Institute, McCormick School of Engineering.

This is of course just the start of a lot of hard work ahead, and necessary precautions are making the process a unique endeavor.  We wish him the best in his studies, and look forward to the day he can claim his new title.

Adding To Our Team


February was a big month for us here at Distill PD – and in the process we got just a little bit bigger! We’ve been so busy that it dawned on us today that we never sent out an announcement…

Industrial Designer Wilson Beebe brings his experience in the bicycle and medical industries to our team, as well as a great attitude. Having fun pulling him in on ongoing projects as well as kicking off some new ones. Congrats Wilson – we’re glad to pull you aboard!

ASME/SPE tour of Milwaukee Tool

Spent yesterday evening at Milwaukee Tool for presentations and a tour of their Rapid Innovation Center.  The event was co-hosted by ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and SPE (Society of Plastics Engineers).  Very cool to catch up on the changes at Milwaukee Tool as they implement new technology and tools to improve their product and process!


Happy Holidays & New Year!

As the weather outside gets frightful, many of us grab a steaming cup of our favorite “thinking fuel”, curl up with a great book or movie (or perhaps an array of whiteboards) and settle in for the conclusion of the passing year. It is also a time to take stock of the last year and ruminate on what lies ahead. For Dpd it has been a fantastic year, and we owe thanks to many of you for that. We certainly wish the same for all of our friends and partners in 2019.


Honoring A Master

Had the unique opportunity to go to the Milwaukee premiere screening of “Rams” by director Gary Hustwit (director of Helvetica and Objectified) last night. After the screening Hustwit took questions from the crowd and then joined us all down the street at a local brewer. Nice break in a busy week, focusing on a designer who maintained his own focus impeccably…


2018 IDC Conference – NOLA

Nice to see a slightly less debaucherous side of the French Quarter the morning after the close of the 2018 International Design Conference. Had a great time reconnecting with peers, discussing craft, and enjoying the scenery in New Orleans. Onward to Chicago in 2019!


On The Road Again…

Heading down the autobahn on the way to research… 150kph sounds more impressive than 93mph, but the station wagon blowing past you on the left is probably the more telling reference of measure.