About CCAD

Amanda Pierce

Contact at IDSA Conference:
Tom Gattis

(Aug. 13, 2014)

Target market personas
Project fact sheet
Project slide show
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Student Designers' Mobile Work/Live Space Debuts at International Show

Product created for iconic Airstream brand targets freelancers, creative merchants, researchers, brand promoters – today’s project-based workforce #CCADdesignyourlife


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Aug. 13, 2014)—Millennials very clearly define their work life and expect to be doing project-based work as they advance through their careers.

Student designers at Columbus College of Art & Design designed and built a prototype of the ideal work/live space for venerable brand Airstream and will debut the new product Aug. 13 at the Industrial Designers Society of America’s annual International Conference in Austin.

The millennial designers began with market research to define a younger customer base for Airstream – the company’s current buyers average 60 years of age-- then developed the user personas to guide their design choices. The students, who conducted the project over the spring semester in the CCAD MindMarket, developed a business case as well as creating the actual product, along with suggested marketing campaigns.

“Airstream chose the CCAD MindMarket to create a new product concept because we value the perspective of millennials, who are our future customers,” said Bob Wheeler, president and chief executive officer of Airstream. “Having a leading art and design college just an hour away from our facility is exciting for our product development efforts and allows us to bring students to the factory throughout the process so they understand the manufacturing implications of their design choices.”

After this week’s debut to the international design community, the students’ creation will take to the road as CCAD’s rolling fall admissions tour of high schools and college fairs throughout the Midwest and Washington, DC. The journey will be captured in images and stories via #CCADdesignyourlife.

“Tom Gattis’ transformative project-based learning approach exposes students to an experience that mirrors today’s world of product development,” said Thomas White, CCAD president.

White said Gattis’ project plan to included students from all nine CCAD undergraduate majors in the cross-functional teams and enabled students to achieve a level of insight that results in products that are seen as new and highly differentiated for a competitive marketplace.

Industrial and Interior Design majors created the interior concepts and fabricated the trailer prototype; Advertising & Graphic Design majors and Illustration students collaborated on the ad campaign for the product and created assets to use in social media. Animation students created animated shorts with Airstream founder Wally Byum as the central character. Cinematic Arts students created a documentary of the project, while Photography students documented the project and support the promotional campaigns. Fashion Design majors developed a line of Airstream branded sportswear for the target buyers. Fine Arts students created many of the interior décor elements.


About CCAD
Columbus College of Art & Design, founded in 1879, is one of the oldest and largest private art and design colleges in the United States with 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students. CCAD offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Fine Arts. Undergraduate students choose from nine majors: photography, industrial design, advertising and graphic design, animation, illustration, fine arts, fashion design, interior design and cinematic arts. www.ccad.edu