CCAD MindMarket Partners with Airstream on Iconic Design Project

February 5th, 2014 by Amanda Pierce
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Classic Airstream

Classic Airstream. Screenshot from

Columbus College of Art & Design students made a first round of presentations to Airstream on Jan. 31., embarking on a semester-long creative journey with the iconic American brand.

The mission, organized through the CCAD MindMarket: to create a mobile Airstream office/living space.

The MindMarket connects organizations with student talent, allowing the organizations to gain from the students’ fresh ideas and the students to glean invaluable real-world experience.

“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.

Airstream exterior

Airstream model exterior in Grant Labs

Teams including about 170 CCAD students from all nine majors are already hard at work on concepts for an Airstream designed and fully outfitted for both work and play.

Inspired by the company’s Live Riveted campaign encouraging Airstreamers to “Dream. Travel. Explore. Live.” Interior and Industrial Design students presented their target market research and recommendations to Mollie Hansen, vice president of Marketing for Airstream.

Students personified four target consumers—the nomadic freelancer, the creative merchant, the remote researcher, and the brand promoter—to explore how the Airstream office/living space might be used.

The presentation was followed by a guided tour of the life-size plywood model in Grant Labs, which students will use to develop their concepts. The concepts will then be used to create a life-size prototype together with Airstream.

“Airstream could be the gateway to workplace freedom,” said Interior Design junior Lauren Purkhiser.

The goal, Purkhiser explained, is to create an Airstream space that allows users to experience freedom and versatility in the way that they work.

Airstream interior

Airstream model interior in Grant Labs

Students will cover the full spectrum of product research and development, from identifying target customers and designing the product, to creating the promotional campaign to sell it. Fashion Design students will even create a line of branded sportswear to outfit the target owners.

Students will present the final concepts to Airstream in March, and then the company will manufacture the iconic silver shell at its Jackson Center, OH, plant and deliver it to CCAD’s campus. After students build out the prototype, Airstream will evaluate the final product in May for manufacturing potential.

Subscribe to the CCAD News Blog and/or follow us on twitter #ccadair for behind-the-scenes photos and to track the progress of the Airstream prototype.

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