CCAD Students Present Model, Concepts to Airstream

March 10th, 2014 by Amanda Pierce
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Lauren Purkhiser

Industrial Design junior Lauren Purkhiser

“Why can’t you have a business meeting on the beach?” asked Industrial Design junior Lauren Purkhiser, setting the tone for the rest of the presentations to Airstream executives and guests on March 7.

Starting with an initial concept presentation in February, about 170 students from all nine majors have been working on research and development, creating designs and models, and putting together promotional campaigns for an Airstream with a combined live/work space.

Freedom from traditional workplace confines was the theme as students presented their concepts and ideas to Bob Wheeler, president and chief executive officer of Airstream, Mollie Hansen, vice president of marketing at Airstream, and other guests.

Interior and Industrial Design students walked the group through a full-size plywood Airstream model in Grant Lab, now fully outfitted with cardboard appliances and furniture pieces representing four defined spaces: workspace, sleeping space, bathing space, and kitchen.

The students used specifications from a 23-foot Airstream to create the model for a space suitable for both work and play.


Airstream executives and guests

“We don’t want to just design for functionality,” Purkhiser said.

Nesting bench seats and a slide-out countertop maximize space, and slim doors create separation between the sleeping and bathing spaces and the work area.

Alongside the model, Advertising & Graphic Design students presented a series of web and social media campaigns to heighten the Airstream brand and create buzz among potential users.

Animation and Illustration students presented cartoons, posters, and T-shirts designed for various Airstream audiences, and Cinematic Arts students showed a rough cut of their documentary video that will include behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with various faculty and Airstream executives.

For Cinematic Arts junior Naomi Rossman, being involved with Airstream has been valuable.

“I’ve really appreciated this professional experience to get outside of the classroom,” she said. “It’s been priceless.”

Airstream will manufacture one of its iconic silver shells and deliver it to CCAD’s campus at the end of March and, 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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One Response to “CCAD Students Present Model, Concepts to Airstream”

  1. Ralph Martin says:

    As an Architect | Interiors | Sustainable Designer + Airstream fan I am very excited about this great creative charette process along multiple discipline majoring students with Airstream… COOL IDEA! Keep me in touch with your progress. ( Blog sign up failed..? )

    UofAZ College of Architecture Alumni