Students Reveal New Office/Living Airstream to Executives

May 7th, 2014 by Amanda Pierce
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CCAD students and Airstream CEO Bob Wheeler Photo: Naomi Rossman

CCAD students and Airstream CEO Bob Wheeler
Photo: Naomi Rossman

Airstream executives joined CCAD students, faculty, and guests in the Canzani Center May 7 for the debut of the Airstream Pursuit—a new mobile office/living space that is the end product of a semester-long endeavor involving nearly 120 students from all nine majors.

Students presented a multifaceted ad campaign, a line of Airstream-branded sportswear and accessories, and an animated short to accompany a fully outfitted visual model of the new Airstream, which they named Pursuit.

The partnership began in January when students made initial concept presentations to Airstream executives Bob Wheeler and Mollie Hansen for a mobile office/living space inspired by the company’s Live Riveted campaign encouraging Airstreamers to “Dream. Travel. Explore. Live.”

On March 7, Industrial and Interior Design students presented a life-size plywood model with cardboard furniture to Airstream executives, and the 23-foot aluminum shell was delivered to campus at the end of March to be filled with model furniture and equipment.

“These are the types of experiences that truly help our students grow,” said Tom Gattis, dean of the School of Design Arts. “They’ve been totally immersed in this project and have managed it all with grace, poise, and infectious enthusiasm. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Advertising & Graphic Design seniors Zach Fugate and Arthur Congo presented a suite of interactive promotional materials including a social media campaign and a website featuring user-generated content.

Fashion Design junior May Sleiman presented a diverse assortment of Airstream-branded apparel designed to attract a new customer base. She said the students tried to think beyond predictable T-shirts and hats by designing sweaters, scarves, bow ties, bags, rain jackets, and even a dog vest, all relating back to the iconic Airstream brand.

Animation senior Don Yoakam showed an animated short, Wally’s Cartoon Caravan, that features Wally Baym, Airstream’s beloved founder, and a comedic cast of characters traversing the globe with an Airstream in tow.

Industrial Design junior Lauren Purkhiser closed the presentation with a detailed overview of the Airstream Pursuit that features handmade furniture, a convertible seating/lounge space, hidden kitchen storage, an expandable desk, and custom-cut windows. Following the presentation, Industrial and Interior Design students gave the Airstream executives a tour of the Pursuit.

In the weeks following the May 7 presentations, Airstream executives will evaluate the finished products for manufacturing potential. For now, Wheeler said his first impressions are overwhelmingly positive.

“I’m especially impressed by the things I never would have thought of,” he said. “I’m really blown away.”

The Airstream Pursuit will be on display in the Canzani Gallery through June 27 as a part of SHOW: The 135th Annual Student Exhibition.

Fugate is from Edgewood, KY, and attended Covington Catholic High School; Congo is from Cincinnati, OH, and attended Lakota West High School; Sleiman lives in Blacklick, OH; Yoakam is from Delaware, OH, and attended Bishop Watterson High School; and Purkhiser is from Akron, OH, and attended Harvey S. Firestone Senior High School.

Photos: Naomi Rossman (CCAD 2015)

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