Newell Rubbermaid has opened a state-of-the-art Design Center in Kalamazoo, MI, the company announced today. The new facility has been carefully planned to foster creativity and maximize the sharing of ideas and technologies among Newell Rubbermaid brands, the company said.
“The opening of our new Design Center represents another step forward in our ambition to become a design and innovation led company,” said Michael Polk, president and CEO of Newell Rubbermaid. “Our pipeline of new products is strengthening and with the Design Center now operational, we will further the development of new ideas that distinguish our brands in the marketplace. Newell’s new Design Center is a great example of our Growth Game Plan in action.”
The new 40,000-square-foot facility features a large open studio space designed to provide an environment for designers to collaborate using advanced software tools. Immersion labs for each of the company’s business segments will enable design and marketing teams to evaluate product prototypes and imagine the possibilities of future product roadmaps, the company said. An on-site model shop allows new designs to be built, tested and painted. A usability lab will enable the newly created usability team to interact with consumers and end-users to create better product experiences. There is also a professional photography studio.
Approximately 100 professionals will staff the center when it is at full capacity, bringing diverse, global experience across new and existing capabilities including graphic and industrial design; functionality; color, material and trend analysis.
“We have conversations with millions of consumers through our products every day, and through great design and innovation we will elevate these conversations to a new level,” said Chuck Jones, Newell Rubbermaid’s chief design and research & development officer. “Our new Design Center brings together all the disciplines in design and innovation under one roof to collaborate across our entire portfolio of great brands.”
The Newell Rubbermaid Design Center joins other Southwestern Michigan desgin companies, such as Herman Miller, Steelcase, Whirlpool, Stryker and Wolverine.
“We appreciate the support of Governor Rick Snyder, the State of Michigan, Southwest Michigan First, the City of Kalamazoo and Western Michigan University to help make our new Design Center a reality,” said Polk. “Kalamazoo is the ideal location to plant the seeds for bigger, better innovations that will build our brands for the long term.”