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Worker Highlight – Dean Van


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Mar 22, 2024
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Dean Van, Industrial Designer

“I believe it’s nice that I get to assist different folks notice their desires.”

As an Industrial Designer with a background in architectural design, my strengths embrace idea improvement, design analysis, graphic design and 3D visualization.



My mother and father emigrated from Vietnam after I was about 1 12 months previous. My mother and father had been lucky to flee with their 5 youngsters and make it to the USA to begin their lives over. I’m the youngest in our household, and I can’t comprehend how tough it should have been for them. I used to be advised one of many first locations we stayed at after arriving within the US was a church. Our household landed in Portland and we’ve stayed on this space ever since.

After I was younger, I actually loved arts and crafts. I keep in mind quite a lot of drawing with simply pencil and paper. In center college I began moving into arts of all kinds; I used to be within the T.A.G. program that took children off-campus to discover all kinds of enjoyable issues. Wanting again on it I notice this was my first step into the humanities. I keep in mind doing issues like pottery, papier mâché, portray, and making masks.

In highschool, I performed sports activities year-round, from soccer to basketball to tennis. Most of my pals performed the identical sports activities and after college we’d simply exit and play some extra!



My ardour for artwork led me to attend the University of Oregon to check Structure. My focus was particularly on the sector of Artwork and Structure. Whereas at U of O, I additionally joined some multicultural teams (APASU and VSA) which helped me open up lots. I used to be a principally shy and reserved child and becoming a member of these teams performed an enormous half in me changing into extra assured in myself. There have been numerous alternatives to strive new issues akin to management positions and placing on cultural reveals.

Following school, I moved to Seattle and labored at an structure agency. After a few years, I made a decision to return to high school to considering that I’d prefer to get right into a grasp’s program however then came upon that the U of O had began a brand new program for product design. I used to be very intrigued and determined to redirect my design path in direction of merchandise relatively than locations. Though it’s not fairly the identical area, it doesn’t stray too far off the trail. I needed to design issues that individuals may use daily, and that will profit their lives. That resonated with me. I’ve extra alternative to design objects that impression lives in invaluable and significant methods.


On the College of Oregon, I met Mark Schoening (he was the Director of Industrial Design at SIGMADESIGN from 2010-2019 earlier than he retired). He taught a design course for a time period and launched the category to SIGMADESIGN. After ending this system, I had the chance to hitch the SIGMADESIGN industrial design workforce. I actually take pleasure in having the ability to contribute to product design on so many alternative challenge varieties. I’ve additionally been capable of broaden my expertise and study a lot from the broader workforce of designers, engineers, technicians, and different specialists working at Sigma.

I’m completely happy to have the ability to leap in and assist wherever my design expertise are helpful. At Sigma, I’m capable of lengthen my expertise for product design initiatives of every kind – graphic design, GUI design, UX design, in addition to signage and tradeshow shows.


I’ve two superior children who at the moment are 9 and seven. I really like doing no matter it takes to boost them to be considerate, form, and completely happy folks. Nothing makes me happier than seeing them snicker and smile collectively.


Dean along with his spouse and the “mini-Vans”

I take pleasure in spending time with my spouse. Our favourite dates are often discovering nice locations to eat and watching comedy reveals. Our present favourite place to eat is a Korean BBQ place known as Gyu-Kaku. Total although my favourite kind of meals is sushi!


Dean enjoying ping-pong on the SIGMADESIGN championships

I in all probability take pleasure in enjoying basketball probably the most, however with age and accidents I’m doing much more watching than enjoying these days. My two fav sports activities to look at are the NFL (no particular workforce) and the NBA (Blazers!).

I additionally take pleasure in simply merely hanging out with household and pals socializing or enjoying video games (ping pong, poker, darts, shuffleboard, billiards, bowling, bocce…. nearly any recreation). I take pleasure in competitors and attempting to get higher at no matter recreation I’m enjoying.


I really like that Sigma has a transparent set of core values. Our groups like to offer our greatest to each challenge, however that doesn’t imply we will’t have enjoyable whereas doing it. Take time to snicker is nice. Work is an enormous a part of our lives and I actually benefit from the alternatives to additionally simply be foolish and or play video games like ping pong, darts, or Dr. Mario. I worth this stuff, and it’s a good way to fulfill new folks that I don’t often get to work with. It’s one of many fundamental causes I prefer to try to host one thing every year by way of the Tradition Membership like a ping pong or cornhole match on the Summer season Bash.


Dean Van, Industrial Designer and Ashley Brown, Mechanical Engineer, working collectively at SIGMADESIGN

All the core values ring true to me, however Integrity can also be necessary to me. It means being true to your self and at all times doing the precise factor whether or not or not anybody is paying consideration. It means attacking every challenge within the method that you just assume it ought to finest be dealt with and to not minimize corners as a result of nobody is trying or as a result of the finances isn’t as a lot as one other.

I imagine being Adaptable is very necessary in product design. There may be at all times one thing new to study with each challenge. I don’t have all of the solutions from the get go. It’s my job to collect as a lot info as doable, develop insights, and create options primarily based on what I’m given or uncover alongside the best way. I at all times search for suggestions on the ideas that I’ve proposed. Because the designer I at all times attempt to hold an open thoughts and adapt my resolution primarily based off of that suggestions.


I get to work on so many various kinds of initiatives. I get to fulfill totally different folks from totally different specializations and I get to collaborate with them. I believe it’s nice that I get to assist different folks notice their desires.


I get to work on so many various kinds of initiatives. I get to fulfill totally different folks from totally different specializations and I get to collaborate with them. I believe it’s nice that I get to assist different folks notice their desires by serving to them envision what their concepts may appear like.

collaborative design

Collaborative design


My job is to translate all of the necessary features of the challenge, and design an answer that’s aesthetically pleasing, optimizes the worth of the product to the shopper, producer, and most significantly to the focused end-user. At Sigma Design, I get to work with quite a lot of good, inventive, and proficient folks with so many alternative experiences. Creating properly thought out merchandise occurs once we collaborate collectively as a workforce made up of various specialties.

I not often design only one idea. With each challenge I attempt to supply a large breadth of options that span the gamut from secure/anticipated to out-of-the field. I at all times try to be open-minded and adaptable to new info, seek for new insights, and be empathetic to the focused finish person or different specialists effected by the answer I’m designing for. Typically the secure/anticipated resolution works, however by way of a wider spectrum of idea exploration you often get extra discovery and sudden “aha” moments that might transfer the path of the answer on a transparent, single path ahead.
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