This article is not about stopping a wide-spread, silent and dangerous disease as the title may suggest, but you’re here now so let’s talk about PLM, Product Lifecycle Management. To put it dryly, it’s an information management system that can integrate data, processes, business systems and, ultimately, people in an extended enterprise.  Most importantly, it’s a disciplined way to connect and supercharge a ridonkulous amount of information in your company to get a product to market faster, decrease redundant activities, and increase profits. To readers not operating “extended enterprises”, you can imagine PLM to be like the work of ecologists who study complex, living ecosystems. (more…)
We are delighted to announce Ben Fredricks’ 8th anniversary with our family company!
Our journey began in 2009 when Ben returned to Michigan from Colorado. It was a calculated risk for all of us. We’ve enjoyed almost every project and learned a lot along the way.
We celebrate our past work together as we look forward to future projects with some of the world’s most demanding companies…
Thanks for everything, Ben! Let’s make it another big day…
Fredricks Design, Inc.
Fredricks Design, Inc. is a full-service design and engineering firm based in Grand Haven, Michigan. The firm specializes in working as an extension of the client studio and engineering team to identify the right problems and accelerate development of solutions from early ideation, feasibility, concept development and production of mock-ups, prototypes and show properties. Fredricks works with key Clients in the automotive interiors and seating industries, advanced rides and show action projects for themed attractions, furniture, and consumer products markets.
City planning for the work space.
We commissioned a research and ideation project to explore the correlation between city planning and the design of work environments. The findings from this study supported our premise that any work environment is a landscape of unique environments and spaces designed to meet different types of activities and work styles. This connection is a powerful concept that can be leveraged on space planning and furniture design. Collaborative partnerships with the customer, A+D firms and product designers from diverse backgrounds will drive new thinking and dramatic improvements in the work place.
The work space continues to evolve and the next several years will be a challenging time for many furniture brands. The overall market is flat and there are simply a lot of companies competing for market share. Ongoing uncertainty in the market will require agility and responsiveness to customer demands for new thinking and solutions.
A recent day trip to Neocon in Chicago highlighted the trends that will shape the furniture market over the next several years and beyond.
In our previous Fredricks Design Reviews, we’ve talked about virtual reality and augmented reality. Now, let’s get into an even fuzzier area of technology and philosophy: artificial intelligence. The term “artificial intelligence” was coined by a computer scientist named John McCarthy in 1955 to describe “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines”.1 Simply stated, artificial intelligence can be thought of as people trying to make computers that “think” like humans: receive some sensory input, make a decision, and react accordingly. We’ll call it “AI” from here on out.
I am by no means an expert in this field, but the implications of AI have led me down a rabbit hole of learning and questioning as new technology often does. Certainly, there are more questions than answers when it comes to the impacts of this rapidly growing field. I keep circling back to a fundamental issue that I’d like to discuss today. Will artificial intelligence be good or bad for humanity? (more…)
Ben Fredricks joined our family business on November 30, 2009 and it’s been a wonderful journey, so far!
They say that height and talent skip a generation. This is entirely the case in our family. Please note that, Ben is not standing on a soapbox in the photo above.
Ben is a well rounded designer with the ability to sketch, render, model and figure out how things will work when the concepts ultimately go into production. (more…)