Newell Rubbermaid opens Kalamazoo design center

Newell Rubbermaid has opened its new, state-of-the-art design center in Kalamazoo. The company says the move makes it one of those that recognizes companies driven by design have a competitive advantage.

"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," says Michael Polk, President and Chief Executive Officer of Newell Rubbermaid.  

The new 40,000-square-foot facility has been planned to foster creativity and maximize the sharing of ideas and technologies among the company's brands, the company says.  

A large, open studio space provides an environment where designers can 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.

New designs can be built, tested and painted in the on-site model shop.

A lab in the design center will enable the newly created usability team to interact with consumers and end-users to determine how they relate to products. There is also a professional photography studio.

Approximately 100 professionals will staff the center when it is at full capacity. They will be skilled in graphic and industrial design, usability, as well as analysis of color, material and trends.

"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," says Chuck Jones, Newell Rubbermaid's Chief Design and Research & Development Officer.

Newell Rubbermaid is the 42nd company to locate in the Business, Technology and Research Park on the Western Michigan University campus, and with its construction and that of mophie, the BTR Park, launched in 1999 is now full.

"Kalamazoo is the ideal location to plant the seeds for bigger, better innovations that will build our brands for the long term," says  Polk.

Newell Rubbermaid Inc., an S&P 500 company, is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products with 2013 sales of $5.7 billion and a portfolio of more than 40 brands that includes Sharpie, Paper Mate, Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Parker, Levolor, Calphalon, Graco, and more.

Source: Newell Rubbermaid

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