San Francisco State UniversityA-ZSearchCalendarNeed help?News

SF State News
SF State News Home
SFSU in the News
Events Calendar
Gator Sports News

Expert commentary
Expert Commentary 1
Expert Commentary 2
Expert Commentary 3

For Journalists
News Releases
Faculty Experts
Public Affairs Staff

For Faculty
Submit a News Item
Be an Expert Source
Working with the  Media

SFSU Publications
SFSU Magazine

Public Affairs

Bridging the cultures of designers and marketers

July 7, 2006

Marketing and design students used items such as Legos to help brainstorm ideas for a desk organizerAs timeless as the "chicken and egg" dilemma, according to marketing Assistant Professor Subin Im, product designers continue to battle with product marketers over the best ways to success.

Last spring, Im and design and industry (DAI) Assistant Professor Martin Linder organized a group project between two classes: Design Seminar in Project Management and Product Development and Management. The students' task was to work as a team to develop a unique design and marketing strategy for a desktop organizer.

"We want marketing students to be exposed to real design and vice versa," Im said. "Both are necessary for a product to come to market."

The six-week collaboration culminated in a May 16 product show. The students presented a 3-D prototype of a desktop organizer and its advertising plan, which included pricing, market testing and target market research. Four faculty members from the College of Business were on hand to evaluate the presentations.

The project involved seven groups of design and marketing students. Each group focused on developing a unique desktop organizer intended for a target audience.

Marketing student Simin Atayman considered the collaborative effort a success. "It was just like a real-life experience with all the challenges between the creative people and the marketing people," she said.

"I was actually encouraging the designers to do more of the marketing and the marketing students to do more of the design," Linder said.

After guest lecturing in each others' classes in 2005, Linder and Im consulted with DAI Chair Ricardo Gomes and Marketing Chair Sanjit Sengupta and decided to take the collaboration a step further and organize the project. The group project fed into research being done by FITS (Furniture Institute of Technology and Sustainability), a center for design and research developed within the graduate program and the DAI Department, headed by Linder. The research focused on the differing opinions of designers and marketers when developing a product.

"The designer wants to design the product to solve a need for a human being. The marketer wants something designed to sell," Linder said. "It gets very fun when we get into those discussions."

Both Linder and Im agreed that the success of this project was largely due to the ease of communication and compatibility between the two professors. For next year, they plan to revise the group project based on student responses, possibly having the project run for at least half or the entire semester.

-- Student Writer Lisa Rau with William Morris


San Francisco State University

Home     Search     Need Help?    

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132    (415) 338-1111
Last modified July 7, 2006 by University Communications