ATLANTA — Newell Rubbermaid announced plans to open a new design center by early 2014 in Kalamazoo, Mich. This will enable Newell Rubbermaid to add depth in new design specialties, join a strong local presence of design-led companies including Herman Miller , Steelcase, Whirlpool, Stryker and Wolverine, as well as participate in a growing educational community that includes Western Michigan University.
"Great design and creativity is the difference between a standard product and one that is beautiful in every way—and drives consumer preference," said Chuck Jones , Newell Rubbermaid 's chief design and research and development officer. "Our new design center will be a best-in-class facility that enables us to attract the best international design talent to work on a wonderful portfolio of leading brands. Our brand studios and immersion labs will foster growth ideas as designers collaborate with marketing and R&D on great innovation. This is an exciting new phase for the company and we are appreciative that Governor Rick Snyder , the State of Michigan, Southwest Michigan First, the City of Kalamazoo and Western Michigan University have chosen to partner with us."
The new 40,000-square-foot facility will employ up to 100 design professionals, and has been carefully planned to foster creativity and maximize the sharing of ideas and technologies among the company's brands. A large, open studio space will provide the ideal environment for designers to collaborate using advanced software tools. Immersion labs for the company's priority business segments will enable design and marketing teams to evaluate product prototypes and imagine the possibilities of future product roadmaps. The company is investing in new talent with specialist design skills to work alongside the existing industrial and graphic design teams.
" Newell Rubbermaid made a significant commitment to design with the hiring of Chuck Jones last September," added Mark Tarchetti, Newell Rubbermaid 's chief development officer. "Having a purpose-built center of excellence will place us in an exclusive club of design-driven companies that recognize great design is a competitive advantage."