Member profile: Dave Fustino, industrial designer

Dave Fustino is an industrial designer who has been an incredible asset to the informal collective since he joined, not only for his concept-sketching skills but also for his involvement in the Boston Hardware Meetup group. Dave’s knowledge and talent in helping clients establish a clear picture of what their product can be is invaluable. 

Dave finds time to unplug and recharge by playing soccer, doing CrossFit, and generally staying active. He’s found that disconnecting from work for a few hours can often be the ticket to finding the answer he was seeking to a problem. 

What has your experience with the Boston Hardware Meetup Group been? What do you value within that community?

Since participating in the Boston Hardware Meetups, I’ve met many driven individuals and have experienced a growth in freelance work, simply from learning about what others are involved with and networking in general. 

I enjoy being surrounded by insatiably curious individuals, eager to learn and apply themselves to meaningful results. I always walk away with refreshing insights that enable me to improve my process, industry knowledge, and strategies.

What inspires you to work in this industry?

I’m inspired knowing I can leverage my abilities to develop a positive physical and emotional difference through great design, and it’s very rewarding. It’s a privilege coordinating the right actions to develop and produce tangible objects that provide an enduring impact on the customer’s life.

Everyone is unique, so developing useful solutions that bring a wide variety of people delight and simplicity is a challenge worth pursuing. I’m proud to apply myself on a daily basis to help others move ahead with reliable and life-changing product experiences. This truly drives me to do my best.

What experience/foundation did your 9-5 give you that helped ease your transition?

At my 9–5, I was committed to a specific category of products, but freelancing provides me the opportunity to expand my design thinking with different product ventures. I can apply years of practical experience every day, supporting others to transform their ideas into reality, while absorbing new ideas and methodologies along the way.

For 11 years, I brought several products to market with Bose Industrial Design. During that time, I honed strong foundational principles for end-to-end product development efforts.

As a Senior Designer, understanding the needs of everyone involved (stakeholders, end customer, core team, contractors, suppliers, etc.) drives a larger discussion, embodied by the end product.

From first sketch to full-scale production, successfully carrying a design vision through the development process to the finish line (“the market”) requires a broad understanding of overlapping variables. Ensuring the end product is met with high standards of execution, delivers on brand integrity, and meets specific team objectives wins in the long run.

Accomplishing this is rooted in my comprehension of the larger picture from my previous role in a 9–5 and pivotal in my involvement to guide freelance clients with a succinct path toward a practical outcome.

What is the greatest lesson that you’ve learned throughout your time freelancing?

How will someone know you can help if they don’t know you exist? It’s challenging to regularly promote yourself, network, and establish your credibility when carving out your presence among many competitors in a saturated online space. This can be daunting, but nevertheless, what helps familiarize potential clients with you as a reliable person and professional resource?

By actively projecting your value to the world and sharing your unique product development abilities, knowledge, experience, and determination, this authentically allows you to provide valuable insight of how you intend to help others succeed, leading to great opportunities and partnerships that excel.

You’ve got a real superpower in quickly sketching to iterate before moving to CAD. Can you elaborate more on why this is valuable in your work?

Sketching quickly enables a myriad of possibilities in the development process and serves as a vital communication tool to convey ideas. I use my sketching abilities to suggest promising solutions and drive productive momentum with my clients, to gain alignment, and to project clarity.

Sketching is a fast, effective way to work through complex mechanical needs and form development and overall design constraints before jumping into CAD. Having a more defined path with strategic, informative sketches, helps structure out CAD geometry and surfacing needs with a more guided approach.

Some ideas are too difficult to describe with words — especially a product that doesn’t exist! Sketching “what could be” empowers a productive conversation and gives clients an equal opportunity to discuss their interpretation and thoughts around a “visual roadmap” of sketches to establish clearer outcomes.

My favorite sketching tool is iPad ProCreate! An incredibly efficient way to visualize product development possibilities.

We’re always looking for engineers, designers, brand strategists, and writers to join our team. If you’ve got a skill that you think we need, let us know! We’d love to chat. And of course, if you’ve got a hardware product or product idea you want to bring to market, we have just the experts to help! Fill out this quick form and we’ll be in touch!.

Member Profiles
Tara Furey

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