Dave Evans

Director of Design Integration

Biography

Dave Evans

Director of Design Integration

Dave Evans draws on his work in design, engineering, and manufacturing to help guide Playground’s startups from concept to shrink wrap.

“A lot of what I do is champion the design through engineering and manufacturing so that the design teams are represented with a technical voice and not just the aesthetic voice,” he says.

Before coming to Playground as Director of Design Integration, Dave led industrial and product design for Lytro, a groundbreaking digital-imaging device. Previously, he took a formative turn as a manufacturing wonk for Apple, figuring out how to turn the “nearly impossible” design requirements of the industrial-design studio into factory-grade, mass-producible realities.

He worked as a design engineer with One & Co, which was acquired by HTC, created the hydraulic control system for a robot shark in the film “After the Sunset,” and led the pro bono development of a $1 cooking device for use in rural Ethiopia while pursuing his master’s degree at Stanford University’s d.school.

Dave’s experience across disciplines has taught him that products can’t just be beautifully designed—they have to be beautifully designed in a way that takes into account engineering, manufacturing, and the needs of vendors and customers.

Absent this approach, he says, a designer might devise “a beautiful metal cube, something perfectly shiny that looks amazing in the renderings.” But then reality sets in when the manufacturer can’t make a perfect edge, it feels uncomfortable in the hand, and it immediately gets scratched and covered in smudges. “Design can be so much better when every team is given a voice in the creative process.”

At Playground, Dave ensures that each discipline is represented at every step of the product development cycle. “My job is to facilitate that conversation so that all the pieces can come together, and the work ends up being well represented,” he says.


Director of Design: Lytro
Manufacturing process engineer: Apple
Design engineer: One & Co / HTC ID
Mechanical engineer: Light & Motion
Volunteer: Development of a $1 cooking device for use in rural Ethiopia for Hasso Plattner
Institute of Design at Stanford
Alma Mater: Stanford University, mechanical engineering BS and product design MS