Under Armour Executive Talks Design at USU

Chase Anderson

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Kasey Jarvis
Kasey Jarvis, Chief Design Officer at Under Armour

In Outdoor Product Design and Development (OPDD), students routinely meet with designers and developers from the sports and outdoor industry. A recent guest gave them a unique look at design from the executive level. Kasey Jarvis, the chief design officer for Under Armour, offered an opportunity for students to get a glimpse of what the design world is really like.

Jarvis discussed his pathway to the industry, from designing Hummers and some of the best selling shoes at Nike, to leading design teams for ski and climbing company, Black Diamond, to now leading all product design at Under Armour. 

One takeaway for attendees was the need to understand various tools in order to communicate design. While sketching is important for designers to master, Jarvis mentioned that it’s not always the defining characteristic of  a good designer. He described the mastery of one designer he knew who could prototype a shoe quickly and communicate her ideas through rapid prototyping.

Jarvis also explained the primary differences he’s noticed from being a designer and focusing on individual products, to now managing a team. Jarivs said it can be challenging to balance creating a cohesive product line, while still allowing designers to exercise their creative ability and put their own unique spin on the product.

He also encouraged designers to create their own unique style for their designs as well as the way they interact with individuals. Too often, Jarvis has seen designers follow a template for what they think a designer should be and be mean or harsh to those around them. Jarvis made it clear that collaboration, kindness, and creativity are all attributes that make a designer great.

Industry collaborations made possible through the Manufacturing and Outdoor Products Support Hub, a partnership between Utah Manufacturing Extension Service and Outdoor Product Design & Development.