Three major lessons have stuck with Terence Duncan during his 25 year Product Design Career.
“First, there is a direct relationship between passion and success,” recalled Duncan, who now Leads KitchenAid’s Small Kitchen Appliance Design Team. “Second, no one cares how hard you worked if the outcome disappoints. And finally, there’s always going to be someone more talented than you. So, you better find a way to distinguish yourself – and your products!”
A thriving professional in a competitive field, Duncan has found ways to distinguish himself - years of diverse professional experience working in product and transportation industries and expertise attained through teaching at two of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions, The University of Michigan and Detroit’s College for Creative Studies.
As a design manager at Ford, Duncan headed a team of designers and modelers to create the interiors of the new Ford Fiesta subcompact and the new Fusion - Motor Trend Magazine’s 2010 Car of the Year.
Now responsible for Design of KitchenAid’s Small Kitchen Appliances, Terry leads the effort to establish a global Design identity for KitchenAid, through product and packaging design. He maintains a close relationship with his Marketing counterparts to make his designs appealing to a global consumer base.
The designer honed his global product development while running his own Design firm in the 90’s, with clients in Taiwan, Mexico and Columbia. He later headed Ford’s Brazilian Design Studio, leading a multi-national team of designers, math modelers and clay modelers. One of his responsibilities included negotiating component feasibility with suppliers in Mexico, Taiwan, Brazil and the U.S.
“Among the group of friends I had growing up, I am one of only two people who is actually doing what I wanted to do when I was a kid—my second choice was Professional Football,” he laughed. “What could be better than getting paid to be creative and o get paid for what you think?”
“I think it is my experience as a teacher that has given me the kick to stay on top of consumer trends,” admitted Duncan. “It is too easy to rest on your tried and true ways of doing things. The students, however, expect me to be current and they expect the courses to be relevant.”
“Tying all aspects of the product experience together to communicate a consistent brand message will be exceedingly important as the economy goes more global and products go more digital,” said Duncan. “I see this as the next big movement in design.