As the end of the semester is quickly approaching, Matt Scallions, senior in industrial design, is not waiting until after graduation to put his major to use.
Scallions has designed and built numerous products over his time in the program, but it wasn’t until this past February when he decided to make a profit off what he was making. He decided to build a lamp and sell it on Etsy, an e-commerce website focusing on hand-made and vintage items.
“At first it was just out of a need for a light in the studio,” Scallions said. “We have terrible fluorescent lights, and I just wanted a better environment for myself so that’s really how it started.”
After he started receiving compliments on his creativity and craftsmanship, he decided to try and provide an attractive source of light for others while making a profit.
The lamp is currently for sale for $39.99 and can be found on Etsy by searching “Stratum lamp.” It is a flat-pack lamp that is made of MDF supports that are wrapped with woven Japanese Cane paper.
“I got the word stratum from stratosphere,” Scallions said. “When it’s hanging it’s completely pitch black. As the light flows down it gets brighter, and then it gets a little softer, so it’s like the layers of the atmosphere.”
Auburn University’s Industrial Design program, which was ranked in the nation’s top 20 degree programs in its field by Design Intelligence, has taught Scallions a lot about taking function into consideration and paying attention to detail.
“A lot of schools just focus on pretty objects,” Scallions said. “They don’t think about manufacturing, but having to build everything that we design teaches us a lot about how parts go together and when to start thinking about manufacturing.”
For Scallions, it’s fun to see something that starts out as a simple idea in his mind come to fruition in the form of a product that’s ready for the marketplace.
Although Scallions enjoyed selling a product on Etsy that he designed and buillt, he is now spending his time interviewing for jobs. One day, he would like to own an industrial design consulting firm that does anything from furniture to consumer products. Scallions has big dreams, along with an ambitious drive to achieve them, and he’s is excited to find out what the future has to hold.