January 11, 2017

A Peek into the Mind of a Product Designer

By: Meg Chun

During the last couple of months, every weekend morning Dave Chun was getting up early and heading into the shop. I happen to be married to Dave so after several weeks I asked him what he was up to. His typical response is, “I got stuff I gotta do.” This is one of those phrases that we banter around because it’s often indicative that he is deeply involved in a project at the creative level, where he’s so focused that he is often found deep in thought, staring into space. I know that’s when he’s being driven to design something new. I knew he had put his six-foot model sailboat project on hold. I knew he wasn’t working on spear guns or deep water fins. I was
pretty sure he wasn’t working on tricking out his gun stocks either.

I dug a little deeper. After a little more prompting, Dave told me, “I’m working on a shovel.” It had been snowing a lot in Bend so I asked him if he didn’t think our ergo shovels were good enough. His response was something to the effect of, “I’m working on an avalanche shovel.” For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how Dave came to this project. He doesn’t spend a lot of time in avalanche country he’s more of a liquid water guy. But then our friend Hal reminded us that water comes in many forms. I pressed on. After more prying he told me, “I don’t like the shovel I carry around in my rocket box. I can hear it sliding around in there when I start and stop.” He told me he didn’t want to carry it in the bed of his revered Ford Raptor (for fear of scratches). Nor did he want to store it in the cab of the truck because it took up too much room. So Dave, not being able to help himself when presented with a problem, starting dreaming up solutions. Thus the small, light, break apart, collapsible, double throw me down avalanche shovel idea was born. 


I started interviewing Dave so I could write out his thought processes. While doing so he I decided to audiotape him and thought I’d share that with you all. When you listen to Dave, you will find other inspirations that influenced Dave on this particular project. This is how creativity unfolds and forms itself into something new. Enjoy this brief view into the creative mind of Dave Chun.

There’s a short amount of video with this, hoping to keep your attention for the 2+ minutes of the unedited audio tape.

Listen to Dave's Shovel Story in this short video:

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