Scott Sikkema

Role at Viable: Principal, Project Lead, Engineering, Marketing, Product Development

Inspirations: Calvin Coolidge, Thomas Edison, Dieter Rams, Sue, Adia, Grayson.

Excited about: inventing, simplifying, solving, organizing, fixing, camp fires, boats, bikes, adventure.

Favorite part of product development:  My favorite part comes right after the problem is identified - the "inventing" stage.  It's very fun to brainstorm ideas, develop them further, test them with prototypes, then throw away your idea for a new one that's simpler, more elegant, better for the end user, cheaper to produce, more beautiful, more fun, and better for the world.  We are getting this down to a very efficient system at Viable. Our diverse team makes this process even more fun - the solutions solve all aspects of the problem: from product design itself, to material sourcing and sustainability, to market acceptance.

A market I'd love to explore: Bicycles.

Type of work I'd love to do all day: Invent.

Val Schmieder

Role at Viable: Principal/Interior Designer, ASID, IIDA, ASFD, NCIDQ Certified

Inspirations: I am always looking for product ideas that offer better solutions to everyday activities. Sometimes I discover them as a result of a specific product search for current projects. When I am unable to find a product that fulfills a specific need, I wonder if other designers are looking for the same product. An example is the coat rack that we designed for Sparkeology. While searching for options, I discovered that the world is filled with lightweight, residentially scaled coat racks, not suitable for commercial and institutional settings. Thus, we designed a commercial heavy-duty coat rack that will not fall over when loaded up with heavy coats and backpacks. Sometimes the product concept is something that does not exist at all. The bag-ped accessory is designed to provide a storage spot for computer and messenger bags  where access is needed during the day. This is a brand new solution to a need created by a changing world, where our technology (and stuff ) is better stored out in the open and not tucked away in a file drawer.

A market I'd love to explore: I have always wanted to design a line of outdoor occasional lamps. The market is lacking high-quality end table and floor lamps that can be used in outdoor settings. The need exists for a beautiful outdoor  collection that does not rust or deteriorate in the salt and humid air conditions. We are already working on ideas and investigating materials that are appropriate for such a product.

Type of work I'd love to do all day: I like variety in my daily work: the creativity of designing  anything, the challenge of making it happen, the joy of working with team members , the satisfaction of  solving a need for my client,  and ultimately the fulfillment of seeing all those activities result in a new creation.

Brian Barkwell

Role at Viable:Principal/Architect, AIA

Inspirations: My grandfather, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Mountain Beach shoreline, Fender Telecasters.

Excited about:Getting it right, 15 to 25 mph south winds, guitar tabs, football.

Dream project: A surf camp....

Amy Edington

Role at Viable: Designer, Project Manager, IIDA

Inspirations: People, one of my favorite things to do is meet new people and listen to their story. You can learn so much and take that information and apply to not only your life but to design.

Favorite part of product development: Watching it evolve into something someone else will appreciate and love.

Type of work I'd love to do all day: Finding antiques and repurposing them for everyday use.

John-Marc Eshelman

Role at Viable: Product Design, Manufacturing Engineer, Product Manager.

Inspirations: My Father, Yosemite, big cities, and great music.

Excited About: Innovation, coffee, meeting new people, finding new restaurants, and designing for the end user.

Dream Project: Renovating an old downtown loft into a functional apartment while letting my creativity run wild

John Porter

Role at Viable: CLEO Assembler

Inspirations: My grandfather. Styling s of the 50's and 60's. Early mornings and late evenings with good music.

Excited About: Time with friends and family. Soccer. Good whiskey. Building a motorcycle and owning a SWEET 60's era El Camino.

Dream Project: Building a mid-century/modern styled home on my family's farm, surrounded by orchards and re-purposing our bank-style barn into a events venue as well as a brewery/distillery.