The Industrial Design program was honored to welcome back alum Kyra Ellzysmith (BsID ’09) as part of the ongoing Root Lecture Series. Kyra is an Innovation and Co-creative Catalyst at IKEA.
It’s a position that requires fluid movement across a wide range of design tasks. Kyra states: “I spend a lot of time looking at different industries and companies for inspiration, such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, Apple and Comcast. I try to understand how people solve problems from various backgrounds and filters of their industries so I can learn from them. Having an overview of the world and our company allows me to single out patterns and problems to either create greater efficiency or a better path for IKEA to grow. During the co-creation activities of my job, I look at complex information and partner with amazing people from all over the company—from the store level all the way up to the global level—and in every position from cashiers to department heads. We all take that information and analyze it through different group activities, pulling out the underlying themes we need to focus on or make a change in.”
The Industrial Design degree Kyra earned at Jefferson prepared her well for her career. She says: “Majoring in industrial design was the best thing I could have done. I worked alongside some of the most skilled professors in the design world and collaborated with students from different programs across the University, such as business, marketing, fashion design and textile design. This work showed me how design thinking and networking could really push me and shape my career.”