Congratulations to our Senior Mechanical Engineer, Demsey Kirkwood! Demsey was recently named a finalist for Western Living Magazine’s 2021 Designers of the Year award. Western Living Magazine is an award-winning and Canada’s largest regional magazine. As suggested in their name, their focus is on home design and decor as well as food, wine, and travel. The Western Living Magazine’s Designers of the Year award is a celebration of the field of design, including the top industrial design consultants in Western Canada!
Along with industrial design projects, entrants can submit their designs in one of many other categories including architecture, interior design, fashion, furniture, and landscape. This annual competition is exclusively open to residents of one of the four Western Canadian provinces. Specifically, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. However, projects and designs can be located anywhere. Projects and designs are judged based on previous accolades, innovativeness, sustainability, execution, function, and aesthetics.
Demsey Kirkwood | Sr. Mechanical Engineer
Demsey is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and graduated from the University of Manitoba with a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering. From there he gathered a breadth of experience as an engineering and industrial design consultant in various positions. From tinkering with mechatronics at Moose Toys to working on autonomous vehicles at Boeing, Demsey has a diverse portfolio that helped land a leadership role within MAKO Design + Invent. As the Senior Mechanical Engineer, his work focuses on the prototyping phase. He works closely with our other industrial designers to prepare 3D CADs ready for manufacturing. The judges of Western Living’s award recognized Demsey for a variety of projects. However, his most notable of these projects is the award-winning CNCT.
CNCT | The First Premium Cooler Designed for Tesla Vehicles
Demsey and our team of industrial design consultants developed the CNCT to fit perfectly in the trunk of the Tesla Model 3 vehicle. Insulated within the walls and the lid of the cooler is rotomolded polyurethane to keep all your contents fresh for two days. Rotomolding also results in denser and stronger walls for higher durability. When you open the cooler, you’ll notice the top surface is smooth and flat to the touch, matching the same modern and sleek feel as Tesla vehicles. Without any elevated ridges on the top opening surface of the cooler, one of the challenges here was that he had to create a custom-fitted gasket on the lid to preserve this unique design.
However, the highlight of the cooler is the spring-loaded handles as noted by other industrial design consultants and reviewers alike. And he made an ingenious design decision by taking inspiration from Tesla vehicle door handles. Like the handles on the Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, Demsey designed the handles to retract within the cooler walls and sit flush with the top of the cooler. The metallic handles contrast beautifully against the smooth and familiar Tesla red exterior even when hidden and not in use. He spent quite a bit of time calculating the tolerances, but the results were well worth it. With a simple press, the handles smoothly eject and lock in place when you need to carry the cooler around.
Western Living Magazine to Announce the Winners on August 30
Congratulations again to Demsey for achieving this recognition. It’s a pretty special one this year too. Because he’s the only competitor from Manitoba in the 2021 awards! So technically, he’s representing the entirety of Manitoba – no pressure! Western Living will announce the top industrial design consultants and other winners on August 30, so save the date. There are plenty more things coming up from them as they officially celebrate the winners in the September issue of their magazine as well as their DOTY event held in Vancouver. Until then, good luck Demsey!
To learn more about the CNCT, click here.
To learn more about Western Living Magazine, click here.
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!