Joey Zeledón

Class of 2006

Principal, Steelcase

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Biography

Joey Zeledón is an award-winning designer with expertise in product design, experience design, and design strategy. An affable leader with a passion for all things healthy, Joey is currently a Principal at Steelcase where he creates meaningful new experiences for people by innovating health care spaces. Previously, while a Senior Designer at Smart Design, he was a key contributor to the OXO-On product line of kitchen appliances. In parallel, he co-founded the Smart Food lab, which explores the intersection of food, design and healthy behaviors.
 
With these experiences and his prior work in the product design group at design consultancy Continuum and as lead designer for the Clarks Originals and Banana Republic shoe lines at Clarks Americas, Joey has a wide range of experience designing everything from footwear and consumer electronics to consumer packaged goods, consumer products, medical devices, housewares, food, and services. He has collaborated with American Express, Banana Republic, Bayer Healthcare, Clarks Originals, Drinkfinity, Ford, Gatorade, Google, Hot Tools, National WIC Association, New Balance, OXO International, PepsiCo, Revlon, Steelcase, Targus, Under Armour, and Unilever.

Joey has won numerous design awards, including IDEA, iF, Spark, Core77, GOOD DESIGN, and I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review. And, his design work has been published in The Boston Globe, Fast Company, TIME Magazine, New York Times, GQ, Wired, Metropolis, Adage, Core77, and Real Simple.
Joey is a proud graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology Industrial Design Program, where he built a strong foundation for his future career. 

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OXO ‘on’ - Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer

“Real innovation stems from understanding people, their needs and how products best speak to them. With over 1000+ products designed for the home, OXO is known and loved for products that make life easier. Smart’s most recent collaboration with OXO marks a first for them: an inaugural line of electric appliances. Launched with two Coffee Makers, a Coffee Grinder, two Toasters, Tea Kettle, Hand Mixer, & Immersion Blender the lines’ focus remains on the quality of food and beverages these appliances deliver.”
- Smart Design

OXO ‘on’ - Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender

The kitchen electric’s market is oversaturated and yet, there’s still plenty of room to innovate. By empowering people to think about what these appliances enabled them to do, OXO could shift the conversation from the commonplace features packed into the design. What’s currently on the market boasts bells and whistles, but doesn’t emphasize the actual food or beverages customers are trying to make.

Until now, OXO never released small kitchen appliances and this posed a completely new challenge for them. Smart saw an opportunity to apply our shared human centered methodology toward electrics and shift the conversation around them. OXO products are for the every-man, and by allowing design to do the heavy lifting OXO products enable anyone in the kitchen to reach the best outcomes with less effort.

This line provides a meaningful extension of the OXO brand through refined technology. Smart and OXO weren’t trying to leverage new technology as much as refine what currently exists to deliver the best results. OXO is a familiar brand, they wanted their new appliances to feel familiar to customers and embody what they’ve come to know and love over the years.

Each product included an “enabling feature” which helps people maintain control and accuracy. Each product’s offering is clear and simple, enforced by an intuitive, seamless experience. For example, Smart designed the coffee maker according to SCAA standards, so the design and features would produce the “golden cup” of coffee. Engineering and design came together to meet these high standards. The blenders featured an illuminating LED light, which helped people easily see what they were stirring at any speed. By motorizing the toaster people can easily monitor their toast depending on their specific preferences.

Each product eliminates waste and extra fuss. By focusing on product performance, Smart mastered the science of what the products do, be it boiling water or rotating blades, and worked backwards. Smart and OXO aligned on the primary ways customers would use each appliance and applied these “enabling features” to make them more efficient in addition to digital interfaces that are easy to follow. Each product includes these touches that reflect the refined technology and precision that define OXO’s reputation.

The starting point for this inaugural line began with this question: How can design make experiences easier and more meaningful? Through OXO On, innovation shifts the conversation back to people, the core of any product experience.”