Howdy, I’m Reggie Raye. I’m a design engineer, and my primary interest is creating things, particularly consumer goods. This path boils down to a day many years ago when I was gifted a 3D printer. My early 3D printings were on the simple side - largely one-piece and ornamental - combs, boxes, bottle openers and such. Not satisfied with this output, I’ve since worked to continually upgrade my skills - ranging from CAD to microcontrollers to DFM - so as to be able to execute in full whatever ideas might be brewing upstairs. I’m not yet anywhere close to where I want to be, but I confess that every step of the way, every product or device posted here, has been a joy to design and fabricate. I hope you take as much satisfaction from looking at them as I have in making them.
As far as my design process is concerned, my main drivers are delight, manufacturability, and tectonic rigor. I’m especially attuned to the history of designed objects, and draw inspiration from a range of styles, though my favorites are Bauhaus, Italian Baroque, and the early Ottoman. Artifacts of the latter empire are the source of my fascination with patterns, which you may see play out in my work as ornamental motifs, or even the morphologic seed. Lately, my preoccupation has been reconciling these influences with the imperative to respond to one’s own time; in short, to develop a cohesive, contemporary, and original style.
Fun as it is to wax theoretic about process, I (do my best to) live by the maxim ‘great artists ship’. Consequently, you can find my work in stores, journals, and exhibitions worldwide. You might enjoy a backpack organizer for travelers, the resurrection of Britain’s storied Chater-Lea bicycle pedal, my 3D-printed Mars habitation for NASA, an Ottoman-inspired skyscraper featured in Forbes, or a parametric lamp appearing in Vietnam’s first computational design exhibition. There’s even an over-the-top video about a service truck I helped engineer for Caterpillar.
With respect to my training, the lion’s share has been accrued through projects ‘in the field’. I got my start in cognitive science and programming at Bard College. After a spell working at MIT’s Brain + Cognitive Sciences Department, I began studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (first Career Discovery, then MArch I). The latter program, however, served more to drive me away from architecture, first by way of Stanford’s d.school (thanks to STeLA’s design thinking curriculum) and finally at Carnegie Mellon’s Integrated Innovation Institute, where I took an MS in design engineering. By day, I currently work as a technical product manager at IBM’s Pittsburgh Lab.