Chris Crosson is a senior at Otis, majoring in product design. He creates things mathematically and scientifically, with much thought and deliberation in mind.
Wooden play set he is currently working on. Based on the international space station. A tool to help teach children about the station and why it is there.
Couch cushions he is creating for a customizable couch. They pop apart and reconnect to build custom couch cushions, personalized for the person arranging it.
Chris traveled to Barcelona Spain with the travel abroad program at OTIS. They teamed up with a Spanish school to clean up an elementary school and add color to it. They used old tires, felt, rope, and other recycled things to create a happier and healthier environment for children living in the city.
A series of metal and wood bottle openers he has crafted.
In his portfolio, the central design that stands out the most is his "Topographical Bowl". It is a beautifully crafted, delicate-looking bowl.
The process of making these dishes turns out to be more complicated than most would think. First, he has to create the bowl by molding it out of clay, sculpting it with cardboard, or designing it on a computer and printing it on a 3D printer.
After he makes the initial structure model, he has to create a mold in order to replicate it. The mold is made out of plaster and makes it easy to duplicate the dish many more times.
After the mold is created, he pours slip into it. Slip is the liquid form of clay.
After a certain amount of time, he turns it upside down and drains out the excess slip.
He lets it sit so it can fully harden, he pulls the bowl out of the mold, and it is ready to be cleaned up and fired in the kiln.
Once out of the kiln, he can paint it with glaze to get the finish he wants for it.
Q: What made you become a product designer?
A: I have always been a maker of things… and people always like what I make. Most of the time. Sooo, if I could turn it into a career, that would be cool. That would be nice.
Q: So of all the other majors why do you think product design is so special?
A: I think we cover the most topics. I think we engage in digital design in regards to creating video, Photoshop, illustrator, 3D design, and we go into some motion graphics, and uh graphic design too. Which involves packaging. Then we get the trade of a craftsman.
Q: So you’re a senior right?
Q: Of all the products that you’ve made in your major, what is one that stands out and what was your main inspiration for that product?
A: Right now, I think is my topographic bowl. With terrain in mind. Topographic bowl or something. It is one of the best products that represents my senior thesis… or my senior show theme aesthetic. Is like uh… like general concepts expressed by products. So like topography, or cartography. And like some of my other products do that but like mathematics and science is nice, and people like it. I don’t know… And you can eat out of it which is always nice.
Q: What do you think your life will look like after graduation?
A: Good question! I don’t know… I think I can see either working at a company or either having my own. And I prefer to have my own company.
Q: Do you think Otis in particular gets you ready for that?
A: I think it is preparing me and I think there is something’s that you cant prepare someone for, and that might be one of them. But I think they are doing their best. To try and prepare. Like, like, there are things that business owner would run into that you cant practice.
Q: you just have to experience it for yourself to know…
A: right. Yeah, but we do have a lot of people that run their own businesses that come in and teach us things from their experience. So we have a lot of graduates that made their own companies, and that’s very cool.