Industrial Design Grad is One of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 2015
Anjuli Calvert, a 2008 Cum Laude graduate of Auburn’s Industrial Design program, has been named one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 2015 in Manufacturing and Industry. Calvert, Lead Industrial Designer at GE appliances in Louisville, KY, was chosen for her award-winning design of Slate, a neutral, low gloss, matte appliance finish that is a top seller at GE Appliances. Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Manufacturing and Industry “are modernizing the way things are made in a greener, tech-savvy world.”
When asked by Forbes to describe what she does in two sentences, Calvert said, “I design appliances and appliance experiences large and small for a wide variety of consumers, brands and technologies. My goal is to craft beautiful and innovative solutions that make lives easier for people at home.” She is proud how well Slate has performed in the appliance market. “Extensive trends research and consumer insights led us to a finish that is rich, versatile, and low maintenance. It has sparked a movement, not only in appliances, but in analogous industries as well,” says Calvert. “We are seeing Slate inspired products from kitchen and bathroom fixtures to ceiling fans and light fixtures.”
A Huntsville, Alabama native, Calvert originally came to Auburn to study architecture. “I knew from a very early age‒probably elementary school‒that I wanted to be a creator when I grew up. From Legos to pastels to blanket forts, I’ve always enjoyed making things,” says Calvert. “An aptitude for math and science led me to architecture school originally, but I quickly learned about industrial design and pursued that program. I was really drawn to the impact industrial design can have on the everyday lives of people.”
The solid foundation in core design principles that Auburn’s industrial design program taught her has helped her succeed in her career. As Calvert explains, “Understanding and practice of these foundations is vital to understanding how to design out in the wild and more importantly how to continually learn and adapt over the life of a career.” And she credits with industrial design faculty with helping her development as a designer. Calvert says, “The faculty are a great balance of leaders who help instill passion, cultivate skills, and challenge personal limits to help students achieve above and beyond.”
What is her favorite memory of her time at Auburn? While Calvert says that it’s nearly impossible to name one, she says, ”As challenging as it is to be in a competitive program like industrial design, spending days, nights, and weekends in the studio is like being forged in a fiery crucible. My favorite memories are of the times spent with my fellow classmates in the studio. I have never laughed so hard in my life as I have in those studios late at night with my friends.”
Calvert is looking forward to new project opportunities in 2015. She has been involved in a leadership development course through GE’s corporate university this past year and looks forward to applying the new skills and expertise that she’s gained through workshops in User Experience Design, Design Strategy, and Service to her work in the coming year.
Photo: Anjuli and her husband, David, and their dog, Piper, pose in this GE-designed kitchen. David, who also works for GE Appliances and is an Auburn Industrial Design alum.