Entering a New Phase

IDSA Ambassador Metaphase Marks 25 Years

IDSA Ambassador Metaphase Design Group, founded by Bryce Rutter, PhD, IDSA, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016. Rutter is a renowned specialist in ergonomic product design, with work ranging from robotic surgical systems to smart phones to personal care products. He’s been interviewed by major media such as the Wall Street Journal and CNN; won more than 75 design awards; and earned 100+ patents.

It's an exciting time for the firm based in St. Louis. “For 25 years, we have set the bar for design research methods and ergonomics and established ourselves as the leader in ergonomic design and worldwide expert on hand-intensive products.” says Rutter. "It's been an incredible gift working with so many innovators, thought leaders and design leaders in major global corporations.”

He adds, ”Our strategy goes beyond traditional anthropometry and ergonomics and drills into how we sense and interact with products – how does the product sound, feel and look? This is what I call a “Synesthetic Design Strategy." By simply watching and listening, we gain tremendous insight into how people think, feel and behave. We synthesize what we observe in users’ habits, routines and nervous tics, all the way down to the little things they do that they don't even realize they are doing. Each nuance is a “design tell” that allows us to create products that fit perfectly, perform flawlessly and look great. When a seamless design is delivered, revenues soar.”

Rutter is also a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and is a senior editor for the Ergonomics in Design quarterly journal. He has served as a juror for IDSA's International Design Excellence Awards; the Consumer Electronics Show Awards; ID magazine; and the Medical Design Excellence Awards

He received a bachelor of industrial design from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada; and an MFA in industrial design and a PhD in Kinesiology in motor learning/motor control specializing in hand function from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Metaphase is a worldwide specialist in the research and ergonomic design of hand-intensive products. Its user-centered synesthetic design strategy drives breakthrough solutions that redefine industry standards; invigorate sleepy product categories; and create entirely new product types. Metaphase has partnered with numerous global brands to drive innovation and create powerful brand experiences, with designs selected by the Museum of Modern Art and earning a Design of the Decade Award.

Read more from Metaphase in IDSA INsights.