David Fustino

2011 SMA | David Fustino, IDSA | Wentworth Institute of Technology

Like any designer, David Fustino has learned to solve problems on the fly, work within a unit, express his individual style and persevere through the worst situations. The difference between him and the rest of us: he began learning those skills on a soccer pitch.

“Soccer is one of the most creative, free flowing sports in the world,” Fustino declared. “I tell as many people as I can that it has tremendously affected the way I approach industrial design and the work I produce. If it weren’t for soccer, I wouldn’t have the same drive I apply to my work on a daily basis.”

The Wentworth grad got his start in soccer at age four. It proved to be a good compliment to the in-home education he received from his father, a graphic designer and painter. “My Dad has always been my biggest influence and best teacher of these disciplines.”

But clearly not his only teacher.

At Wentworth, he found a culture that engaged him academically through its professional approach to education. “Wentworth has many schools of thought that intertwine in a professional environment,” he noted. “We are inevitably influenced by each other’s disciplines on a daily basis. Camaraderie comes more from an athletic standpoint bringing many individuals from different disciplines together to achieve a common goal.”

As Fustino and his peers made their way through Wentworth together, their individual talents were tested and honed. A project that originated in a furniture studio really provided one example of  how he has obtained a deep understanding of craft techniques, material properties and user needs. Fustino’s project, an LED desk lamp design, delivered on three key design goals: display the bulb, co-exist with a cluttered desk and reduce the amount of fasteners needed for assembly.

“I was fascinated by the LED bulb’s 46-year lifespan and structural aesthetic,” he said. “If a user is going to purchase this bulb, how can I create a design that preserves its sustainable longevity and compliments its structural beauty.”

His final design featured a minimal base that rises above and coexists nicely with a cluttered desk, a magnetically assembled frame to reduce the amount of hardware needed and open structure that displays the bulb nicely.

Fustino acquired two invaluable lessons off campus while interning at Proteus Design and PHILIPS Color Kinetics, respectively. At Proteus, he was exposed to a fast paced consultancy environment. “Keeping up with rapid deadlines and the high expectations of many clients helped me develop a number of skill sets only on the job training could offer,” he reported.

At PHILIPS, he dipped his toes in the corporate world. “It was a completely different environment than consultancy,” he noted. “The most important was learning the culture of a large team and being able to communicate effectively amongst the many disciplines.”

In claiming the 2011 Northeast District Student Merit Award, David Fustino is no stranger to IDSA honors. In 2010, he won a $1,500 scholarship from IDSA and the Design Foundation. “Figuring yourself out as a young designer isn't easy so the recognition for my designs was a reassuring sign that my work was heading in the right direction,” he offered.

Like any good athlete, Fustino is now poised to make a professional score—with the help of a good team around him, of course.

“I strongly believe inspiration and genius are the accumulative effort of a great team,” he asserted. “If each individual is challenging their team to get the most out of their potential the possibilities and creativity is endless.”

David Fustino can be reached via fustinod@gmail.com.