As Plastics News reports, Dow Corning Corp. is a materials company with a lab full of product just sitting there, waiting to be integrated into an object or process that will translate into dollars. But while they had plenty of guys in white lab coats, what they didn't have, from 1943 until recently, was a design department.
"So we started a program that I've been leading now for just about four years, explains Chip Reeves, Dow Corning's Director of Design and Discovery, "and we put it into what we call the business and technology incubator at Dow Corning -- which means it doesn't have an immediate expectation of delivering sales results this quarter or this year. It's a longer-term view. They've given us some time to get the momentum going, and at a speed that's right."
[Reeves] said that when the company set off to find a better approach, "We didn't have design in our sights." He said they knew their materials had great stories to tell and offered good properties. "But who cares that you can make something slippery or sticky or that you can make something stretchy or bouncy or feel good? The answer that we came to, with that internal dialogue, is that the design community cares -- that's the starting point for thinking about new material and new product concepts."