SEKISUI KYDEX works to intertwine the worlds of design and manufacturing. The relationship is interdependent – design informs and challenges manufacturing to make things happen. In turn, manufacturing invents new materials that make more design possible. To cultivate a genuine understanding of what customers need for colour, material, finish, and overall design options, SEKISUI KYDEX looks to designers with experience and creativity like Karyn McAlphin.
Karyn McAlphin will officially join SEKISUI KYDEX as Design Director, where she will not only be responsible for creative elements, but also focus on the Production of KYDEX® Thermoplastics and customer-facing experiences at SEKISUI KYDEX.
Even in childhood, Karyn had an eye for colour and design. Her prized possession was a 72-colour box of Crayola crayons, which she carefully organized by colour while memorizing magical names like Prussian Blue, Aquamarine, and Burnt Umber. Growing up, Karyn’s family traveled frequently and her early desire to become a flight attendant, coupled with her fascination in checking out hotel interiors on a floor-by floor-basis clearly foreshadowed her 18 years’ experience working on aircraft interiors.
A native Californian, Karyn graduated with a BA in fine arts from UCLA and then chose to pursue a second BA in photographic illustration from Brooks Institute of Photography with a specialization in audio-visual communications. Karyn moved to the Pacific Northwest to pursue media production and relocated to Virginia for 17 years to work in USAir’s corporate marketing department. During her 25-year career with the airline, culminating as Sr. Manager of Marketing & Branding, Karyn worked on a variety of high-profile projects including the corporate rebranding of USAir to US Airways, the launch of Inflight Café – the first airline industry food for sale program, the design and development of a custom tailored uniform program for 13,000 frontline employees, and development of the Envoy Suite, an industry-leading business class seat hailed by the press as a game-changer.
A former KYDEX® thermoplastics customer, Karyn is looking forward to continuing to “think like the customer” as Design Director. “I really enjoy translating customers’ wants and needs into viable solutions. Thoughtful design can significantly improve the customer experience, not only by ensuring everything looks right and works right, but also by eliciting a positive emotional response. I’m excited to help others realize the value of design in business,” said Karyn while explaining her philosophy of design.
Joining SEKISUI KYDEX as Design Strategist in 2017, Karyn reflected on her career so far: “During my first year, my time was evenly divided between mass transit, medical devices and aviation. It was exciting to learn about new industries. The following year, I focused primarily on aviation, my area of expertise, and this year, I’m seeing a fascinating trend develop where aviation and mass transit are looking to the medical industry for new ideas. Cross-pollination across our core markets and future markets will be extremely important going forward.”
“Karyn brings a unique design perspective as SEKISUI KYDEX enters into new projects and opportunities. She has embraced SEKISUI KYDEX's culture over the last three years, and she has taken the time to learn and understand the emphasis that we put on the customer experience. Karyn will continue to play a pivotal role in helping our customers understand and utilize our high value, bespoke products like Infused Imaging™ technology,” said Nik Taritas, VP of Sales.
“I’m thrilled for Karyn and this opportunity where she will be able to widen her scope while working with cross functional teams to bring programs for all market spaces to completion. Karyn’s design savvy will effectively leverage our customer’s insights for their programs and help to create the best overall customer experience,” said Bernadette Chupela, Customer Experience Manager.