Tackle Design Inc.
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Tackle Design is an industrial design and research and development firm. We offer a unique combination of technology and design expertise that allows us to participate in all types of innovation. We are particularly interested in problems that span traditional boundaries of discipline and profession. Our services range from early stage concept development to design and prototyping of existing ideas. Our work ranges from product design to technical consulting on entire manufacturing processes.

Our mission is to support innovation and help our clients think creatively and productively. We combine traditional approaches to industrial design with expertise in such fields as biomedical engineering, robotics, rapid manufacturing and software development. Our tools range from low to high-tech - from hand illustration to computer aided design and analysis, from quick sketch models to computer generated rapid prototypes. Regardless of the problem or project at hand, we can help.

Recent press:

Raleigh News & Observer, April 22nd, 2007
Independent Weekly, Cover Story, December 13th, 2006
NPR Weekend Edition, September 30th, 2006
Wired News, September 21st, 2006
The Story with Dick Gordon, August 17th, 2006
Raleigh News & Observer, August 6th, 2005
Durham Herald-Sun, July 22nd, 2005

Tackle Partners

Sean Hilliard

The newest addition to the Tackle team, Sean is a graduate of the NC State Industrial Design program, where he continues to instruct Computer Aided Design classes. Sean brings a wealth of design and prototyping skills, along with a 5-axis CNC mill that he is fabricating himself (he promises to be putting together some documentation and a picture).

Jonathan Kuniholm

Jon is a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering at Duke University, in the lab of Dr. Rob Clark, working on grasp control for the DARPA Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 program. Jon has degrees in industrial design and mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University, and is a graduate of Dartmouth College. His work at Tackle is currently limited to Tackle's help with the fledgling Shared Design Alliance and its Open Prosthetics Project, started by Jon and the rest of the Tackle partners following Jon's injury as a Marine in Iraq.

Chuck Messer

An inventor and industrial designer, Chuck has a Bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Florida where he studied product development, manufacturing and project management. His graduate studies in Industrial Design at NCSU have focused on entrepreneurial design and intellectual property development. Much of his design portfolio relates to medical technology, particularly cardiothoracic surgery, with a smattering of toys and other blue sky projects thrown in for fun. He also served as a member of the NCSU College of Design's Technology Committee where he helped develop curriculum support for rapid prototyping technology.

Chuck is currently on leave from his design and project management role at Tackle, while he completes the first season of the new Discovery show Smash Lab out on the left coast. For some reason Discovery has forgotten to mention Tackle in Chuck's bio, an omission we assume their fact checkers are working hard to remedy. Chuck was "discovered" by Darlow Smithson, the production company behind Smash Lab assisting in a short webcast on Open Prosthetics with Jon, SDA/OPP President and fellow Tackle Partner. As soon as Chuck is done entertaining us with the smash and boom, we're hoping we can get him to return to his roots using his geek powers for good.

Kevin Webb

Kevin, a lifelong inventor, has extensive experience in software and Internet application development. He heads up the "Internet Enabled" division of the Tackle Design team, merging information technology with physical design. When not creating inventions for Tackle, Kevin is often found sailing or working on environmental land use and geospatial projects for non-profits.

Interests: Making physical things virtual and vice versa, user experience design, geospatial information systems, alternative energy technology.

Current Project(s): making US patent collection accessible for exploration and inspiration; crossing an ocean under sail.

Tackle Emeriti

Jason Stevens

Founding Tackle Partner Jason Stevens lives in the greater metropolitan area of Calypso, NC (population 410), and is now a manager at OEG Engineering & Manufacturing . When he's not at work, he is usually serving in his church, hunting, fishing, or playing bluegrass music. He plays and sings with the bluegrass band, The Black River Express. Jason's joke that his ideal work environment would be a bait and tackle shop with a mad scientist's workshop in the back was one of the inspirations for the Tackle name.

Jesse Crossen

A born tinkerer and problem solver, founding Partner Jesse Crossen has been taking things apart to find out how they work since early childhood, but after studying industrial design at N.C. State he now spends his time doing the reverse. Jesse has done many odd jobs from watering plants to developing software, and along the way has picked up several other skills like technical writing and CNC machining.

Jesse has left Tackle Design to continue work full-time on a project begun at Tackle, consulting and programming for Voicethread. We miss him here at Tackle, and appreciate the work he did starting The Open Prosthetics Project.

Copyright 2005-2006 - Tackle Design Inc. Photos by Andrew Synowiez.