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Designer to the Champions: Academy Alumnus John Mun’s Road to Success

A childhood interest in car design and sports equipment developed into a successful career for John Mun after studying at the Academy of Art University’s esteemed School of Industrial Design. The Academy of Art University alumnus, who graduated in Spring 2003, is working for Speedo, the world’s number one swimwear company. John is not designing swimsuits, however. He’s designing cutting-edge swimming equipment used to train champion swimmers.

John learned about the Academy of Art University from advertisements in car magazines and decided to pursue his interests in industrial design.  He enrolled in the School of Industrial Design with a concentration in Product Design. Reflecting back on his time at the Academy, he describes it as a “great experience.” In addition to making some lifelong friends, he gained invaluable knowledge that has benefited his career significantly.

“The instructors are very insightful because they are from the industry,” he said.

Former instructor Adam Savage, most famously known as the host of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, particularly made a strong impact on him.  His sage industry advice and impressive background gave John a clear idea of what to expect after graduation.

John started his career with EVS Sports, designing protective gear for motocross, mountain biking, BMX and extreme sports. When Speedo was looking for an Industrial Designer, they saw John as the perfect candidate.

“Speedo was looking for someone with technical design skills and experience in production, as well,” said John. “They were looking for a designer from a different action sport background to improve their product line.”

A typical day for John involves making design revisions and creating ideation sketches for the 2009 product line. Typically, he meets with the Director of Product Development to determine which products can be improved and brainstorm new design ideas. The classes he took at the Academy have prepared him for these day-to-day projects and happenings at Speedo.

“I feel that the Academy has prepared me for the real world with all of the foundation classes and major specific classes,” he said. “Product design classes 1-5 are treated just like an actual project that a real client would expect in a real situation.”

Looking towards the future, John envisions himself as a vice president of design or product for an action sports company. With his impressive portfolio and solid education from the Academy, he is destined to rise to the top of his field.


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