Interview with Dana Maringo, New Balance

(Photo Credit for Featured Image: New Balance)

Dana Maringo is an architect turned computational designer, currently innovating in footwear at New Balance Athletics in Boston, MA. She is interested in creating meaning through computation while concentrating on 3D printed shoe design and additive manufacturing methods. Dana received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 2007 and subsequently practiced architecture for 8 years at various firms throughout Boston, including Anmahian Winton Architects in Cambridge, MA. She taught design at the Boston Architectural College, served as an Architecture for Humanity board member, and her work was chosen for the Boston Society of Architects Future of Design exhibition. Through design and computation, she hopes to empower others on the path of their most challenging athletic pursuits.

Her talk will focus on the impact of 3D Printing on performance footwear design in the upcoming Boston event as well as 3DHEALS2020.

Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?

Dana: My first encounter with 3D printing was in 2008 when I was a second-year architecture student. I took a class called Digital Fabrication where we explored the latest 3D technologies and printers available at that time. I was curious about how these new tools would impact architecture, construction, and materials.

Jenny: What inspired you to start your career in 3D printing?

Dana: I was initially drawn to 3D printing because of the unlimited design and manufacturing potential that it creates, both in architecture and product design.

Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing?

Dana: Edith Harmon (former VP of Manufacturing Innovation at New Balance) continues to inspire me on this journey. She is a leader, an engineer and thinks like an artist. Edith gave me countless opportunities to pursue innovation and computation in this stage of my career.

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?

Dana: I’m inspired by athletes and motivated to help them reach their full potential. I am motivated to change the way we design and manufacture shoes by the ongoing environmental crisis. In addition, working alongside a team of talented individuals tackling big questions inspires me every day. 

Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions? 

Dana: For me, the biggest obstacles in footwear right now include the scaling of new designs/technologies and access to sustainable materials with unique properties. The questions of what products to make, how many to make and how to make them continue to permeate this industry.

Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?

Dana: The biggest challenge for me in 3D Printing is designing for specific material and printer attributes. We found ways to make this process more efficient by creating new workflows and tools to optimize design and file processing prior to printing.

Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be? 

Dana: I would wish for 3 miracles, regenerative materials that could heal the body and our environment.

Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”?

Dana: Be open to new opportunities, practice listening and be inclusive.

Jenny: If you could have a giant billboard to promote a message to millions and even billions of people in our community, what message would that be?

Dana: Think before you print. It is about the idea that we can now print larger and faster than ever before, and that it doesn’t hurt to step back and reevaluate the why. Learn from what you have printed and made thoughtful improvements to the next iteration.

Jenny: What were/was the best investment you made in 3D printing?

Dana: As a designer, I am investing my time and energy into learning more about the power of computation and algorithmic design.

Jenny: What was/is the biggest risk you took in your career?

Dana: The biggest risk I took thus far, was leaving an established career in architecture to pursue shoe design. 

Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are you passionate about outside of your work/3d printing?

Dana: I enjoy being active in the outdoors – running, skiing and biking. Working at a shoe company inspires these pursuits!

Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?

Dana: “ Perfection isn’t as good as understanding.” – John Maeda

I just read John Maeda’s latest book, How to Speak Machine. I am constantly inspired by his ability to describe complex ideas with digestible words.

Jenny: What does the word “3DHEALS” mean to you?  =)

Dana: 3DHEALS means creation with a purpose, for the health of our community and planet.

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