10 Questions With... Jeevak Badve | Eastman Innovation Lab

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10 Questions With...

10 Questions With... Jeevak Badve

19 October 2016

At the Eastman Innovation Lab we look to our fellow design and materials experts for inspiration, community, and expertise. In order to get to know them and their projects better, we created a column called Ten Questions With...

Jeevak Badve brings energy, passion & curiosity to his role as VP of Strategic Growth at Sundberg-Ferar: a full service Industrial Design Studio supporting the Product and Vehicle industries from its Detroit, MI location since 1934. With his unique blend of design, engineering and business education and experience, he relentlessly rallies for the alignment and inclusion of the need of industrial design thinking at the boardroom level.

What is your company known for? 

Being one of the best Industrial Design consultancies on this Globe! We are also proud of the fact that we happen to be the second longest standing independent design studio in this nation!

What is the next project or product that you would be most excited to explore? 

Right now we are truly privileged to be researching, designing and developing a true “mobility” product across various product categories laying at the very intersection of electrification, digitization, autonomy, connectivity and sensorification! It’s a fascinating journey so far.

What are themes that you find yourself addressing over and over again? 

It’s no secret that finally it’s the best time to be an industrial designer or work at a design studio. Many companies are now realizing the true and massive impact that design can have and does has on the strategic and significant growth of business. It’s great to hear the theme- to yearn and strive to include human centered design right at the get go.

How do #materialsmatter to you? 

Materials, I believe might be one of the best ways to leapfrog the innovation barriers. There is only so much to squeeze out of the 20th century materials. Newer materials need to be invented, embraced and leveraged, albeit contextually and relevantly to offer an original, delightful and meaningful product solution where none could exist. The role and importance of “right” materials have never been bigger.

Who is doing work that you find inspiring? 

The field of MEMS (micro electro mechanical systems)- this community is onto something BIG. It surely has a promise to explore and use it to benefit the society and humanity.

What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago? 

The same advice I should be giving to myself right now for the next 10 years. Always be “tenaciously curious” about everything and “absolutely fearless” to doubt and to ask questions.

What technology gets you excited? 

With a simple twine, a piece of rice paper and some balsa wood we can make a kite, that can soar up this beautiful sky. Isn’t this such an inherently potent technology! Assembling innocent everyday components and materials, mankind has attained flight, which was a boon only to the avian species, and certainly not the mammals. Technology is everywhere, we just need to seek and leverage it to its utmost.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you deal with it? 

I love music, but somehow never got to learn and play a musical instrument. A couple of years ago I took the plunge in learning and applying myself to play drums. It was and is still an arduous journey (nowhere perfect yet!), but now after a dozen or so live shows I think I am finally finding my groove!

What’s something you want to get better at? 

I try my hand at backyard organic vegetable gardening, and I am trying to come up with a system to harvest the most out of the smallest square feet area for a family of four during the short warm months we get here in the great state of Michigan!

What’s your go-to reference book?

Almost all the books by Bill Bryson, especially A Short History of Nearly Everything, At Home, Made in America, The Mother Tongue, and many more.


Coffee or tea?


Droid or OS?


Kindle or book?


Sketch or build?


What are you reading right now?

“The Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollan.