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Jerome Caruso

At 12 years old, Jerome Caruso discovered his career when a friend of his father introduced him to industrial design — and he heard about a General Motors contest for futuristic car concepts. "I worked in the basement every day after school for months," Caruso remembers, "developing a clay model for the car, transferring the design...

Read the Designer Story
Jerome Caruso

At 12 years old, Jerome Caruso discovered his career when a friend of his father introduced him to industrial design — and he heard about a General Motors contest for futuristic car concepts. "I worked in the basement every day after school for months," Caruso remembers, "developing a clay model for the car, transferring the design to a block of wood, and carving it out by hand. That was when I realized what I wanted to do — especially after winning an award."

Caruso refined his design sensibilities in Europe in the 1960s. While a graduate student at the University of Copenhagen, he also worked at that city's premier design office. Deciding to go it alone, he lined up projects in Scandinavia; at age 26 he opened a practice in Brussels with clients in Belgium, England, France, and Germany. Later he returned to the U.S. and again established a one-man studio. His diverse projects ranged from spearheading Motorola's entry into the manufacture of LCD watch modules to designing and engineering the first completely machine-produced stack chair for the U.S. contract market (now in the American Arts collection at the Chicago Art Institute) to his most noted role as Sub-Zero's first and only designer for more than 20 years.

With more than 75 design patents to his credit, Caruso takes a hands-on approach and enjoys doing it all — concepts, drawings, prototypes, and engineering. "The bigger the challenge, the more fun it is to work out the solution," he says.

 

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