UNDER CONSTRUCTION, but here’s some thinking outloud…,

Principal and co founder Toren Orzeck went to California State University at Long Beach for Industrial Design. He summer interned at  Chuck Pelly’s Designworks and won an Internship at GE PLASTICS his final year at Long Beach. He then got hired to be a member of GEP’s Advanced Design and Development Group. 3 years later he was recruited by Nike to be part of their Advanced Product Engineering Group. After 3 production shoes,  a few patents, and four 1/2 years, Tory left Nike.

FUSE was co-founded by CSULB Industrial Design Classmates, Toren Orzeck and Mark Schoening in 1996.

FUSE has always been about both reactive and proactive work. Most of our work would be categorized as reactive work where a client comes to us with a  design problem and we solve it. Sometimes this work is typical industrial design where our client needs the physical housing and human interface designed around their  internal electronics, mechanicals or biology (if  it’s  footwear). Sometimes this work is much more. We are brought in further up the product design funnel and we are asked to discover and /or validate the opportunity.  Sometimes this new opportunity is  really just a slightly different story about  a similar product. Maybe we are bringing a new demographic of customers to an existing category, combining features, exploiting new technology,  or materials + processes that yield new forms.

We follow a fairly strict methodology as to how any project is approached,. There are several steps in every project that yield critical answers for every subsequent step. Given  our methodology we  have become comfortable with being  fairly eclectic. We think we are pretty fast learners  and can get up to speed in any product category. Often clients hire us for exactly this reason as they want fresh eyes and hands on their project.

Given the opportunity we try to  make our Phase 1  RESEARCH and  CONCEPTUAL DESIGN the place to really stretch our client’s  and our own imaginations as to what  the solution can be.  By having a lot of ideas on the table, the best ones  can be weighed against the context and constraints of said project.

Our proactive work is simple: we find a problem and  want to solve it through design. Often we find the problem  through simple user experience and  since we’re miserable  critics of almost everything, we always feel things can be better. The next question is: can our solution have a big idea? Something compelling that’s easy to remember and share. If so, then if we have the bandwidth, we make something to convey the problem and solution. Next, we likely need resources to  make it happen, if this is the case, we’ll protect the idea and we’ll show to potential manufacturers. This usually has  3 results:

  1. That’s a great idea where do we sign up? Rare, but it does happen – Herman Miller, Gerber
  2.  Who the heck are you? Get out of here. SLAM!
  3.  That’s a cool idea but our current road map is a little tight. Can you help us with this other thing? –Anthro,  Supra, Herman Miller

Generally #3 is the most  common response.  We’ve met several clients just this way. Now the world is a little different since crowd funding (Kickstarter) has come online and its possible to make something from scratch if your funded. Of course , it certainly depends on what the project is. Tory did it with Orp, but it’s not easy. It is a great experience as it really flexes your muscle that likes adversity.

FUSE has  always been small and nimble. We are producers and we staff  up as needed  if the load becomes overwhelming. If you’ve got an idea that needs to happen or need an idea, call us.



FUSE headquarters
A look inside FUSE HQ. The floors are polished concrete.


Yo, Give us a Ring, Yo!

If you're needing help to design that fuel cell vehicle, personal Hyperloop pod, terrestrial drone or really any future mass produced object don't hesitate and call us or drop us an email. We'll fast rope down to your facility or you can land your Jet Ranger on our helipad. Thanks.