Ken Larson: Lead Industrial Designer . . .
Won a competition which determined the appearance of the first ever portable cellular telephone,  Motorola's original Dynatac phone which made the cover of Popular Science.
Over 30 years of product design experience at Motorola, Rick Springer & Associates, and Mel Boldt & Associates. Ergonomics expert. 
Holder of 32 design patents.
Highly skilled in design applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Streamline. Also skilled in Photoshop, Cadmover (File Transfer application), Excel, Word processing and Graphics.
Extensive knowledge in the design of molded plastic parts, extrusions, sheet metal,  castings, escutcheons, and product labels. 
Ken's 15 Minutes of Fame
Back in the early 70’s, Motorola was preparing to introduce a revolutionary new product. Ken Larson was early into his career as an industrial designer. As with any new invention, the big question is always, what will it look like? So, Motorola decided to let all of their industrial designers each propose a concept for what was to become the first portable cellular telephone. Of the many designs conceived, Ken’s was chosen. He proudly admits that his was not the most stylish concept. So why was it chosen? Because his concept was readily perceived as manufacturable by both management and engineering, an important factor lost on many of today's designers.
Ken’s design made it possible for Motorola to reuse many of the components that Motorola used in their portable two-way radios to make the first portable cellular phone prototype. This was a critical factor since Motorola was under a deadline by the Federal Communications Commission to demonstrate a full working cellular telephone or the frequencies that were set aside for cellular telephone service would be reallocated. The deadline was met and so the first Motorola Dynatac was born.
When compared to today's cell phones, the original Dynatac may appear a little prehistoric. But consider, it was designed 30 years ago! To really appreciate Ken’s styling ability, one only has look at the phone itself. After taking into account that its large size (by today's standards) was dictated by the technology in existence at the time, most people would say that it still looks OK. Who can honestly say the same about the clothing and hair styles of the 70’s.
I think that Ken’s design has aged quite well. It was also no coincidence that the portable cell phones produced by other manufacturers, at the time, looked similar to Ken’s design. Motorola's UltraClassic series retained most of Ken’s original styling and survived into the 90’s. Some are still in use today in public safety and construction because of their rugged design. The UltraClassic was replaced by the Flip Phone which represented the next big leap in cell phone design. Unfortunately, by then, Ken had moved on to another division of Motorola. It would have been interesting to see what the original Flip Phone would have looked like had Ken played a part in its design.
Peter Janko, President, Lumenelle, Inc.
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