Sonora native’s design turning heads

By Lacey Peterson, The Union Democrat April 07, 2010 09:25 am

A Sonora native’s design for a swiveling garden cart turned heads at a recent national design competition.
   

Francis, a junior at the California College of Arts in San Francisco, took third in the student design competition sponsored by the International Housewares Association.
   


For his swivel garden cart design, he received $1,200 and a trip to the March 14-16 International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago.
    Francis, 34, now hopes to take his product past the design phase.
    The cart is an omni-directional hose cart that offers better steering control and stability.
    Francis showed his design to exhibiting companies.
    “It went pretty well. It was kind of a zoo out there,” he said.
    Francis isn’t sure what will come of his design but he hopes it will get picked up for production.
    “I got some really positive responses,” he said.
    Francis graduated from Sonora High School in 1994 and is the son of Roger and Kathy Francis, of Sonora.
    He graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with degrees in painting and cartooning. Francis worked in set design in New York City and says he finally figured out he was interested in industrial design.
    Francis started his program at an advanced sophomore status and works on campus in a rapid prototype studio.
    Francis said he came up with the idea for the cart in class. It evolved from a hand tool to a cart, then what it is now in about eight weeks, he said.
    “It was pretty exciting,” he said.