Jesse Ellico

“I get to fly airplanes and blow things up,” says Jesse Ellico, an aerospace engineer for Orbital ATK, when asked to describe his job. “It’s a little boy’s dream.”

The first thing Ellico tells students enrolled in his seven-week Introduction to Industrial Design Modeling workshop at ArtCenter at Night (ACN) is that they’re “going to make stuff and have fun.”

And indeed they do. In ArtCenter’s Technical Skill Center, he familiarizes them with materials used to build models for industrial design presentations—styrene, urethane foam and polyester resin.

He says he loves seeing the look of amazement on their faces when a modeling demonstration works, an amazement that partly stems from changes in the design world that have occurred due to the digital revolution.

“Many designers today enter the field without knowledge of how to make things,” says Ellico. “The question everyone asks is, Is that important?”