February CET Designer User of the Month – Lillian Johnson
After Lillian Johnson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, she found herself launching her career in an unlikely industry for her field – the furniture industry.
“I feel like furniture is a hidden industry of the engineering field – it’s everywhere but you don’t realize it,” Johnson said. “While most of my friends wanted to work with cars, I wanted to work with products people use every day, so furniture was a nice fit.”
Johnson is part of the creative services team at Symbiote, a furniture company in Zeeland, Michigan. Symbiote launched its Extension for CET Designer in 2020 and produces furniture for industries including health care, life science, education, biotech, technology and government.
“I’ve always been interested in manufacturing, but during my senior year of college I discovered a passion for design,” Johnson said. “I enjoy design because it’s about problem solving and innovating to make the design the best it can be. I also like finding ways to bring useability, function and collaboration into a space.”
Johnson started using CET Designer when she joined Symbiote in 2020. She uses CET Designer for creating quotes for customers, laying out a variety of projects and creating renderings.
“My boss Nick Suttorp and my coworker Sarah Jearlds have both been instrumental in helping me learn CET,” Johnson said. “CET is user friendly and the renderings are gorgeous. I’ve found it helpful having all the snaps and components in CET, and the software learns so fast and allows you to lay out projects quickly.”
Symbiote made the switch to CET Designer so more dealerships around the world could access their projects. Johnson says having an Extension has helped with product launches, adding models to CET Designer and connecting with people who use their Extension through live design.
“CET has allowed us to take on bigger projects and has given our team a lot of confidence to create easy, quick and super professional renderings,” Johnson said. “CET has also been instrumental in presenting customers with a workable visual layout and helping them see what products will look like in real life.”
For example, Johnson worked on a large quote at the end of 2020 that involved over $2 million of product. She said using CET Designer helped her complete the quote quickly with the help of favorites and produce renderings that helped the customer visualize the space.
One of Johnson’s favorite CET Designer tips is one she learned at the 2020 CET Experience. She attended a session on 360 panorama renderings where she learned about creating a collection of props to use in drawings.
“Creating collections has helped me work quicker and create consistency of a look,” Johnson said. “Now I have collections saved by market and can drag them in for biotech, for example, or whatever the project may be.”
Being new to the CET community, Johnson says she’s found a lot of value connecting and learning from other users.
“I really appreciate the CET community. Everyone is such a great problem solver,” Johnson said. “I like how everyone is really responsive and understanding, willing to share tips and tricks and help each other out.”