As a young industrial designer fresh out of school, David Laituri worked at General Motors. “There were American cars and there were foreign cars, and if you had a Honda, you had to park it in the far parking lot,” he says. That was the 1980s.
By the late 1990s, when he worked at Polaroid, the company’s manufacturing managers would travel to China to oversee production, but film, high-end cameras, and medical devices were still made domestically. By the time Laituri took a job at Brookstone in 2004, “Everything was made in Asia. You had the buyers, the designers, the marketers hanging out with manufacturers there.”