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Customer Spotlight

June 2015
The Art of Design & Technology – Edward Saavedra

As an IT manager by day, Edward Saavedra's appreciation for modern technology comes by him honestly. On the other hand, he's a passionate artist who loves to design and create art with his own hands. By working with Protocase, he was able to combine his love of art and technology into one cool development project.

Since he was young, Saavedra has always been fascinated with technology, and it's still a major passion for him today. Out of all things technology-related, gaming is his favourite.

"As technology progresses, we move on to newer platforms, and I think that's great," says Saavedra. "But I like to remember the classics, the games I played as a kid."

The Idea: A "Retro-Futuristic" Joystick Design

With that nostalgia for classic games of his childhood in mind, Saavedra envisioned building a new modular joystick. He wanted to create a well-built design that could be adapted to work with multiple hardware, such as consoles, PC computing and more. With this idea, he approached Protocase, because, as he puts it, "Working with Protocase just made sense."

The process of working with Protocase to bring his idea to reality gave Saavedra a real understanding of the tech industry.

"The most important thing I've learned in dealing with Protocase is working with manufacturing on getting something done," says Saavedra. "Even though the process Protocase has created makes it easier for the layman to get their feet wet on production, you still deal with design ideas, exact measurements, logical placement of components and working with industry standard components."

The Creation: One Joystick for All

Saavedra decided to make his design larger than typical joysticks for the convenience of being able to sit on the user's lap, making the console sturdier and prevent the joystick from moving too much during gameplay. For aesthetics, he decided to go with subtle angles and side fins, give a much more "retro-futuristic" look (instead of a more traditional rectangle enclosure style).

In addition to being inspired by his love of science, tech and robots, the artwork featured on Saavedra's joystick design is a nod to his childhood. Growing up in the 70s and 80s in New York City, he was exposed to the abstract art of street graffiti and fell in love with the concept. This is where he got his inspiration for choosing one of the graphic designs for the top panel of the joystick. He credits Canadian photographer Patrick Cummings for the street graffiti graphic featured on the joystick panel.

Saavedra is currently working on expanding the "modular" part of the joystick design by using Protocase Designer to design an external electronic box that will allow the joystick to be connected to modern video game consoles. Very few conventional gaming boards on the market today can do this, and Saavedra plans on having a number of boxes that will cover most classic and current consoles, PCs and arcade games.

If all goes as hoped, Saavedra wants to start producing the joystick and his previous design, a small network attached storage case.

Contact Edward by email at