Fenwick Grip

Fenwick Fishing

Industrial Design / Human Factors / CMF / CAD

Fenwick joined forces with us to redesign their offerings and bring ergonomic expertise to their full line of spinning and casting rods.

Guided by Fenwick’s belief that the hands are the best piece of fishing gear and the mantra “Feel Everything”, we combined our expertise in design process and ergonomics with Fenwick’s vast fishing knowledge to create a distinctive lineup of fishing rods that blends tradition with cutting edge rod technology.

The goal was twofold: to create a seamless connection between the user and the rod through improved hand position and ergonomics and to solidify Fenwick’s position as a premium rod brand in the market. Our strength in human factors, developed over decades of designing surgical instruments, was a natural fit for the sensitive and precise nature of these handheld products.

Benchmarking a variety of rods on the market and understanding the nuanced ergonomic needs of fishing rod design was a crucial early step in the process. Tekna’s experience with precision tools to complete delicate work combined with Fenwick’s vast knowledge was a great collaboration.

The Tekna Design and Research team collected insights from a variety of industries and analogous products including watches, bicycles, hunting bows, and ski equipment. We channeled this inspiration from multiple inputs, ultimately designing a rod that resonates with those who appreciate finely crafted objects and embrace the outdoors. 

Armed with a deep understanding of the end user and the nuances of the sport, we combined aesthetic themes that aligned with the Fenwick Brand with our learnings from user research to develop a variety of concepts.

The Design team selected colors, material and finishes to distinguish between four different series in the Fenwick portfolio. Subtle tones combined with natural cork reinforce Fenwick’s brand. Careful application of trim, logos, and graphics completes the aesthetic.

To ensure the best possible hand feel, we developed and produced 3D printed rapid prototypes and completed end user testing to gain confidence to fine-tune the final design direction.

The final parametric Solidworks CAD models were created for each rod in each series and delivered with high resolution renderings and product style guidelines.

Our collaborative effort resulted in the design of a comprehensive rod lineup covering over 200 SKUs across four series. The solution focuses on creating a clear distinction between the four Fenwick series, emphasizing performance, human factors, brand, and aesthetics.

Using a proven human-centered design process, the collaboration between Tekna and Fenwick resulted in a successful new product launch. The new grip design not only improves the ergonomics and hand feel of the rods but also reinforces Fenwick’s position as a premium brand with a strong presence in the fishing market.

Imitation Crab Meat

Failing fast inevitably advances the creative side where the development of products and solutions isn’t pigeon held to what we may think we are capable of.

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Michigan Design Prize 2023

The Design Prize is an annual competition celebrating the development of Michigan’s young design talent throughout the state. Tekna has supported this growing challenge since 2017!

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Seeking the
“So What”

Tekna has built its reputation around human-centered design (HCD), a term that came into practice during the 1980s-1990s and has now become a foundational product design and development principle across many industries.

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Ava UV


Research / UX Design / Industrial Design / Branding / Engineering / Production

AvaUV is a Tekna company, born out of the need to address emerging global health and wellness issues. This line of UV products work to provide comfort that the personal and professional tools you rely on are free from potentially harmful pathogens.

With years of infection prevention and disinfection development experience, we are utilizing our experience with UVC as a way to prevent microorganisms from replicating and spreading in any environment. This extra layer of clean can be done quickly and with no training required, making it accessible to anyone.

Originally designed for healthcare, it became clear that the need extends to any industry or environment. To do this, we’ve made it effective, efficient, and convenient to use anytime.

By bringing UV forward in your disinfection efforts and into the hands of everyone, you’re not only supporting a cleaner environment, you’re empowering individuals by providing their own control over their items.

Disinfection for the personal and professional tools you rely on

If you’d like to learn more visit www.avauv.com. Fill in the form below and one of our team members will get back to you!


Industry leading UVC lamps and innovative disinfection chamber provide efficient cycle times.


Created for the tools you need and the way you work – ready to use, configurable, and scalable.


Built for success. Made in the USA by an ISO13485 Certified manufacturer.


Stryker Nara Tekna Portfolio

Nara Bassinet

Research / Human Factors / Industrial Design / Branding / Animation / Engineering / Production

Nara is our baby. It was internally created from the ground up as a new, innovative hospital bassinet. It was designed to bring mothers close to their newborns when it matters most and provide caregivers with a beautifully designed, safe, ergonomic care solution

manufacturing product nara
Nara Bassinet

We recognized that the bassinet market has been relatively ignored for decades. Current bassinets could be described as one of two things: a wood filing cabinet or a metal filing cabinet on wheels. We started to ask the question, why are we pushing newborn babies around on filing cabinets?

We started our research at the source – with NICU and mother/baby nurses. We heard complaints of bulkiness, uncleanliness, and inaccessibility that added up to an experience that was just plain clunky. We studied each person’s interactions and allowed their feedback to evolve our design. Some nurses were stooping and straining too much, others struggled to quietly and efficiently maneuver the bassinet, and mothers had trouble reaching for their babies from bed. It was clear we needed to develop a new solution.

Disclaimer: The following video is not hosted by Tekna. Any claims made in this video are by the video owner, not Tekna.
Nara Bassinet Sketch concepts
Nara Bassinet Sketch Concepts
Nara Bassinet Sketch Concepts

We implemented our iterative prototyping processes and leveraged sketch exploration, CAD development, in-house 3D printing, and fabrication methods to refine the aesthetic and functionality.

We conducted one-on-one user interviews, focus group discussions, and took full-scale mockups into the field to get feedback from people who would use this product every day.

Nara Bassinet
Nara Bassinet wooden prototype
Nara Bassinet weight and frame prototype
Nara Bassinet Aluminum frame

We conducted comprehensive formative and summative usability testing with Labor/Delivery and NICU nursing staff, hospital environmental services, and new moms. Their overwhelmingly positive responses validated the final design and new features.

As the product evolved, so did the brand, differentiating it in the market as approachable, caring, and inviting. Branding efforts included print material, animation, and video creation. The true value of experience that we were reinventing was taking shape but it needed a name, and ultimately we had to look outside the English language to capture its essence – Nara.

Research and Testing on a product
Good Design Award
Core77 Design Award

Nara received a Good Design® Award from Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, as well as the Core77 Community Choice Prize, and a 2017 Core77 Notable Award in the Commercial Equipment category.

Nara Bassinet

Altogether, initial user research, opportunity identification, and industrial design grew to mechanical engineering, regulatory support, branding, and manufacturing for a Class II medical device. The exciting value propositions presented by our end product captured the interest of a major medical device manufacturer that led to an OEM opportunity for us. Our team ensured every bit of design intent was captured when we brought the product to life and delivered a solution that’s locally designed and manufactured, leveraging a supply chain based predominantly in Michigan.

Nara Bassinet Manufacturing