Since its incorporation in 1995, BlackHägen Design (BH) has been a leading consulting resource specializing in mission-critical product design. Founded in Orlando, Florida, by Robert Sean Hägen and Theodore Black, we have successfully undertaken diverse projects ranging from ruggedized consumer products to commercial/industrial, military, and medical devices.
A young Sean Hägen became so enamored with the enormous potential of applying user-centered design principles to medical device design that he steered BH towards specializing in this field and becoming a pioneer practicing deep integration of human-factors engineering with creative product design. To this cause, Sean recruited Philip Remedios in 2002 as his business partner, who brought a wealth of experience as an executive manager and VP of R&D for a prominent medical device design consultancy in California. This strategic partnership laid the foundation for BH’s sustained growth, establishing our credibility and reputation in the industry.
With Sean’s focus on leading Research initiatives and Philip’s direction of Development projects, our company experienced more effective growth through enhanced management practices. In 2005, we relocated to the charming seaside town of Dunedin, Florida, on the north-western edge of the Tampa Bay area. As our success continued, we proudly designed and constructed a brand-new 6,500-square-foot building in 2017. This state-of-the-art facility provides our team access to cutting-edge public facilities, a private creative studio, usability, and prototype labs, all just a block away from the serene Gulf of Mexico. Strategically positioned within Central Florida’s rapidly developing High-Tech Corridor and benefiting from Tampa’s diverse international community and top-rated airport, our advanced facility thrives amidst a tropical, international lifestyle known for its vibrant artistic culture and energy.
At BlackHägen Design, we combine our extensive expertise, innovative thinking, and commitment to excellence to deliver exceptional product design solutions. With a track record of success and a dedication to exceeding our client’s needs, our team works tirelessly to advance innovation of mission-critical product design in the medical field and beyond.
Remembering Sean Hägen
Sean earned a Bachelor of Science in Product Design from The Ohio State University’s Industrial Design program, with a minor in Human Factors Engineering. Sean accumulated over 30 years of design research and product development experience in various industries ranging from transportation design (boats, yachts, and executive aircraft) to emergency management center workstations and mission-critical, ruggedized electronics to medical devices and graphic user interfaces.
After founding BlackHägen Design, Inc. (BH) in 1995, Sean led design research and usability design within institutional and home environments across twenty countries. His focus at BH was the management of the user research usability engineering and the synthesis phases of product development, which included usability testing, user-centered innovation techniques, and establishing user requirements as they applied to product definition.
Sean complemented his professional career as a designer with a passion for teaching and sharing knowledge through lectures and workshops. During his two terms on the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) Board of Directors, as the Vice President of Special Interest Sections, he led the organization in developing professional continuing education strategies and initiatives.
When Sean’s term limit on the Board was met, he initiated the Patient Safety Taskforce, resulting in an initiative to research and collaborate with the healthcare industry, government, manufacturers, and regulators to reduce the alarming number of preventable deaths in our healthcare system. He raised awareness and resources through the IDSA Design Foundation for developing tools and methods that address the patient safety crisis.
One particular innovation was the design and implementation of the IDSA Medical Design Conference. This event aimed to provide medical design practitioners with a deep dive into the myriad of knowledge, methods, and skills required to meet the specialized demands of the healthcare industry. The lectures, panels, and workshops brought together corporate, consultants, clinicians, and educators to share their knowledge and advance the state of the art. A unique aspect of the symposium is to conduct workshops in high-fidelity medical simulation facilities. Sean was the lead instructor in these contextual inquiry workshops over six years of the annual event’s history, including OR, ICU, and Cath Lab environments, and established a legacy educational instrument for generations of future med-tech designers.
In early 2023 Sean passed suddenly and tragically after a short illness, leaving his beloved family, friends, and his BH team far too soon. As we reflect upon the life and legacy of Sean Hägen, it is with a heavy heart we remember a remarkable and lovable individual whose presence touched the lives of many. Sean was a visionary leader, a respected designer, and a deeply cherished member of the BlackHägen Team.
Through his professional efforts our world is a little better, and the products he touched a little finer. Aces to you, Sean Hägen!