The Fusion Gate

DesignerDonna Potter, David Kraenzle, Lisa Schwartzkopf
PrizeHonorable Mention
Project LinkView
Entry Description

The Fusion Gate…a portal to home tranquility, beauty and design. Engineered for home safety and designed as a work of art, the Fusion Gate moves the pet gate category from vertical bars and barricades to stylish architectural boundaries by fusing together high-performance with personal style. The challenge for product designer, Donna Potter was to meet the market’s need for a highly dependable gate to control paw traffic while eliminating the angst of having to give up aesthetic beauty for a jail-like structure that translates “Keep out.” Additionally, Donna and her team wanted to create a value rich product that would satisfy today’s price savvy consumer looking for products with multiple uses and long lasting relevance. The designer envisioned a noticeably attractive boundary with translucent features that would capture natural light while safely revealing the presence of our pets at the gate door. Vertical bars were replaced with a patented interchangeable art screen system featuring a continuous collection of original art screens. Accessed through the top of the gate door and encased between impact resistant polycarbonate panels, the artwork could easily be interchanged to compliment existing style, change with emerging trends and even add to seasonal décor. With the art screen system in place, the team’s mechanical engineer, David Kraenzle, worked to create a highly intuitive structure framed in durable lightweight aluminum with unique features that include: • A one-of-a-kind finial latch system that opens with the lift of a finger. • The lowest threshold of all pressure-mounted gates ensuring a safer pass-thru for both pets and their owners • A reversible no-nonsense locking system that is unreachable for pets The Fusion Gate offers customers a premium pet product that actually celebrates the spaces we share with our beloved pets. When other gates say “Beware” the Fusion Gates says, “Welcome to my Home.”

About Designer

Donna Potter is a fierce advocate for sound design and boundless living. She grew up in suburban New Jersey. Her father encouraged building a secure footing in life while her mother focused on channeling creative and universal energy from wherever she could find it---a perfect recipe for a solid thinking wild child. This infused personality served Donna well in her early career as an advertising executive in telecommunications. After leaving her job to care for her four children, Donna began redesigning her own homes with unique furnishings and decor that were not just solidly functional but full of movement, energy and light. It was when Donna brought two puppies home that she discovered the limiting design of virtually every pet gate in the retail market. Vertical bars and mesh barricades communicating, “Go no further” were too confining. She imagined a light-infused boundary that was both dependable and filled with unlimited design potential. Donna first introduced the concept of a gate with interchangeable art screens at the 2009 Dallas Market Center’s “The Next Best Thing” competition under the name Freedom Gates. Freedom Gates won the $10,000 First Prize. It took Donna four years to secure the patent and to find the perfect engineer who could bring the highest level of creativity and integrity into building what is now aptly named The Fusion Gate. Donna is currently focused on infusing style and imagination into other life stage necessities for the pet market, baby market and senior market.