The most popular design firm you’ve never heard of
FORTUNE — Fred Bould is far from a household name, but his small industrial design firm is behind some of the hottest gadgets currently on the market. You’d never guess it by visiting Bould Design’s offices — the small team works out of a nondescript building right off of Highway 101 in Mountain View, Calif., nestled among auto body shops and burrito joints. But over the past few years, the firm has helped craft popular devices like the Roku 2 streaming player and GoPro’s most recent wearable video camera, used to shoot extreme sports. Bould won’t confirm, but his firm is also rumored to have helped develop the design for the Nest thermostat and smoke alarm (the thermostat is featured prominently on the company’s website).
Bould Design has won a number of industry-specific awards in recent years but is still relatively unknown in more mainstream circles. That clearly hasn’t stopped the soft-spoken designer from attracting some of the Valley’s sexiest hardware makers. “They hear about us by word of mouth,” he says. Here’s a sample of some of Bould’s most recent designs:
(Photos courtesy of Bould Design; Nest photo is courtesy of Nest)