International competitions provide real-world experiences for student
Nathan Tommer's design, The Light Room, took bronze at the 2010 Koizumi International Lighting Design competition.
Students in the Industrial Design Department at Metropolitan State College of Denver are on a roll, according to Chair Kenneth Phillips.
“We’ve had three students compete and place highly in two different international competitions, which are a fairly big deal in the design world,”
Nathan Tommer, 32, shared the bronze prize in a competition based out of Tokyo, Japan, for his design The Light Room. This year’s Koizumi International Lighting Design Competition for Students attracted 814 works from around the world. The other three entries selected for the bronze prize were from students based in Japan and Poland.
“The competition has gained attention as the world's foremost student lighting design competition,” says Phillips. “These are great real-world experiences for our students.”
Tommer first learned about the competition from Associate Professor David Klein. It was his first time entering this or any other competition. The monetary prize was 10,000 Japanese Yen. “It was done as one of two projects in my Intermediate Design class with Assistant Professor Ted J. Shin. He helped me very much through the design process," says Tommer, who graduates in December, and is looking for a product design job in toys, lighting or furniture design.
James Dyson Award finalists
Gabriel Collins, who sits on a bench that he designed in Central Classroom, was a finalist for a James Dyson Award for another design, Purify.
Collins, 25, says, "It feels fantastic, whether I move up or not. Just placing in such a high profile competition is more than I anticipated. I worked harder on this than any project for school thus far. It was rewarding to gain the recognition."
Collins’ medical sterilization station called "Purify" was nominated. The senior also won the in-house furniture design competition for a public use bench that can be seen in Central Classroom Building on campus through May 2011.
Mariana De Salles Ewell designed Paraquinho, a park that provides activities specially developed to supply the necessary sensory input that children with autism need.
Ewell, a 23-year-old senior, developed Paraquinho, a park for children with autism. When the opportunity for the competition came up, she pulled from her experience working at a daycare in Breckenridge for almost two years where she had a chance to meet parents of children with autism.
“I would love to make projects for children and I wanted to solve a problem,” says Ewell, a native of Brazil. “I researched for almost two months, talking to people, parents, and children. I also talked to an expert on autism.”
Upcoming industrial design/MET collaboration
Approximately 10 students in Assistant Professor John Wanberg’s Industrial Design Advanced Studio and 20 mechanical engineering technology (MET) students in Professor Mingli Hi's class, are collaborating on a project this semester.
"This semester we are engaging our students in designing products with Swisslog, a company that manufactures pneumatic tubes and material delivery devices for several industries,” says Wanberg. “Their products are commonly seen at drive through tellers at the bank, where money and other banking material aresent in canisters through tubes with pressurized air. We're looking forward to seeing what great ideas the students all come up with this semester. MET will build the program next semester.”
Wanberg, who has helped his students on a number of fun projects including their Team Speed Racer entry in the Red Bull Soap Box Race, adds "Although we can't completely replicate real-world design scenarios in the classroom, we strive as best we can to give our students the ability to work with design constraints in the same way they would within an actual design office."