PhilaU ID Students Host Tandem Design Conference

tandem_1For the second consecutive year, PhilaU industrial design undergrads designed and hosted Tandem, the student design conference. This year’s conference was held last Saturday and Sunday and featured an expansion from an ID-only focus to also include graphic design, fashion, and textiles.

Keynote speaker Reid Schlegel of frog design.

Keynote speaker Reid Schlegel of frog design.

The goal of the event was to help students go beyond the sketchbook and into the world of professional design, depicting the life of a designer and showing how design is a collaborative process between many fields.

The conference was divided into multiple workshops over Saturday and Sunday featuring professionals from an array of creative disciplines. Speakers included Reid Schlegel from frog designCarter Agvent from Cole Haan, Insiyah Shahpurwalla from Photoshop’s 25 under 25, graphic designer Andrea Pippins, illustrator Mario Zucca and many others. Along with lectures and workshops, specific networking events occurred throughout the weekend. The conference was well-attended with over 100 students from a variety of schools and programs taking part.

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ID Students Exhibit 3D Textile Designs at ICFF New York


In Bloom, the crocheted and knotted neck accessory design by Maria Cipolla.

PhilaU ID undergrads recently showed their work at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City. The projects were the result of this semester’s 3D Textile class taught by Professors Lyn Godley, Marcia Weiss and Kihong Ku.

Louise Sandstorm created Glod, a crocheted pendant lamp made of monofilament and fiberglass resin.

Louise Sandstorm created Glod, a crocheted pendant lamp made of monofilament and fiberglass resin.


Shane Siever teamed up with Architecture student Emmanuel Eshun on the Knest Hanging Chair. The pair created several sets of 5-foot long knitting needles to create to unique look you see here.

The students engaged in interdisciplinary research bridging the disciplines of textile, industrial, fashion and architectural design. Through exploration of a range of interlacing techniques, materi­ality, form and function, students collaborated to create three dimensional products. As part of this course, Dutch architect Luc Merx held a week-long workshop entitled “Dilettante Textiles”.


Jasmine Mealey partnered with Nicky Topete to create Bubble, a stool that utilized both hand knotting and spiral weaving.

This workshop involved international collaboration with the Koln International School of Design, in Cologne, Germany. Professor Wolfgang Laubersheimer {KISD) and his students spent an intensive week in Philadelphia, with students teamed to investigate intentional “textiles” that highlighted individual manners of interlocking elements. Student teams explored these concepts through formal sampling, detailed drawings, and material manipula­tion.


Jacob Brosius created the Untitled Chair using 2,000 feet of nylon paracord.

The course was a pilot offering in the IDEAS (Interdisciplinary Design and Experimental Architecture Studio) program which received the 2015 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Award. The program aims to facilitate and enhance design research of textile design and applications through cross-dis­ciplinary collaborations and student-practitioner partnerships involving material investigations, theoretical discourses, physical and digital design and prototyping. Future offerings in this program will expand research in textile tectonics, composites for building structures and envelopes, production and automation, and com­putational modeling.


Aria Lee’s design of a crocheted stool entitled Baby Blue.

The resulting projects identified opportunities for innovation in the creation of 30 textile structures across the disciplines of Industrial, Architecture, Fashion, and Textile Design. Professor Lyn Godley: “The opportunities this course has opened up to explore 30 textile designs across disciplines has merged beautifully with PhilaU’s rich history in Textile Design and Manufacturing. The results are exciting for both the students and industry”.

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Recent MsID Grad Wins Core77 Design Award


The Shifting Gardens system enables all schools, regardless of their location, to have the many learning benefits of a student garden.

Recent PhilaU MsID graduate Lauren Georgian was honored in the 2016 Core77 Design Awards. Georgian’s project, entitled “Shifting Gardens“, is an outdoor classroom planter garden system that empowers schools to build their own classroom gardens and transform their schoolyards. The project was awarded a runner-up position in the Student Open Design Division. To find out more, click here.


Accessible materials and simple instructions allow volunteers to easily build the planter units.



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Alum’s A/C Design Raises $400K and Counting

noria_1PhilaU Graduate ID Program alum Don Pancoe (‘14) is part of the team behind Noria, a complete re-think of window-mounted air conditioning. The design dramatically cuts the size of the standard window-unit air conditioner while retaining 5,000 BTU of cooling power: enough to cool a 160 square-foot room. There’s also an array of other thoughtful features such as a beautiful and intuitive interface and a smartphone app to control the unit from anywhere.noria_2

Considerable buzz has been generated (over 50 different online features so far) and the design has raised more than $400,000 to date via Kickstarter. Check out the ongoing project here.

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PhilaU ID Senior Wins Award for Smart Glasses to Help Hearing Impaired

Philadelphia University industrial design senior Renee Kakareko won $5,000 to further develop oLIVE Devices, her company that provides “smart” eyewear for the hearing impaired, at the 2nd annual JAZ Tank pitch competition held April 27 in the Kanbar Campus Center.

JAZ Tank was co-sponsored by PhilaU and Jefferson Innovation Pillar to bring innovation to healthcare through entrepreneurship. Seven early-stage businesses were pitched to the panel of investor judges as part of the event’s Venture Track.

Industrial Design senior Renee Kakareka and PhilaU President Spinelli.

Industrial Design senior Renee Kakareka and PhilaU President Spinelli.

Micaela Langille Collins took the first-place prize of $10,000 for her business that facilitates breast-feeding among working mothers, and runner-up Justine Han received $5,000 for her business of plasma treatment for corneal ulcers.

PhilaU President Stephen Spinelli Jr. announced the winners, who, in addition to the cash prizes to develop their businesses, also received a free patent, copyright or trademark application, business mentorship working space and consulting services.

Kyle Garb, a senior industrial design student, also had an opportunity to pitch his alternate burn care application device, which would dispense medication to painful burns through a misting system that would avoid direct contact with the sensitive skin.

Earlier that day, PhilaU graduate industrial design student Syed Azaaz Ahmed was selected as one of four earlier-stage entrepreneurs to access funding through the event’s Opportunity Track. His developing business, Air Eyes, would allow those who are blind to sense what is around them through pulses of air.

Kakareko, who said her glasses provide “superpowers” for people with hearing disabilities, developed the high-tech eyeglasses that capture the words of people and display them to the wearer for her senior capstone project. She said 14 percent of children in the U.S. have hearing impairments, noting that her fashionable glasses can impact both speech comprehension and the social aspects of being hearing impaired.

The previous day, Kakareko had presented oLIVE Devices at the Venture Fair in Philadelphia and was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

– See more at:

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ID Freshmen Win evoHaX Competition

hack_a_thonAn all-freshman team of PhilaU ID students recently claimed the top prize in the April 30th evoHaX competition, part of Philly Tech Week 2016. Adam Hecht, David Kahn and Alexander Tholl bested an array of other teams from local universities and tech firms to win the event.

Competition winners accept their awards.

Competition winners accept their awards.

The theme of the competition was “Technologies for the Future: Green, Sustainable, and Accessible”. The group’s winning project was the design of an adaptive device for a 21 year-old with alexia (a condition similar to dyslexia). The team’s design scans printed text using a small finger-mounted camera which communicates with an app on the user’s smartphone. The system turns the text into audio that the user can discreetly listen to. This enables more seamless participation in a variety of everyday venues such as classroom and restaurant environments.

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Ayse Birsel Visits PhilaU ID

Ayse Birsel recently visited the Philadelphia University Industrial Design department and spoke with students about her recent book “Design The Life You Love”. In a fascinating evening at the DEC Center, Ayse shared how to use the design process to create an interesting, dynamic life that makes a difference.

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Ayse Birsel Lecture 6pm Tomorrow Night!

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Luc Merx Comes to PhilaU ID

Merx's Damned.MGX chandelier. Image courtesy Designcollector.

The PhilaU Industrial Design department recently hosted Dutch designer Luc Merx on campus. His week-long visit entailed studio collaboration and critique with a number of classes encompassing Industrial Design, Textile Design, and Architecure students. Merx also delivered a major lecture in the DEC Forum in which he detailed his personal research and design process that has yielded such projects as the Damned.MGX chandelier.

Professor Luc Merx. Image courtesy Pecha Kucha Maastricht.


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Final Sprint 2016 Presentations

The DEC Forum, filled to capacity as the teams get ready to make their presentations.

The Final Critique for the 2016 Industrial Design Sprint Project was held in the DEC Forum last Monday. In total, 27 teams presented their final projects to groups of circulating ID faculty and client judges. Thanks to everyone who made our Sprint 2016 Project happen!

Each team was given several minutes to present their physical models and their project boards.

In a first this year, judging was open to the student teams via a video link.


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