Scans for Sleep Apnea

As part of her MsID Capstone Project, student Jeanne Vilja is doing ergonomic studies of CPAP masks for sleep apnea sufferers. So she’s 3D scanning a representative sample of student heads, and printing them out to work on. How do you know if a printed head is the same size as the original?  See if his glasses fit right…..


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Real World Portfolio Building

Portfolio specialist Diane Fox

By Zach Samalonis, BsID ’20
Recently in the DEC forum, a portfolio building workshop was held for design students across campus to discuss what employers look for in a portfolio. To open the event PhilaU was privileged to host Diane Fox, from the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. During her speech she discussed what makes a portfolio stand out, by showing various digital and printed examples that she has seen throughout her years as a professor. She discussed project importance, image placement, font choices, and a variety of binding methods. At the conclusion of her presentation, there was a robust q&a session.

IMG_0287The second part of the event included a “breakout session” which divided students up by major to continue a more detailed discussion on portfolio development. Representatives from both Bresslergroup and Archer Group, two of the Philadelphia area’s largest design firms came to discuss different attributes that they, as industrial and graphic designers looked for as well as show example portfolios from graduates they ended up hiring.


Reviewing portfolios in one of the breakout sessions.

As a freshman, this experience was valuable as it got the gears turning on how I’ll approach creating my own portfolio. The best part of the experience was that the portfolios they showed were ones from students just out of school. It helped me to see where my work should be in four years and what I should to help myself succeed. The best advice given was to start early and stay organized. It’s workshops like these that make PhilaU stand out from other schools and help keep me one step ahead.

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PhilaU ID Undergrad Creates Prosthetic Arm

Philadelphia University industrial design student Jackson Gordon  has designed and fabricated a 3D-printed prosthetic arm to help a local man born without a left hand, Philly Voice reported Jan. 9.

Jackson, who has started the design firm Armatus Designs, based the aesthetics of the hand on the video game “Metal Gear Solid V” at the request of the user, designing it to be cost-effective and highly functional. Gordon has also made the design of the forearm, which can be created for about $100, available to others to use through open-file sharing.


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PhilaU ID Students Reach Finals of Jefferson Health Hack


The Health Hack began in the atrium of Jefferson’s Hamilton Building in Center City Philadelphia.

PhilaU ID students from all levels of the program recently collaborated with a wide range of professionals and students from schools throughout the eastern US as part of the second annual Independence/Jefferson Health Hack. Attendees formed interdisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals, engineers, developers, designers, entrepreneurs and students, collaborating together on the creation of new ways to promote access and delivery to healthcare.

The teams used a wide variety of methods to model their solutions.

The teams used a wide variety of methods to model their solutions.

Two Philadelphia University Industrial Design students made the finals of the three-day event:

In the Patient Engagement Category, undergrad industrial design student Adam Hecht (BsID’19) worked with two Sidney Kimmel Medical College students on a wearable device that lies flat over the hip to prevent pelvic fractures resulting from falls.

PhilaU student Adam Hecht (left) and Sidney Kimmel Medical College students Daniel Choi and Kristen Adorno worked on a wearable device to prevent fractures resulting from falls.

In the Connected Health category, PhilaU graduate industrial design student Colin Eggert-Crowe (MsID’17) sought to minimize hospital-related IV infections and IV medication errors by designing a smart IV pump, channel and tubing system. His team included members from Thomas Jefferson University, Independence Blue Cross and Abington Hospital.

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PhilaU ID Alum Now On Staff at MIT

It’s great to see our grads using their skills to train the next generation of designers.
PhilaU ID alum Coby Unger (BsID ‘14) has a new position at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the Associate Director of The MIT Hobby Shop. The mission of the facility is to “provide a place for any MIT student, regardless of major or experience, to work with a wide range of well-maintained machines and tools and to receive instruction, as well as practical design and building advice.”

Coby Unger (PhilaU BsID '14. Photo courtesy Gordon School)

Coby Unger (PhilaU BsID ’14. Photo courtesy Gordon School)




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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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