PhilaU Grad Named “Best Nike Footwear Designer Right Now”

Footwear site recently named PhilaU ID alum Nate VanHook the “best Nike footwear designer right now”. Read the article here as well as a recent interview on DesignBoom here.

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New Tools, New Spaces

With the Fall semester just over the horizon, things in the Industrial Design department are heating up. Grad and undergrad programs alike have exciting new things in store for the coming school year. Both programs have added to their 3D printing capabilities with the addition of two new Makerbot Replicators. These state-of-the-art 3D printers will enable students to prototype their designs faster and easier than ever before.

In addition, the undergrad Freshman & Sophomore studio spaces have been reconfigured and now reside in Hayward Hall. The unique benefits gained by all levels of the program working together side-by side has become a hallmark of our studio culture and this improvement ensures that the tradition continues.

We’re looking forward to a great year – see you in August!

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Staying Ahead of the Curve

Ayse Birsel, Tucker Viemeister, and Dr. Stephen Wilcox during their open discussion time the PhilaU ID students.

Ensuring that we stay ahead of developments in the ID profession through continual assessment and improvement is a huge part of what we do. One of the most powerful ways that we accomplish this is through our Advisory Board. Our board is comprised of three of the most accomplished designers in their fields: Ayse Birsel, Tucker Viemeister, and Dr. Stephen Wilcox. The trio also has a vast amount of experience in design education and as such can translate the trends and developments of our profession into practical advice for the PhilaU ID academic culture.

Ayse, Tucker and Steve recently spent a day and a half on campus visiting our program. The group reviewed the outcomes of the curriculum and met with ID faculty and leadership. Our students also had the opportunity to exchange ideas with the group during a town-hall style open discussion time. The time that the Board spent on campus was most productive and we’re grateful for their insights as we continually seek to make the PhilaU ID experience the best that it can be.

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Grad Student Creates Sound-Sensitive LED Dress

PhilaU MsID student Seth Moczydlowski worked with a team of Fashion Design students to create this color-changing LED dress that responds to sound. The project was recently featured online at Learn all about it here.

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PhilaU ID Students Learn In Hong Kong & China

The Innovation Tower at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Students from both the graduate (MsID) and undergrad (BsID) programs recently had the unique opportunity to travel to Hong Kong and several cities in China as part of an Intercultural Innovation Short Course over Spring Break. This year, the focus of the trip was shifted from larger companies toward design entrepreneurship amd design for emerging markets.

Led by MsID Program Coordinator Tod Corlett, the group toured design firms, luxury retailers, factories, and trade shows where they were able to learn firsthand from innovative design, retail and fashion leaders.

Professor Roger Ball leads a design discussion.

In the new Zaha Hadid-designed Innovation Tower at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, students met with Professors Roger Ball and Ernesto Spicciolato to learn about microbranding for design, then attended a workshop on Asian consumer lifestyles and emerging sustainability priorities.

Learning about the capabilities of the SEEED Agile Manufacturing Center.

In Shenzhen, the group toured SEEED Studio, an open hardware facilitation-fabrication company, then met with the directors of HAXLR8R, an 111-day internet-connected-hardware startup accelerator based in the heart of the Shenzhen electronics marketplaces. Then it was on to Shanghai to tour WILD Design, an international graphics/product consultancy. The next day, the group went to Tongji University to meet Matti Hamalainen of the Aalto University Sino-Finnish Center and discuss an array design issues with the Tongji/Aalto students.

PhilaU students at Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong.

The group was also given plenty of unstructured time to hit the streets and explore Asian trends and markets as well as study Hong Kong’s 24-hour culture for themselves. Armed with their new understanding of global products and design, the students will now participate in an interdisciplinary grad/undergrad project that will be displayed at the 2014 PhilaU Design Show.

Exploring Shanghai's Tianzifang art district.

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Seniors On-Site

Greg Goldman (BsID ’05) shows the Senior ID students the capabilities of Amuneal's facility.

The Senior ID students recently embarked on a series of on-site visits to leading design establishments in the Philadelphia area. The group’s first trip was to the studio and fabricating facilities of Amuneal, a leading constructor of custom retail fixtures and installations. PhilaU ID alum and Amuneal designer Greg Goldman (BsID ’05) shared the capabilities and workflow of Amuneal. A visit to the Old City showroom of modern furniture and lighting retailer Minima came next. After a tour by Minima owner Michael Schmick, students had time for in-depth exploration of a range of designs from such leading manufacturers as Kartell, Moooi, De La Espada, Minotti and Artifort. Next on their agenda: a visit to The Center for Art in Wood.

Michael Schmick, owner of Minima, discusses the features of a design with the Seniors.

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MsID Teams Partner With Johnson & Johnson

This semester, PhilaU graduate students in industrial design (MsID) have been working in collaborative teams with business students on new products for Johnson & Johnson. The teams were recently invited to discuss their projects at Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters in Skillman, NJ. The visit gave students the chance to learn about J&J’s design and development process as well as see firsthand the company’s corporate culture of promoting interdisciplinary teams. The groups discussed the opportunities and manufacturing challenges of each individual project with J&J staff, then met with the managers of Operations, Marketing, and New Product Management who spoke about the realities that the students can expect upon graduation. They then related their personal experiences of working at Johnson & Johnson. The visit was a valuable opportunity for the students to advance their projects as well as learn what drives one of the industry leaders in the medical field.
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ID Seniors Featured on










The work of PhilaU ID Seniors Colin Hansel and Morgan Gaumann has been featured on The pair are working together on their Senior Capstone project, entitled Rodeo Bird. The project endeavors to connect specific design factors of surfboards with their counterparts in snowboarding, thereby producing enhanced designs for both venues. For more on their work, click here.

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Natacha Poggio at PhilaU ID

On Wednesday, March 12 at 6:00pm in the DEC Forum Natacha Poggio will be speaking about how designers can solve the global water crisis. Natcha is a social impact design educator and Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design at The Hartford Art School, University of Hartford. She lectures internationally on the value of design in addressing social challenges. Her award-winning projects foster transdisciplinary partnerships, foster sustainable development and raise awareness of global issues in local and international communities. A 2010 recipient of the Sappi Ideas That Matter grant, Natacha has implemented wellness projects in India and Kenya and collaborates with healthcare organizations in developing countries. In 2008, Natacha founded Design Global Change, a creative collaborative contributing innovative design solutions to a variety of problems that society now faces.

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International ID Student Collaboration Presents to Umbra Design Director

Umbra Design Director Matt Carr examines a model from one of the design teams.

Seven design teams comprised of students from both the PhilaU Junior BsID Studio and the ID Program at Lincoln Unversity in the UK presented their final designs as part of the Umbra project this week in Philadelphia. Umbra’s head of design Matt Carr travelled from the company’s headquarters in Toronto to evaluate the proposals for new editions to the company’s product line. The presentations were the culmination of a long-term project begun in August as part of Mbrela, the long-term collaborative of the Philadelphia University and Lincoln University UK industrial design programs. Through this international collaboration, students from both programs learned a great deal about design for manufacturing as well as how to tailor their designs to a pre-existing design language. In addition, several of the teams’ projects are now under further consideration by the entire Umbra design team.

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