VISUAL DIARY: Industrial Design Students Visit Hong Kong & China

The skyline of Shanghai, the third stop on our journey.

The skyline of Shanghai, the third stop on our journey.   Image: Chetna Sharma


Students from the Jefferson Industrial Design Programs (BsID and MsID) recently travelled to Hong Kong and China as part of our annual Study Abroad China Trip.

The journey is designed to give students firsthand experience with Asian design, prototyping and manufacturing capabilities as well as allow them to get comfortable moving independently within Asian cities and design cultures. The trip’s 10-day timeframe coincides perfectly with the University’s Spring Break period so there’s no classes for students to catch up on when they return.

Many of our alumni report that one of their first responsibilities when they were hired for their first ID position was to travel to Asia to oversee various parts of the design and manufacturing process. This trip gives students a broad-based preview of that so they can truly hit the ground running upon graduation.

Over the course of ten event-filled days, the group made stops in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai visiting design schools, electronics markets, prototyping facilities and major manufacturers. Following is a short visual diary of the trip…

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Location, Location, Location

By Zach Samalonis

Jefferson University East Falls campus is home to the Jefferson Industrial Design Department. And its location is truly everything. The East Falls location is unique, one that many universities can’t say they have. Located only 20 minutes from Center City Philadelphia, students on the Jefferson East Falls campus can reap all the benefits of one of the largest cities in the country, without having to deal with the troubles of living right in the middle. It also means that students are close to several large art museums and galleries, many of which design students can enter for free. But one of the greatest benefits is being in the Philadelphia area is its proximity to other major cities such as Washington DC (a 3-hour drive) and New York (a 2-hour drive).

Photo-2Recently the Industrial Design 4 class, led by Professor Lyn Godley and Ken Root, arranged a full day trip to New York. The class first ventured to NY NOW, a tradeshow for wholesale buyers looking to filling inventory for the year. With over 2,300 vendors in categories such as the HOME Collection (“discover innovative designs, wholesale home décor, including furnishings and home textiles, tabletop and gourmet housewares”), and the HANDMADE Collection (“for artisanal cross-category crafts, from production designer maker to global handmade resources”). Students were tasked with exploring what vendors had to offer in terms of both innovative designs as well as sustainability practices and measures.

IMG_6130One of the focuses of the Design 4 semester is lighting design, so the class ventured uptown to visit Jason Krugman, public artist and lighting designer based in New York City. After viewing some of his work, Jason explained his journey of becoming a designer and how he began creating his innovative lighting installations. “It was inspiring to know that he had troubles making the lighting pieces but eventually found the right process to make it work,” said Tori March “in the end the pieces came out beautifully.”

IMG_6126The final destination of the day was a visit to Material Connexion. Material Connexion is the world’s leading materials library and consultancy, where a global team of materials scientists and experts help creatives across industries. Here, students were able to explore a library of new, innovative materials and integrate them into their designs. Jefferson University also has a digital subscription to the Material Connexion database. With this, students are able to explore materials online, and even request samples from manufacturers.

Trips like these are what makes the Jefferson Industrial Program unique. Students gain both the experience of visiting various galleries, trade shows and museums, while also getting the chance to network with designers who are currently working in the field. Philadelphia is a continuously growing in the world of design and Jefferson University is right in the mix.



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Sprint 2018: An Insider View

1 (1) By Zach Samalonis

It has been a long running tradition in the Jefferson Industrial Design Department to host the Sprint Challenge. Sprint gives the students a taste of what it is like to be a real designer, working with real clients. This year’s client was JeffSolves, a project incubator created to generate innovative approaches for diseases that lack effective treatments and could benefit from new therapies developed at Jefferson. Sprint gives Jefferson ID students an experience that they would not receive anywhere else. Here are some of the top benefits of participating in the Sprint project:

Sprint lets you connect with others in the department you might not have had the chance to meet.

Because of the way Sprint teams are structured, usually every group will have a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior and sometimes a graduate student. Working on a project like this allows you to make new connections and really see the depth of the program. “I think Sprint is great because you get to interact with a lot of people that you may not talk to normally,” said sophomore Jess Monteleone. “There’s always a lot you can learn from working with upperclassmen.” Sprint gives you somebody to look up to (or someone to look after). New friendships are formed, and it really defines what “studio culture” means at Jefferson University.

You learn as a freshman what it is like to work with a real client.
From day one at Jefferson, freshman are told that they will be treated like real designers. While the studio classes are structured to teach this, Sprint is the first time freshman get to see what it is like to work with real clients. You learn that design isn’t a linear process and a ton can change after you present your initial ideas.

1 (3)

You learn what you are good at… and where you need to improve.
Each year, Sprint forces you to work quickly. The design process is vastly condensed to a week’s time, so skills become very important. This is where working as a team comes into play. Sometimes one person is good at sketching while another is great at CAD. Sprint week is a great time to use your team, pick up some skills, and share what you know.

Your experience includes the good and the bad.
Sprint week can be both fun and stressful. But sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Models can get messed up and ideas can get trashed. A lot of the experience is learning how to both manage a team and stay on task. You will learn that sometimes the leaders aren’t just the Juniors but other members of the team. The best Sprint projects are the ones where all the members are able to work together and express their ideas.

You learn a ton in just a week’s time.
After the presentations, you have some time to reflect on your experience and absorb all that you learned. Sophomore Charles Barilo said, “It’s always great to take a step back at the presentations at the end of the week and look around and realize how much incredible work is accomplished in only a week’s time.” At the end of the day each group has a great portfolio piece and you can talk about your experience in job interviews.1 (2)

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The 2018 ID Sprint Project: Examining the Adolescent Patient Experience with JeffSolves.

The Project Launch in the Hayward Hall ID Studios

The Project Launch in the Hayward Hall ID Studios

In this year’s Industrial Design Sprint Project, students are partnering with JeffSolves to design the future of the adolescent patient experience. JeffSolves a project incubator created to generate innovative approaches for diseases that lack effective treatments and could benefit from new therapies developed at Jefferson.

The Sprint Project itself is very much a tradition in the ID Dept. In fact, this semester marks the 18th year this unique project has run. Here’s how it works: students are divided up into multi-year groups from across the program, one student from each year including grad students. The undergrad Junior in each team serves as team manager. An outside client  (this year, JeffSolves) is brought in and the teams concentrate their collective efforts on the Project Brief for that client. All classes in both the Graduate and Undergraduate ID programs are dedicated to the project for the span of one week and work continues around the clock.

It’s a project that students have found to be of tremendous value year after year, especially in regard to their portfolio development. It serves as evidence that the student knows what it means to work with a real-world client and that they’re able to navigate the inherent demands of such a project.

We look forward to great week of close collaboration and insightful design!

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Industrial Design Student Wins 1st Place in International Lighting Competition

With his “Interwoven Luminance” project, industrial design senior Richard Stone topped more than 650 students and professionals in Luflex’s LG OLED Design Competition.

With his “Interwoven Luminance” project, industrial design senior Richard Stone topped more than 650 students and professionals in Luflex’s LG OLED Design Competition.

Industrial design senior Richard Stone won first place and the $5,000 prize in Luflex’s LG OLED Design Competition, besting more than 650 students and professionals from around the world. Seven renowned designers and art directors selected the winners.

The competition tasked competitors with incorporating organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) into their designs. Unlike LEDs, which are a point light source, OLEDs are very thin, flat surfaces that light evenly across the entire surface, explained Lyn Godley, associate professor of industrial design at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University). They can be rigid or flexible, opaque or clear, offering new applications for lighting design.

With his “Interwoven Luminance” project, senior Richard Stone project topped more than 650 students and professionals in Luflex’s LG OLED Design Competition.

Richard Stone developed the winning project in the University’s new luminaire design course.

Stone’s “Interwoven Luminance” project was inspired by textiles and a simple weave pattern that highlights OLED’s flexibility.

“The woven pattern creates a three-dimensional form that only an OLED could deliver while providing uniform illumination,” he said. “Developing a modular solution through which individual units can attach together allows the flexibility of Interwoven Luminance to be implemented in multiple spaces. This design was an accumulation of everything I have learned in my three and a half years at Jefferson.”

Stone, who’s concentrating in lighting design, developed the project in the University’s new luminaire design course taught by Godley.

“This is a huge win for our student and for what it says about the new curriculum in lighting design at Jefferson,” Godley said.

In addition to the $5,000 prize, Stone will receive travel expenses to attend the International Light + Building conference in Frankfurt, Germany, in March. Here, he will exhibit his design, with manufacturing of the mock-up supported by LG, plus receive a 3 percent royalty upon production.

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Masters ID Student Takes First Place in Annual Top Ram Competition

TopRamBy Zach Samalonis

Seven teams of Jefferson students from the East Falls and Center City campuses recently pitched their ideas in the DEC Center Forum to a panel of judges for the annual Top Ram Competition. This year’s winner was Masters Industrial Design student Julia Anthony, whose idea was “SOLU-tion”, a dual chamber auto-injector for people with adrenal insufficiency disorders. The device is designed as a fast and effective way to dispense medication in emergency situations.

After the presentations, a Q&A with the judges followed. Finalists were scored on concept, research, storytelling, business model design/feasibility and innovation.

After finding out she had just won the Matt Glass Award for Entrepreneurship Anthony said, “I’m really excited – I’ve had this idea for a long time.”

The Award comes with several benefits including a $1,000 prize. Julia said she plans to use the funds to prototype more generations of the device. In addition, she also will receive a free consultation with a lawyer to support her idea, as well as meet with Dr. Steven Glass, who sponsors the competition in memory of his son Matthew Glass.

This is the second time an Industrial Design student has won the competition. The first was in 2015 when Renee Kakareka (BsID’16), won for her smart glasses to help the hearing impaired. She was accepted into the Angel Venture Fair the following semester and went on to win the $5,000 JAZ Tank pitch competition. Development of the concept is now in the final prototype stage through her company Olive Devices.

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3D Printed Heart Aids Doctor in Real-World Surgery

The full-size heart model was created in Jefferson ID's Design Technology Lab.

The full-size heart model was created in Jefferson ID’s Design Technology Lab.

















By Zach Samalonis

Jefferson Industrial Design Senior Jackson Gordon recently helped a Thomas Jefferson University Hospital surgeon by 3D printing a model of a patient’s heart. When Dr. Vakhtang Tchantchaleishvili was faced with a difficult and complex surgery, he collaborated with Jefferson ID to create a model of the patient’s heart as a visual aid prior to the procedure.

Gordon used 3D printing and fabricated an exact model of the heart, incorporating several different colors of PETG filament. “The surgery itself took close to six hours and the actual time on the cardiopulmonary bypass machine was close to three hours,” said Dr. Tchantchaleishvili. “I’m glad we printed the pathology in advance,” he said. “Working with the Jefferson Industrial Design team makes me think that we should probably do this every time we have a case with an unusual anatomy coming up.”

Jefferson’s ID program features a Design Technology Lab dedicated to prototyping and experimentation. Students are encouraged to integrate technology into their design processes. The lab has an array of 3D printers that provide a range of resolutions and is also outfitted with Wacom tablets that students use for advanced rendering and other digital work.

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Jefferson ID Partners with Under Armour for a Unique Interdisciplinary Project

Students met with Under Armour at the company's global headquarters in Baltimore.

Students met with Under Armour at the company’s global headquarters in Baltimore.

By Zach Samalonis

Recently the University announced that Under Armour would be a sponsor of Jefferson athletes. But the partnership with Under Armour doesn’t stop there. Jefferson Industrial Design students now have the opportunity to collaborate with the athletic equipment company to explore new potential applications for emerging Under Armour technology.

The project challenged students to form interdisciplinary groups from various majors including Industrial Design, Textile Design, Business, Athletic Training, Fashion Enterprise and Textile Engineering. The diverse teams are participating in a two-fold project with Under Armour, one that spans over both the fall and spring semesters of the 2017-18 year.

The fall semester focused on learning about Under Armour’s new proprietary technology and brainstorming ways it could be used in new applications, all while thinking about the Under Armour customer. The teams were then asked to create a business model and presentation that illustrated the potential applications. Each team then traveled to the company’s global headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland and presented their ideas.

Senior Erica Blair was one of the Industrial Design students that traveled to Baltimore. “I had an incredible experience presenting to the Under Armour team. We received great feedback and constructive criticism that really moved our project to the next level,” said Erica. “The tour of the campus was also inspiring – we learned a lot about their manufacturing processes as well as everyday life as an employee.”

Valmar Wilson, a junior in the program, found the work culture was unique and inviting. “The Under Armour team was friendly and considered themselves more of an athletic team than a company. They called each other ‘teammates’ and even had a gym were everybody came to work out.”

The spring semester will push students to take their ideas even further. The teams will visit the headquarters several times and have the opportunity to experiment at the Under Armour facilities.

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Jefferson ID Impresses in the 2017 Collab Design Competition at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

From Left to Right: Hannah Smythe (Clover Stool), Jessica Monteleone (ParaStorage Stool), Peter Holderith (The Sock Stool), Zachary Samalonis (ReadnRock).

From Left to Right: Hannah Smythe (Clover Stool), Jessica Monteleone (ParaStorage Stool), Peter Holderith (The Sock Stool), Zachary Samalonis (ReadnRock).

“After months of work, four sophomore industrial design students were called out for awards.

By Zach Samalonis

For the past few months, students from the Design 3 Studio have been hard at work, preparing for the 2017 COLLAB Student Design Competition held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This annual event provides a unique opportunity for regional university design students to experience competition outside the classroom and to receive valuable feedback from nationally recognized industry leaders. Each year’s competition is thematically linked to the work of the annual Collab Design Excellence Award honoree, a world-class individual recognized as having made significant contributions to the field of design. This year’s Collab Design Excellence Award honoree and inspiration for the competition was Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. Students were tasked with “Designing a piece of furniture that is the focal point of a room and incorporates storage. Urquiola’s work touches on artistry, craft, technology, culture, and a nod to the “hand.” Student submissions must speak to Urqioula’s influence and must be reproducible.” By integrating the competition into the Design 3 curriculum, students were pushed to create both a full-scale model, as well as a scale model for the competition.

The hard work paid off with four of our sophomore industrial design students were called out for awards and design excellence at the 2017 Collab Design Competition. Students were up against other designers from Drexel University, UArts, UPenn, Parsons, and RIT.

Peter Holderith’s Second Place-winning “Sock Stool”.

Peter Holderith’s Second Place-winning “Sock Stool”.

Peter Holderith took 2nd place in the competition, with his entry titled “The Sock Stool”. Juror Matt Tyson said of second place prize winner “Everyone looking at this stool was surprised…it was this instant feeling of joy, as none of us would have ever thought of this before! It was an interesting take on the display of a piece of clothing. It also gave the opportunity to all the textile designers of the world to show off their creations, taking something that is typically hidden and showing it off…A really fun piece! I particularly like the repetition in the design, so the repeat of manufactured parts saves costs which is really smart.”

Three other students, Jessica Monteleone, Zachary Samalonis and Hannah Smythe were recognized for design excellence, and were called out individually by the different jurors. Each of the jurors appreciated the attention to detail and craft of the stools, as well as the inspiration drawn from Patricia’s work.

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A Night Full of Conversations

Tom Dooley from Bresslergroup begins his presentation.

Tom Dooley from Bresslergroup addresses the students.

“The 2017 Industrial Design Speaker Series Wraps up with a Panel Discussion and Portfolio Review”

By Zach Samalonis

Last week in the Jefferson ID Department, students learned what employers look for in design portfolios. The discussion panel featured professionals and alumni from Bresslergroup, DESIGNLYNX, TerraCycle and Shea + Latone, making an excellent close to the 2017 Industrial Design Speaker Series. Students packed the Tuttleman Center and participated in both group discussions as well as one-on-one conversations to receive feedback on their portfolios.

Jefferson alum Tom Dooley from Bresslergroup was able to give students an idea what it’s like to work in an environment surrounded by other professionals in different fields. He explained that at Bresslergroup “industrial designers must be well versed in their skillset and must be able to work with other disciplines, such as electrical and mechanical engineers.” Tom also was able to shed some insight on what it’s like working for a larger agency and how the company is always changing.

Jefferson alum Brian Orme of DESIGNLYNX showed students the other end of the spectrum and exposed them to life at a smaller agency. He was able to contrast against Bresslergroup and show how even though the two companies are different in size, they both look for similar things in portfolios. Brian answered questions about how to stand out and the importance of learning other skills (outside of the classroom) and using them in the work that students do.

Kelsey Moffitt discussed her work at TerraCycle and was able to connect with students as she has only been in the field for a little over a year. Kelsey explained to students that at TerraCycle prototyping is part of their everyday work and how each day the work is different. Kelsey’s stories about her experience at TerraCycle allowed students to see the difficulties of applying for positions, but how positive experiences can come from a little hardship.

Jeff Theesfeld and Shaun Smith (both Jefferson alums) were able to shed some light on their journey at Shea + Latone and how the two of them became partners and ended up taking over the busisness after their bosses were ready to retire. Throughout Shea + Latone’s presentation, the importance of craft and putting yourself out in front of the world was stressed. Both Jeff and Shaun felt that as students create their portfolios, they should consider their audience and “present your truest self”, even if this meant that you had flaws. “Every designer isn’t going to know everything” says Jeff “but, it’s important to present your best self and remember the little things… There is a lot of low hanging fruit that can impress employers that many designers forget about”. Jeff and Shaun ended their presentation stressing the importance of networking and gave anecdotes about how networking helped them land their first positions at Shea + Latone.

The night ended with an extensive question and answer period, along with a breakout session that allowed Jefferson students to network and have their own portfolios reviewed and critiqued. The 2017 Fall Industrial Design Alumni Speaker Series was a huge success and the department hopes to continue with another Series in Spring 2018 in continued celebration of the 20th anniversary of the department.

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