PhilaU Landscape Architecture Program Helps Create City Green Space: Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia University’s landscape architecture program is helping to develop community green space throughout the city, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported July 16.

“There are all sorts of assets in that area that people just can’t get to. We are looking to create stepping-stones in the community,” Kim Douglass, director of PhilaU’s landscape architecture program, told the Inquirer. PhilaU landscape architecture students will be integral in designing and implementing a vision for the spaces.

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Textile Designer Interns at Free People

Senior Textile Designer Megan Kohl is having a great summer interning with Free People at their corporate headquarters at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. 


Megan responded to a few questions about her experience:
  • How did you land this internship?
-I got this internship after an interview with Urban Outfitters at the career fair at school, which then led me to this position.  
  • What are your responsibilities?
-Some of my responsibilities include putting patterns into repeat, making different color ways and keeping up with print packages that need to be sent out.  

  • Please describe a typical day.
- On a normal day I will scan in some designs and put them into repeat, mainly stripe layouts and plaids and after that is done it then needs to get approved by the designer.  Then I will create a package for it to be sent overseas so we can get strike offs. Sometimes I will also work on mood boards for a trend and color ways for that trend based on chosen inspiration. 

  •  What sort of projects are you working on? Who do you work with?
-I am working on a collection of about 5 prints right now that I will present to the manager of design and the buying manager at the end of my internship. I work with the print team and color team closely but also with the fashion designers and the trend team.  

 

 

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Textile Designer Interns at Free People

Senior Textile Designer Megan Kohl is having a great summer interning with Free People at their corporate headquarters at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. 


Megan responded to a few questions about her experience:
  • How did you land this internship?
-I got this internship after an interview with Urban Outfitters at the career fair at school, which then led me to this position.  
  • What are your responsibilities?
-Some of my responsibilities include putting patterns into repeat, making different color ways and keeping up with print packages that need to be sent out.  

  • Please describe a typical day.
- On a normal day I will scan in some designs and put them into repeat, mainly stripe layouts and plaids and after that is done it then needs to get approved by the designer.  Then I will create a package for it to be sent overseas so we can get strike offs. Sometimes I will also work on mood boards for a trend and color ways for that trend based on chosen inspiration. 

  •  What sort of projects are you working on? Who do you work with?
-I am working on a collection of about 5 prints right now that I will present to the manager of design and the buying manager at the end of my internship. I work with the print team and color team closely but also with the fashion designers and the trend team.  

 

 

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The Basketball Tournament Comes to PhilaU This Weekend

TBT

PhilaU hosts The Basketball Tournament for the third consecutive year.

For the third consecutive year, Philadelphia University will host the Northeast Regional of The Basketball Tournament (TBT). Alumni teams from Villanova, Temple and LaSalle, as well as former New York Knicks and Syracuse players, will be among those competing for the $2 million prize at the Gallagher Center on Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.

PhilaU’s Peter Alexis ’16 and Christian Burns ’07, who won the DII National Player of the Year award as a Ram, will be playing for the North Street Bullies.

“We are proud to have joined TBT at the tournament’s inception in 2014,” said PhilaU’s Director of Athletics Tom Shirley. “We have watched it grow for three years and have proven to be a great site to enjoy the event.”

More than 300 teams applied to play in TBT this year, including more than 400 players with professional experience and 130 with NBA experience. A total of 135 teams met the eligibility requirements to compete.

Opening rounds began last weekend in Charlotte and Los Angeles, and continue this weekend in Chicago and Philadelphia. The Super 16 takes place at the Gallagher Center on July 21-23 (which will be covered on ESPNU/ESPN2/ESPN3), and the semifinals and winner-take-all championship final–to be aired on ESPN–head to New York July 30 and Aug. 2, respectively.

See all the teams competing here. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by visiting this link.

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PhilaU Industrial Design Students Create Back-To-School Products for Target

Target products 2016

Designed by PhilaU students, the Plika (top) and Sidekick are now available at Target.

In collaboration with Target and design firm Umbra, two Philadelphia University industrial design students and two recent alumni are having their products manufactured and sold as part of the mega-retailer’s back-to-school line.

Under the label Loft by Umbra, the items are now available online and on the shelves of Target’s almost 1,800 stores.

The PhilaU designers and their products are:

Industrial design seniors Aria Lee and Jacob  Brosius with their Target products.

Seniors Aria Lee and Jacob Brosius with their Target products.

Jacob Brosius ’17: Sidekick, a holder for credit and debit cards, school IDs, money and keys (buy it here and here).

Aria Lee ’17: Plika, a floating wall organizer (buy it here and here).

Nick Friez ’16: Bunky, a bedside stand to hold electronics and books (buy it here).

Sam Pawlak ’16: Cacti, a multi-surface desktop organizer (buy it here).

The student designers and PhilaU’s industrial design program will share royalties on sales of the items, which range in price from $7.99 to $19.99. The products by recent graduates Friez and Pawlak were first sold last summer and Target brought them back for the 2016 back-to-school line.

The designs were developed as part of a junior-class design studio in fall 2014 and 2015 co-taught by Lyn Godley, associate professor of industrial design, and Michael Leonard, David and Lillian Rea Chair and academic dean, School of Design and Engineering, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce.

“The opportunity to not only work with a sponsor, which we do often in the industrial design program at PhilaU, but to have the students’ designs produced in volume and marketed through a major retail chain is invaluable,” Godley said. “The students also participated in after-design decisions that manufacturing demands, such as packaging designs for shipping and store display and pricing considerations.”

Jacob Brosius' Sidekick holds credit cards, school IDs, money and keys.

Jacob Brosius’ Sidekick holds credit cards, school IDs, money and keys.

The project, she said, also teaches students the importance of meeting market needs. “Many ideas in the classroom are good, but when they hit the market you realize if they are viable for a wide audience,” Godley said. “Students see how critical it is to understand that audience when it is linked to real-world sales and royalties based on those sales.”

For Target and Umbra, the PhilaU students bring not only top design skills to the table, but also first-hand knowledge of the challenges of living in dorm rooms and small spaces and the need for innovative solutions.

“When developing the idea for my product, I wanted to find a problem that applied to a wide range of college students,” said rising senior Brosius. “Sidekick takes into consideration that all students on campuses are required to carry a college ID and first-year students are usually required to live on campus. My design combines a way to store your ID, license and credit/debit card, as well as a pivoting slot to place your dorm key. It keeps all the college essentials together in one place.”

Brosius said he couldn’t have done the project without the guidance of Godley, Leonard and other industrial design faculty.

“They’re always pushing us to perform for the real world, and this was as real as it gets,” said Brosius, who is interning with noted PhilaU alumnus and benefactor Maurice Kanbar ’52, H’03, in San Francisco this summer. “It’s truly unreal to have a product out on the market, particular in Target—it’s a dream come true.”

Under the label Loft by Umbra, the items are now available online and on the shelves of Target’s almost 1,800 stores.

The items are now available online and on Target shelves.

Lee said the experience of creating Plika taught her what it means to be a working designer. Her idea initially grew out of a simple problem: items slipping between the bed and wall. Lee wanted to create an organizer that offered a solution, but could be used anyplace in the home.

“Throughout the project I kept thinking, ‘What did I need as a freshman? What would I benefit the most from?’” she said. “Starting college is very hectic and I was very unorganized. The wall shelf should act as a hub and an organizer, offering a place where all your most essential items live.”

This summer, Lee is interning with New York-based opera set designer Doug Fitch, and after graduation next May she would like to specialize in sustainable design or furniture design.

For recent graduate Friez, sharing the design process behind the Bunky was a focal point of his job interviews and he said the creation of his bedside storage space solution helped him land a job as associate product designer in Armstrong World Industries’ ceiling division.

“With this new position, I have so many opportunities to grow as a designer and learn new techniques from other designers and engineers,” said Friez, who interned for the retail design firm Fleetwood Fixtures last summer—another connection made because of his time at PhilaU.

Pawlak also now works as a designer at Armstrong World Industries and credits his PhilaU education, in particular the real-world industry experiences and networking opportunities facilitated by the industrial design department, with his job success.

“To have my product back on store shelves for a second year feels greatly rewarding and I’m forever thankful to my professors and Umbra for making this happen,” Pawlak said. “The exposure was a huge boost to my career.”

Click here to read about the PhilaU students who had their products sold as part of Target’s 2015 back-to-school line.

Industrial design students Nick Friez, Anthony Maladra, Chloe Muller and Sam Pawlak with their Target products from the 2015 back-to-school line.

Industrial design students Nick Friez, Anthony Maladra, Chloe Muller and Sam Pawlak with their Target products from the 2015 back-to-school line.

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PhilaU Alumna Creates Smart Glasses to Help Deaf Children Communicate: Observer

Philadelphia University alumna Renee Kakareka ’16 created a startup to develop and market smart glasses to help deaf children communicate, Observer reported July 8. Kakareka, founder and CEO of Olive Devices, first developed the glasses for her senior industrial design capstone.

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PhilaU Architecture Graduate Earns Top Honor in Dencity Competition

Lauren

Lauren Brosius, B.Arch ’15, won second place in the 2016 Dencity Competition.

Philadelphia University alumnus Lauren Brosius, B.Arch ’15, has earned second place in the 2016 Dencity Competition, a design contest that works to foster new ideas on how to better handle the growing density of unplanned cities and to spread awareness of this global problem.

A continuation of her PhilaU thesis project for architecture professor Chris Harnish, her winning submission focused on Alexandra Township in Johannesburg, South Africa, home to a fluctuating population of 350,000 to 700,000 people in a 2 square mile area.

“Alexandra is characterized by the residents’ struggle for the right to remain in the city,” Brosius explained. “The intent of this project was to understand growing urban centers and design an effective, yet personalized solution that addressed housing and infrastructure. My thesis statement which drove all of my research and design was: A more effective government housing strategy focused on user participation, flexibility and micro-grids may receive greater user satisfaction and control infrastructure challenges and urban density.”

She won $1,500, and her work will be published in several international online magazines.

“We congratulate Lauren for addressing the global challenge of informal communities,” said David Breiner, associate dean for the College of Architecture and the Built Environment. “In her award-winning scheme, she proposes a practical solution that recognizes how people actually live in codependent environments, and in doing so, she helps raise the profile of our College and University. Lauren’s interest in South Africa reflects recent opportunities that many of our architecture students have had working with professor Chris Harnish, whose specialty is humanitarian architecture in Africa.”

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PhilaU Represents at Philadelphia Design Summit

news_program_designerlyloveThe Philadelphia University Graphic Design program was well represented at a recently convened Philadelphia Design Summit gathering of Philadelphia area graphic designers. Ellen Shapiro, Contributing Editor for HOW Magazine, was in town and wanted to speak with a cross section of designers as she will be writing a feature story in an upcoming issue of HOW Magazine on Philadelphia as a City of Design. Tentatively entitled “Philadelphia: The City of Designerly Love,” look for the article soon.

In attendance at the gathering (back row from left to right): Professor and Program Director Frank Baseman, Philadelphia University and Baseman Design Associates; Matt Bouloutian, Modern Good; Max Vandenberg and Paul Kepple, Headcase Design; Brian Jacobson, J2 Design; Woody Harrington, The Heads of State; Ellen Shapiro, Contributing Editor for HOW Magazine; Kristian Summerer (PhilaU GDC, 1999), Machinery Philly; (front row from left to right): Ken Cills, Machinery Philly; Kevin Kernan, GD Loft; Associate Professor Maribeth Kradel Weitzel, Philadelphia University and Kradel Design; Allen Espiritu, GD Loft; and Adjunct Professor Steve DeCusatis, Steve DeCusatis Design. Not pictured, Assistant Professor Renee Walker, Philadelphia University and Gold Collective. Ellen also visited with Stephen Penning (PhilaU GDC, 2000) of 160over90.

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PhilaU’s Sunderland Develops Rowing Apparel for Olympics: Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, Singapore News and others

Philadelphia University textile engineer Mark Sunderland created innovative seamless rowing apparel with an antimicrobial finish that will be used at the Rio Olympics, reported the Kansas City Star, Miami HeraldSingapore News, Popular Science and other national and international media outlets.

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Teaching Chess to Young Children: An Industry Sponsored Project

chess1

In Fall 2016, the Package Design course, taught by Associate Professor Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel, had the unique opportunity to partner with Chess At Three, a New York based company that teaches chess to children as young as age three through a dynamic, character-driven curriculum. Chess at Three came to the graphic design program with a set of hilarious and creative stories that attached individual character personas to each chess piece to explain how that piece would move. For example, King Shakees (one of the king pieces) only moves one square at a time in any direction because he is extremely cautious. He lives in a castle made of pillows!

Using the stories as a jumping off point, students worked to create a visual culture around the existing narrative. Students created packaging, book, character and game piece component proposals. A select group of three students moved forward with the work as their capstone project in the spring semester.

chess5

Veronica Llamas (’16, currently employed at Muhlenhaupt + Company, llc), Nicole Meyer ('16, currently employed at McCann Humancare) and Caroline Noebels (’16, currently employed at Push10) all worked diligently on the project throughout the spring semester, and the results are stellar. Their work involved intense collaboration with the client and other disciplines at the university. As the project evolved in complexity, it became clear that industrial design and textile/fashion expertise were also necessary. Faculty members Mike Leonard and Todd Kramer shared knowledge with the students and was critical in the success of this project. The students also gained experience with overseas sourcing and production. It is one thing to design something conceptually effective for all stakeholders, but the challenge is compounded when financial feasibility is a high priority.

chess2 chess3

The final project consists of a game board, chess pieces, removable character pieces with plastic bases, instructional cards with scene illustrations and a magnetic closure box that doubles as a play theater to hold it all. Additionally, the students created a fully illustrated storybook with a dust jacket that folds out to reveal a map of "The Isle of Chesstonia"—the magical land inhabited by the characters. There is also a reversible storage bag that allows children to choose their allegiance to either of the kings.

chess6 chess4

The project received commendation as this year’s Best Capstone Project and also received a university Entrepreneurship Award. With accolades like that, it is no surprise that Veronica, Nicole and Caroline are all employed in impressive positions!

We hope this project will be available for purchase soon. Tyler Schwartz, president and CEO of Chess at Three stated, “We ultimately want to get this in every home in America.” Stay tuned to the blog for updates!

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