Student designers show promise

By Roger Renstrom

Published: August 14, 2012 6:00 am ET

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Topics Design

DULLES, VA. (Aug. 14, 2:45 p.m. ET) — Eight student designs won gold honors in the 2012 International Design Excellence Awards, organized by Industrial Designers Society of America in Dulles.

 Ji A You of Seoul, South Korea, and Alex Cabunoc of Los Angeles, both seventh-term students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., were recognized for their design of the human-powered GiraDora clothes washer and spin dryer. For under $40, GiraDora can more than double clothes washing productivity and create an opportunity to begin breaking the poverty cycle. The user sits on top of a drum-like appliance and pumps a foot pedal. The drum, pedal and seat are high density polyethylene, the tub is injection molded nylon and the seat cushion is a 2-pound-per-cubic-foot polyurethane foam covered with waterproof polyester-coated fabrics.

Kimberly Chow of Orange County, Calif., a sixth-term student at the Art Center College, won for the Balde a Balde portable faucet, which can deliver water from any container through a polyethylene tube. A universal ABS clip attaches the unit to a container. A squeeze of a rubber bulb on the siphon pump initiates a continuous flow of water. Tapping the spout turns the flow on or off, and twisting the polypropylene valve with its silicone seal and steel ball stopper regulates water volume. Balde a Balde, Spanish for “bucket to bucket,” harnesses gravity to potentially bring running water to billions of people living without taps.

Ji with Cabunoc and Chow developed the GiraDora and Balde a Balde entries, respectively, in partnership with the Latin American non-government organization Un Techo Para Mi País, Spanish for “a roof for my country.” An Art Center innovation unit is a member of the nonprofit group. The student designers worked alongside families at Peruvian camps for the Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde SA mines to develop and test prototypes during late 2011.

Mike Kim of Fullerton, Calif., won for his Audionaut helmet promoting a branding “digifi” project for a high-fidelity audio symposium. The helmet uses fiberglass and medium-density fiberboard for low weight and sound dampening. The expanded polystyrene covering of the inner lining isolates noise and prevents the helmet from absorbing heat. As a polarizing artifact and marketing tool, the helmet is intended to represent the virtues of hi-fi audio and generate discussion among both enthusiasts and those in younger generations. Kim, an Art Center student in his final term, is also an industrial design intern at Google Inc.

Taiwanese students Sheng-Hung Lee of Taipei and Yu-Lin Chen of Tainan won for a family first-aid nursing kit of acrylic, ABS and silicone. Components include scissors of ABS and stainless steel, an ABS tape dispenser, tweezers of ABS and polypropylene and medicine bottle caps of acrylic and silicone. The kit is designed to blend into its surroundings. Typically, members of a Taiwanese family are not familiar with the concept of a first-aid kit. The students developed the project at the National Cheng Kung University. Chen received his industrial design degree in 2010 and works at New Design Dimension in Tainan. Lee is pursuing a degree in industrial design and electrical engineering and is scheduled to graduate in 2013.

Cenk Ayetekin of Izmir, Turkey, and John Lee of Rotorua, New Zealand, won for a medical toolkit for surface-mount microdialysis procedures. The graduate students at Umeå University’s Institute of Design in Umeå, Sweden, collaborated with SMD inventor Pernilla Abrahamsson and surgeons and nurses at Umeå Hospital. Some items in the kit contain ABS, ceramics and rubber. The glossy, smooth finish of the injection molded plastics facilitates meeting sterility goals. Ceramic rather than metal enables the pump to be used in magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans. Rubber and elastomeric materials are used for cables and a tube.

Seven students at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., won for their design of a utility bicycle they call the campus mini-velo. Materials include a plastic frame insert made using rapid prototyping, ABS cargo racks, reflective nylon retractable fenders, a custom saddle with a nylon shell and a Gates Corp. carbon non-stretch belt and pulley drive system. Credits go to the university, Teressa Hamje of Anchorage, Alaska; Jeremy Androschuk, Adam Horbinski, Heath Korvola and Matt Raphael, all of Portland, Ore.; Scott Warneke of Scappoose, Ore.; and Ian Kenny of Milwaukee.

Omer Haciomeroglu of Istanbul won for his C-Thru Smoke Diving Helmet, designed to aid firefighters in search-and-rescue missions. Materials include clothing of Nomex flame-resistant meta-aramid, D3O shock-absorbing material, high-temperature thermoplastics and retro-reflective glass. The designer worked with the fire brigade in Umeå, Sweden, in developing the concept. In May, he completed the master’s program in advanced product design at Umeå Institute of Design.

IDSA will present the 2012 IDEA awards in an Aug. 18 ceremony during the society’s conference in Boston. At that event, IDSA will disclose the best-in-show, people’s choice, curator’s choice and responsibility award winners.

The society started the IDEA program in 1980. Entries for the 2012 competition came from 30 countries.

Partners and media sponsors for the 2012 IDEAs are Core77 Inc. of New York, Avalon Media LLC’s Curve magazine of New York, Faces of Design GmbH’s web portal of Berlin, Germany, Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Wash., and multinational Web publisher Yanko Design.


Student designers show promise

By Roger Renstrom

Published: August 14, 2012 6:00 am ET

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