The Industrial Designers Society of America named Paul Down and Lou Lenzi to its Academy of Fellows during its national conference Sept. 10-13 in Phoenix.
Down was characterized as ``truly one of the quiet giants of IDSA,'' an achiever with over two decades of involvement at the national level and within the society's education council and Midwest chapter. Down is associate professor and industrial design program coordinator at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
Lenzi was called ``an outstanding design leader, visionary and role model'' for his multiple contributions to the society. In 1997, he received an IDSA certificate of gratitude for voluntary work. Lenzi is senior vice president of product management for Audiovox Corp.'s accessories subsidiary in Carmel, Ind. Previously, Lenzi was with IBM Corp., Thomson SA consumer electronics and General Electric Co.
IDSA presented 2008 education awards to Lorraine Justice, head of the industrial design program at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Craig Vogel, professor in the school of design and director of the center for design research and innovation at the University of Cincinnati. Justice and Vogel have logged multiple achievements benefiting the society over many years.
In a first, IDSA named a young educator of the year, from among individuals with less than 10 years of teaching experience.
The winner, Ann-Marie Conrado, began teaching at the University of Notre Dame in 2006. Earlier, she was with Chicago-based Insight Product Development LLC as an industrial design manager; a representative of the Marwen Foundation, working with underprivileged children in Chicago's inner city; and an educator in rural villages assisting refugee children in Nepal.
She takes students to Nepal using funds from grant proposals and works to support rural tradespeople in establishing marketable products.
IDEA presents awards
Conference attendees selected the concept of a Balance Sports Wheelchair as the People's Choice Award in the 2008 International Design Excellence Awards competition. The concept includes multiple uses of polymers and reinforcement materials.
Ricky Biddle of Glenview, Ill., accepted the recognition on behalf of the design team, which also included Eric Larson of Chicago; Ben Shao of Stevensville, Mich.; and Austin Cliffe of DeKalb, Ill. Their concept involves a wheelchair with a hands-free braking system and turning capability allowing an athlete to maintain control without using his hands.
While students at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, the designers began developing the concept in 2003 as an academic project. They received a grant of $16,400 from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance and created an early prototype in 2006. They now seek to commercialize the concept.
The IDEA contest judges accorded special recognition to two best-in-show IDEA award winners: the multifunctional iPhone from Apple Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., and the product-fitting design research project, SizeChina, from five academic, government and corporate entities.
Dulles, Va.-based IDSA and BusinessWeek magazine cosponsor the annual competition.
* A race car from design firm Altitude Inc. of Somerville, Mass., won the fastest and best exploration categories of the IBM Corp.-sponsored Ultimate Derby. Evan Gant headed an Altitude team that included mechanical engineer Alex Tee, studio head Philip Leung and industrial designer Travis Hosler. A car from M3 Design Inc. of Round Rock, Texas, won the derby's award for the entry deliberately finishing slowest. Senior industrial designers Kevin Sloan and Vincent Lam and mechanical engineer Austin Orand created the entry. A car from Design Continuum Inc. of West Newton, Mass., won the most-fun category. ... IDSA holds its 2009 conference Sept. 23-26 in Miami Beach, Fla., with Bruce Claxton of Motorola Inc. as event chairman.