2003 Student Design Review Honorable Mention

Posted inID Mag

Networked Literature: The Parables of Jesus

Arthur Kuhn
University of Cincinnati: DAAP

In his Networked Literature project, Arthur Kuhn, a graphic-design student at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, presents an interactive forum for reading text on a computer. Kuhn selected the New Testament principally for its multifaceted structure, then used Director Shockwave 3D to build an online environment, sampling pieces of parchment paper and images of the Dead Sea Scrolls for an atmospheric background. With two contrasting fonts-Century for the biblical text and Helvetica Neue for hyperlinked commentary-and the assistance of Microsoft’s Strategic Commander, users can access the commentary from a three-dimensional interface, which visually represents the myriad relationships among parables. Probst praised the work as an “innovative use of digital technology and typography.”

Great Scientist’s Posters Collection

Martin Allais, Oswaldo Pena, Federico Parra, Liu Prato, Deryck Morales, Marcos Arevalo, Jenny Cabral

As part of an institutional exchange between the Venezuela Museum of Sciences and the ProDiseño School of Visual Communication, both in Caracas, 20 graphic-design students collaborated on a series of 42 posters about groundbreaking scientists, including Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, Louis Pasteur, Marie Curie, and Stephen Hawking. The museum used the posters in its strategic communication program and as the basis for an interactive exhibition about the science of design. “It was a good exercise,” said Probst. “I like that they all learned about different topics and shared the information with the whole class.”

Grant Report, National Recreation Foundation Erin Holloway
VA Commonwealth University

“It does what it has to do, but it goes a step further,” said Smith of Erin Holloway’s design for the National Recreation Foundation’s grant report, which she created in response to an assignment to take on a project for a nonprofit organization. Working with a $5,000 budget, Holloway, a graphic-design student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, used a limited color palette-white, gray, and orange-and a roadmap theme to highlight the foundation’s receipt of five major grants from different U.S. cities. The resulting “travel guide” contains photos that illustrate the work performed by each of the NRF’s disparate agencies. “With minimal means, she produced a very elegant brochure,” said Probst. “The simple, straightforward layout is compelling, sophisticated, and dignified.”


Hisako Ichiki
Southern CA Institute of Architecture
Takao Umehara
Art Center College of Design

For an independent-study course, Hisako Ichiki, an architecture student at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, and Takao Umehara, a graphic-design student at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, produced a book-cum-broom that represents common products as they might be seen for the first time-by aliens. Inside the fringed plastic cover of EXTRA-Ordinary, colorful photographs show a battery that could be used to knead body parts or enhance breast size, an adhesive bandage that works as a dust collector or pen holder, and a sponge that doubles as a coffee filter. “A good example of reviewing forgotten simplicities,” Smith said.

p:ear identity

Danny Seim
The Art Institute of Portland

Students in an advanced art direction class at Oregon’s Art Institute of Portland were asked to redesign the identity of p:ear (program: education, art, recreation), a local nonprofit program that fosters artistic expression among homeless youth. On the basis of some initial logo sketches, graphic-design major Danny Seim was selected to complete the project. With the help of other students in the class, Seim designed a more organic look for the organization’s collateral material. He specified an earthy color palette and recycled paper for all the printed matter, including mission statement, letterhead, donation card, and brochure, and hand-rendered a new font and logo. Probst called the identity “fresh, spontaneous, clean, and organized.”

Prattonia 2002

Avi Kravitz
Pratt Institute

For their senior project, communication-design students Avi Kravitz, Anita Chacinska, Lauren Giordano, and Eric Elms of New York’s Pratt Institute designed their school yearbook, Prattonia 2002, as a set of baseball trading cards. The front of each 2.5 x 3.5-inch card features a student portrait and a color-coded band at the bottom with the student’s name and major. On the back, quotes overlay atmospheric photographs of the campus. Arranged nine to a page-a page being a nine-slot plastic sleeve-the individual cards form a larger image. The designers hoped to make the book interactive by encouraging students to trade cards and rearrange the pages. “The concept drives it,” noted Smith. “It gives you the tools to customize your own memories of school.”

Space Magazine

Julia Hoffman

With Space Magazine, Julia Hoffman, a graphic-design major at New York’s School of Visual Arts, reinterpreted an IKEA publication of the same name. But unlike the Swedish company’s version, essentially a magazine-length advertisement, Hoffman’s concept plays with the word space by exploring its multiple meanings: private, public, and outer. Starting with a three-dimensional table of contents-a pair of 3D glasses are tipped-in for viewing-the oversize magazine is filled with boxy type treatments, off-grid photo arrangements, and a thoughtful balance of in-depth articles and lighthearted text. “It has a beautiful rhythm to it,” Probst said of the portfolio-class project. “There’s a new surprise each time and a nice balance between visual and verbal information.”

The Men the Carrier or Der Tragen de Meunsch

Ti el Attar

For his thesis project, Ti el Attar, an industrial-design student at Germany’s University of Wuppertal, cre
ated a layered system of plastic modular compartments specifically for the urban man. The first layer, Secret, a kind of treasure chest for important items, is accessible only through an opening at the bottom of the bag. Showtime, the second layer, is a decorative plastic display case for exhibiting objects of symbolic importance. The last layer, Spider, which stretches over Secret, is meant for outdoor gear and other possessions that can withstand exposure to the elements. Although both jurors had reservations about the practicality of The Men-The Carrier, Probst commended its uniqueness, noting, “It explores how you can carry things in a modern environment.”

Universal Agricultural System

Nick Tinsler
University of Cincinnati

Tackling a major problem for American farmers-costly, bulky, and infrequently used machines for specific tasks-Nick Tinsler, an industrial-design student at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, created the Universal Agricultural System. The project, which complies with all American farming standards, integrates several functions into a single machine with multiple attachments. Thus, a drive unit with combine attachment would allow farmers to replace the drive without having to change the more costly combine. The design maintains the familiar look of agricultural equipment because, according to the farm-raised Tinsler, farmers aren’t used to big changes. “Classic industrial design at its best,” is how Probst described the project. “He identified a need and then devised a system that would truly be an improvement.”


Ahmad Sami Angawi
Pratt Institute

Ahmad Sami Angawi’s Sijada, which means “prayer rug” in Arabic, is both an all-purpose messenger-style bag and a cushioned mat for daily worship. Angawi, an industrial-design student at New York’s Pratt Institute, undertook the project for a course in soft prototypes and was motivated by the need for a stylish, comfortable carrying case that would allow him to integrate religious practice with his academic life. With a suede exterior, silver hardware, and a water-resistant nylon liner on the detachable mat, the product earned high praise from jurors for its versatility. Probst observed, “It’s a nice, ordinary product that has spirituality built into it.”

Ski design for Nordic backcountry

Ernest Dawson McCrank
University of Calgary

Smith described University of Calgary industrial-design student Ernest McCrank’s project as “a high-tech evolution of the snowshoe.” Developed for McCrank’s master’s thesis project, the ski is not a piece of high-performance equipment but standard gear for people living in rural snowy regions. The biomimetic design was modeled in part on the propulsive action of the water strider, an insect that uses the surface tension of the water/air boundary to move. The ski is constructed of a woven fiberglass top sheet, a lightweight foam core with steel edges, and a ribbed base for stability. A pair of nylon “quillsets,” or lateral panels, deploys upon rearward and downward movement to sinter snow crystals and support the user.

Health Scarf

Philip Madden

Assigned to design a mechanical cleaning device for the near future, University of Cincinnati industrial-design student Philip Madden came up with the Health Scarf, “a personal environmental cleanser” for people who need extra protection against airborne pollutants. The battery-operated organic-cotton scarf takes in air through tiny recycled-plastic openings and purifies it with an integrated corona discharge ionizer. Output occurs far away from the user’s breathing space. As air is pumped around the tubular garment, it passes through an anti-fungal sponge that can be soaked with water for humidity or in medicine for vapor. Probst said, “It turns a medical or therapeutic object into a fashion statement.”


Simon de Jong

Required to work with an existing company to devise a new product, Hanna Hellman, Erik Huijs, Marcelle van Beusekom, Joost Fluitsma, Arjen Broere, and Simon de Jong-all industrial-design students at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands-teamed up with TNS, a Dutch firm specializing in rehabilitation gear for people with mobility problems. After six months of research and testing, the students, who call themselves buro6, produced Pegasus, a walking aid named after the winged horse of Greek mythology. Designed to help physically impaired people get around and relearn how to walk on their own, the two-wheeled contraption has sturdy handles and a hydraulic spring system that adjusts the seat height for easier mounting and dismounting. Users steer by displacing their body weight and brake by pulling backward on the handles. Smith praised the Pegasus as “a solution to a problem that exists with on-foot mobility.”

“Think” Scooter Project

Elizabeth Yoon
College for Creative Studies

When designing a new electric scooter for a project sponsored by Ford, Elizabeth Yoon, an industrial-design student at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, looked at problems with the current crop of scooters, such as poor security, minimal cargo space, and limited battery-charging sources. She proposed a rounded body shape that looks like a C in the riding position and an O when stationary, thanks to an adjustable seat that curves out to lock into the dashboard when the scooter is parked on the street or docked at a charging station. A removable semicircular storage compartment, with enough cargo room for two helmets and plenty of gear, comes equipped with a handle and wheels for easy lugging. Smith described the bike’s curved form as “one feature that does a lot,” adding, “It’s a great diversion from other city transportation concepts.”

Apollo 2 Magnetic Light

Guy Blashki

Guy Blashki, an industrial-design student at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, describes his Apollo 2 as an exploration of light, something he took on as whimsical counterbalance to the rigorous demands of his highly technical thesis project (designing an endoscopic suturing device for facial reconstructive surgery). Composed of neodymium (rare earth) magnets and thin electrical wires, the fixture features 24 LEDs that light up, not with the flick of a switch but only after one of the fist-sized translucent pods is guided up toward another, at which point the magnetic attraction pulls it away from the user’s control and triggers illumination. “A beautiful, poetic product,” Smith said, “that brings human interaction back into product design.”

Something Created: A Poem House

Sara McDuffee & Jessica Schulte
University of Detroit Mercy

For an assignment to create a temporary environment for work by a Detroit poet, Jessica Schulte and Sara McDuffee of the University of Detroit Mercy used lighter fluid to write the verses on sheets of muslin fabric, then burned the words into the cloth and strung the sheets around a local abandoned house. The fabric tore, deteriorated, and eventually blew away in the wind, and the house itself was demolished. In the end, Probst noted, “They honored the house.”

Top Drawer Realty

Janie Lovelle Kronk
The Ohio State University

“In the realm of portable architecture, this is an interesting solution,” said Smith of Top Drawer Realty, a conceptual housing project by architecture student Janie Lovelle Kronk of Ohio State University in Columbus. According to Kronk, who designed the prototype for an assignment in “future housing,” the expandable/contractible dwelling meets the needs of students and artists, two groups known for shifting household numbers. By opening up in multiple directions via oversized drawers, doors, and sliding panels, the system offers tenants more flexible living arrangements. The vertically organized units include outer shells that roll up to create additional space between the second floor and the roof, and walls that slide open to reveal stairs connecting adjacent units. “It’s like having adjoining hotel rooms but in your house,” Smith said.

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