As anyone who attended Kendall (or any college for that matter) knows, the last two weeks of the semester are jam-packed putting the last minute touches on presentations.
During the last week of April, I was invited by three classes to attend student presentations.
First up: Industrial Design taught by Tom Edwards. I’ve attended this class presentation in the past, and it’s always a lot of fun.
At the beginning of the semester, these sophomores were visited by product development and marketing representatives of Chervon, a privately held company that designs and develops power tool products for major retailers under private label brands. The students were challenged to develop a product in a particular category, using Chervon’s core competencies, which includes motors, lithium batteries, injection molding, and electronics.
This semester’s challenge was to develop an affordable, battery-powered kitchen appliance. The results ranged from a device that can be placed on the edge of a pot for automatic stirring, to a counter-top hand-washer. The favorite of the focus group assembled by Chervon was a device that can both warm and cool beverages, simply by inserting its coils into a glass.
Later that same afternoon, I went to the final presentation of Gayle DeBruyn’s Collaborative Design class. I love attending presentations by this class, because their projects are innovative and thought provoking.
This time the students, mostly seniors, represented Interior Design, Graphic Design, and Jewelry/Metals. Their project came from the school itself: How can we become more sustainable? For the second year, Kendall participated in Recyclemania, coming in 10th place in Waste Minimization, and in the top 5 overall, which is great, but the students wanted to do more. They began with polling the student body about the topic of sustainability—doing more good than harm—then devised methods that Kendall could employ to make the school more sustainable. Their suggestions ranged from simple ideas, such as permanent recycling containers throughout the school, to promoting the new Wege Center for Sustainability. They developed a premium for donors to the center: A small certificate attached to a wood piece laser-engraved with three words: People, Planet and Profit.
Lastly, I went to Peter Jacob’s Furniture Design Thesis Class. Although the actual class had only five students presenting, the room was full, as students came to hear a presentation by guest Paul Hebert, Vice President of Sales for HFI Brands.
The presentations reflected the sensibilities of this group of designers, some of whom are already making their professional mark. Style, sustainability, small space living, organization and of course, affordability were some of the features of many of the pieces presented.
I am continuously amazed by the creativity, imagination, and industry knowledge of Kendall students, and this week’s presentations were no exception.
– Pamela Patton