Mentors Help Students “Design This!”

May 03, 2011

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) New York Chapter held its first annual Design This! Event, which brought together New York design students and architecture and interior design professionals to design a "secret product." Winners of the event, Karen Villanueva and Cinthia Chuang, are both from the New York School of Interior Design.

The product design event was inspired by the TV show, "Iron Chef America", in which the unveiling of a "secret ingredient" starts the competition. Student teams designed a product and presented their concepts to a panel of professional guest judges from the industrial and interior design communities. The winning design will be prototyped by the sponsor, Watermark Designs, a local manufacturer based in Brooklyn, NY.

Jack Abel, Vice President of Watermark Designs, was present at the event and helped answer technical questions for the student teams. “I was very impressed to see the sophisticated marriage of technology and design in the student’s work,” said Abel. “We made up a word, ‘neogeo,’ and asked the teams to design a faucet in reaction to the word. Every team came up with a model that integrated technology in some way. Several of the designs also used a mix of materials such as wood or glass in addition to metal.”

At the end of the event, the teams presented their work to a panel of guest judges. “The presentation process can be just as important as the design,” said Abel. “Students need to learn how to present their work with enthusiasm. The competition was a great way for the participants to see the entire design process as a simulated real-world experience.”
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