Industrial Design Students Develop Innovative Products at Sprint Challenge

Philadelphia University’s Industrial Design (ID) Program presented designs from the seventh-annual student “Sprint” Challenge in The Kanbar Campus Center Jan. 28.

The challenge, which ran from Jan. 22 through 28, charged students to reinvent every day products – such as microwave ovens, park benches, parking meters, hair dryers, smoke alarms, plug strips, humidifiers and coffee makers that were judged by industry professionals, University faculty, staff and alumni.

“The Sprint Challenge gives students the opportunity to experience product design under real-world constraints, such as limited time and resources,” said Mike Leonard, associate professor of Industrial Design, who co-coordinates the competition each year.  “It’s also a great way for the students to learn what it’s like to work as a team, to collaborate with other disciplines, and to acquaint themselves with their peers and professors.”

Twenty-four teams, consisting of more than 115  first- through fourth-year ID students plus faculty, staff and student experts from outside industrial design, worked tirelessly for six days to deliver functional models and visual presentations in time for the Jan. 28 judging.

They presented, explained and modeled their creations to fellow students, faculty, staff and industry professionals who judged in two categories: the ability to patent the product and the people’s choice (the product you would most likely use).

Cheers were heard when the winners were announced at the end of the day Wednesday. The top patent award was given to Team 15 for their innovative approach to redesigning the fire alarm. Team members included Jeremy Leeds-Frank, Nick Mykulak, Timothy Brown, Sun Ho Lee and David Lang. Assisting the team were Nick Chicirda, a graphic design student, and Cynthia Haynes, associate professor of Occupational Therapy.

The people’s choice award was given to Team 10 who created a cordless hair dryer designed for the corner of a countertop. Team members included Lorrayne Porreca-Donato, Kevin Byrne, Kristopher Pepper, Christopher Skodi and Cory Schwarm.

The next step – after the students have a chance to rest – is to take products from the challenge and try to patent and license the designs, added Leonard. All products presented at the Sprint Challenge will now be evaluated by students in the Business Innovations course taught by Steven Frumkin, associate professor of Business Administration.

The winning designs will be on display in the Gutman Library during the month of February.

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