Industrial Design Student Wins Prestigious Collab Competition

Philadelphia University sophomore Industrial Design student Jordan Cammarata has won the prestigious Collab Student Design Competition, sponsored by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for his clever and whimsical pull chain-inspired lamp design.

Cammarata’s winning design was selected by a six-judge panel of international design experts out of a field of 70 students from six regional design programs.

“I was thrilled, excited and honored to win this competition,” Cammarata said.

“The judges were unanimous in their selection of Jordan Cammarata’s ‘PULL’ lamp as the first-place winner,” said Roberta H. Gruber, Collab educational chair. “He did a fantastic job of research and development specific to the competition.”

The 17th annual Collab competition, which took place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Nov. 16, was held in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Marcel Wanders: Daydreams, celebrating the innovative work of the Dutch designer. Wanders, who received Collab’s 2009 Design Excellence Award, and Cammarata were honored for their work at a Nov. 21 awards ceremony at the Art Museum.”

For this year’s competition, students were asked to design a “tabletop luminaire” that considers the way Marcel Wanders examines history and his innovative use of materials and technology in designing objects that connect to the human experience, Gruber said.

Cammarata’s lamp, named PULL by the designer, is a contemporary interpretation of Harvey Hubbell’s iconic pull chain socket, which was patented in 1896.

“By pulling the chain, which is also the stand, the light glows from the pull chain itself. The off-center position of the pull chain, inspired by its natural orientation, is counterintuitive to the casual observer. PULL embodies the creative use of materials and unconventional style characteristic of Marcel Wander’s work,” according to Cammarata’s description of his wining design.

“In our sophomore year design class, we focus on the playful and communicative side of design,” said Gotz Unger, director of Philadelphia University’s Industrial Design program. “Jordan’s witty design surprises in its maturity and the way in which it engages the dialogue about Marcel Wander’s work.”

“He had very clunky prototypes, but in the end, it turned out amazing,” Jason Lempieri, who teaches the sophomore design class with Mark Havens, said of Cammarata’s lamp. “There was a lot of charm in his piece.”

Cammarata said the six judges noted that his design worked on many levels: it met the brief, had an element of surprise – you pull the chain and expect the lamp to light, not the chain itself –creatively used materials and was well-crafted and executed.

“This year’s student design competition was one of the strongest in the history of the event, and resulted in a number of inventive and beautifully crafted projects,” said Kathryn Hiesinger, curator of modern and contemporary design for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The annual Collab competition offers an exceptional opportunity for students to experience the rigors of competition and have industry leaders from around the world judge their work.

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