Last Friday Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, where I began teaching within Product Design last quarter, held an open house to celebrate its new building. A Robert Venturi building reconfigured with many layers of half floors by MS&R Architects, I’ve been wondering just what else is going on here. Though I’ve had an opportunity to explore during my weekly trips to Philly, it was great to get completely lost in the maze-like structure and happen upon work by other departments.
A large green screen in Digital Media’s Motion Capture Studio, top; spools of yarn in Fashion’s knitwear studio.
Some cool things I found: students busy working on their collections in Fashion (Spring Fashion Show will be June 6!), a research funded video game in Digital Media Replay Lab to help children with motion deficiencies, an enormous green screen room, and great boards and models to explore in both Architecture and Interior Design. In Product Design, we showed off our super open studio layout and facilities, including our Maker Bot that churned out Mario Dragons.
An exploration in Interior and Architecture, top; laser cut dragon by a Product Design student.
It’s inspiring to know that some very cool stuff is going on in the whole Media Arts and Design community. I’m looking forward to getting lost some more this summer.
Enjoying the light and brisk air of a late afternoon happy hour in what just may finally be spring-like weather with Sara McBeen and her lovely blue layering (with just a touch of red).
It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and there’s a lot to catch up on here! The most exciting thing that has happened (besides the temperature staying above freezing) has been the completion of my design research class at Drexel University. I was really proud to see my group of product design, engineering and business majors tackle the process of engaging users and finding inspiration from real peoples’ needs for their designs. At just 10 weeks, the quarter system is pretty intense, and I was amazed at the work accomplished.
After lectures and individual exercises structured to prepare the students to speak with users and frame findings, the class broke into five groups based on topics brainstormed by the students. The final consisted of a presentation, ideation models, and the unveiling of a final design direction.
Top left, Team Fridge demonstrates accessibility with a full-size prototype; top right, Project Backpack crew with sewn (you know I loved this) mock-ups; bottom left and right, Team Shoe explorations and models for a more ergonomic heel.
I’d like to congratulate Teams Fridge, Holographic Projection, Clock, Shoe, and Backpack. I can’t even describe how awesome of an experience it was getting to know the students and see how they responded to research with critical and creative thinking.
I wish them all good luck with co-ops and next quarters, and can’t wait to see everyone back in Philly soon.
Testing out my newly finished shirt: a button-up made from Japanese flannel. More details in an upcoming post.
Photo by Nina D’Amario.
Some fantastic finds at Uniqlo yesterday. I always love to see how they treat the button-up, and I secured some nice spring shirts and two scarves.
Some details I appreciate: the square sleeve tie on the dotted shirt and the (not shown) shortened cuffs, and the contrast of a dark, heavy toned plaid on a lightweight, almost sheer fabric in a boxy cut.
I’ll start layering these straight away, and the scarves will easily take me from any lingering snow flurries to the upcoming light jacket days.
Button Placement, at last: Now that 5 days of exhausting focus group prep and execution are over, I finally get to place button holes and buttons on my grey and black checked flannel shirt. Really love the metal buttons I chose.
Great no-bullshit video for this Kickstarter campaign from duo Blake & Whyte. Plus these guys are doing it all- from concept to fabrication- in my home city of New York. I’m sold; I’ll take the early bird Oxford Button down and Sweatshirt. First 100 of each design are offered at a ridiculous deal and signed by Mr. Blake and Mr. Whyte.
Good luck, guys!
Manufacture New York is an organization with an inspirational goal: to provide working spaces and a support network for designers and fabricators to make clothing and accessories locally. They’ve recently launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to help them get physical.
New York used to be the center of the garment industry. There’s still a bustling garment district, but it’s a shell of what it historically was. The good news is that there are a TON of folks making things here again. But with real estate and space at a premium, sometimes it’s hard to get stuff done. And studios aren’t cheap, either.
What’s really fantastic about Manufacture NY’s model is that it doesn’t just offer space- it’s also an incubator. As someone who’s shared communal studio space both rented and while in school, having tools to share and people to talk with greatly enhances one’s work.
Future home of Manufacture NY headquarters.
Here’s more from their Indie GoGo project page:
Our goal is to raise funds for the space, equipment, and jobs. The space will include manufacturing facilities, a fully-equipped sampling room, a classroom space (open to the public), private studios for rent, and a state-of-the art computer lab equipped with the industry’s best software for design and production. We will also offer an area for experimentation with eco-friendly fabric washes, dyeing, textile applications, and finishes.
Manufacture NY plans to make a home in Sunset Park in Industry City. They’re hoping to raise $100,000 and have just over a month left in their campaign. Check them out and their rewards: the coolest of which is the “Designer 2 for 1 Special,” which includes two months membership at the incubator. Help support local design and collaborative networks!