Throughout the fall semester, ISD students taking the Design Science 501 course collaborated on design projects. This unique interdisciplinary engineering course was taught by ISD chair Panos Papalambros and used a data-driven approach to identify product ideas that could solve everyday issues. At the culmination of the semester, twelve groups of Design Science 501 students presented their projects at the Fall 2017 Design Expo on December 7th.
Project teams presented a wide variety of designs in response to the various problems they were working to solve. One team focused on difficulties that deaf and hard of hearing students face in academic settings. Their project, “Untapped Waves”, offered a discreet solution for students who are unable to hear an instructor’s lecture without assistance. They created a faux water bottle that housed a microphone and transcription system to allow deaf and hard of hearing students to actively participate in lectures without drawing unwanted attention. Another project team worked to offer a manageable grocery-transporting option for those who depend upon public transportation. “Easy Carry: An Easy to Use & Versatile Grocery Transportation Solution” allowed users to carry the empty container like a backpack and to transition it into a rolling cart once it was full of groceries.
All 12 project teams offered human-centered solutions to everyday problems, and their designs weren’t limited only to the classroom. Many of the students hoped to share their designs with the world. Armed with business plans and dreams of creating start-ups, these design students are ready to change the world.