In Industrial Design, Together We Carve ... Pumpkins!

The fruity smell of pumpkins permeated the hallway as 77 first-year students in the School of Industrial Design in the College of Design explored the makeup of the gourds. The annual class project challenged students to learn all the parts of a pumpkin and carve, or design, those pumpkins over two days.

On the first day the students worked in 10 teams on pumpkin exploration. They cut open the pumpkins for material analysis to learn all about the parts: skin, seeds, string core, stem, etc.

They then created two posters: one an inspiration board and the other showed the pumpkin exploration, which featured abstract designs made with the pumpkins.

For inspiration, each team chose a famous designer from a list provided by their professors. This is the 3rd year that the industrial design students have been challenged to create more than a ghoulish pumpkin.

It is not always an easy task, there is lots of cutting, scraping and carving trying to create depth, said Instructor Kevin Shankwiler in a video created by Institute Communications. What you get are designer pumpkins, not just another scary gourd.

Shankwiler, who is also the Interim Undergraduate Program Coordinator, said, "You'll see students wrestle with the concept, and then a light bulb goes off and they get it. They then apply the concept and develop their own design."

On day two, students complete individual pumpkins following the inspiration of their team's designer. They are displayed in the afternoon on the lawn of Architecture West. Spectators drop by to view the creations.

The inspiration of the designers is evident in many of them. These pumpkins were strongly influenced by Dieter Rams, a German industrial designer and a retired academic. They are more artsy.

These pumpkins were inspired by Paula Scher, an American designer, painter and educator. Students here evoked Halloween, but not too spooky.

Here you see the influence of Stefan Sagmeister, an American designer, storyteller, and typographer. Do you think these pumpkins tell a story?

As always the pumpkin display attracted spectators. Even the inspiration posters drew in people who spent time studying the designers and their influence on the students.

The pumpkin event has become more popular over the years with campus. This year Institute Communications created a video about the event, and the Alumni Association is including it in their fall newsletter.

One criteria for students was transformation from day to night. With or without the glowing light or influence of famous designers, school spirit won out for at least one student.

As Shankwiler noted in the Institute video, you won't see many traditional jack-o'-lanterns.