Launching Our Students Into Careers
Launchpad, an end-of-semester event, sets the stage for industrial design students to have meaningful conversations with the Atlanta design community. This event showcases students' studio work and personal portfolios from all years and programs across three floors of the School of Industrial Design. Students, faculty, parents, friends, and guests roam the floors of the School, meet students, and view the great projects produced during the fall semester.
Launchpad is aimed primarily at graduating students, so it is their "launch" into the professional world. For other students it is a chance to try to get internships, according to Roger Ball, a professor and graduate program coordinator. About 250 people attended the fall show. This was the second year the School has held the fall show. A spring end-of-semester event has been held for years.
We Design and Build Bikes, Too
First-year students get a glimpse of their future with an up-close, hands-on presentation of projects in the Bicycle Studio exhibit. Senior Lecturer Kevin Shankwiler showcased a curated selection of student bikes created in his junior ID studio over the past five years.
As research is part of the process at the School of ID, one goal, according to Shankwiler, was to employ user-center research and design techniques to enable innovation in a mature product space. Another goal was to design a complex product from a systems standpoint, i.e., a bicycle is a product comprised of a system of components, he said.
We Meet Alumni and Industry Professionals
After a busy few weeks finishing final projects, students and faculty relax and network with alumni and Atlanta design professionals at Launchpad. This year, we welcomed a new strategic design partner, Design is Human, which helped to sponsor and promote the event.
One goal of Launchpad is to get students in front of professionals and make them aware of the quality and type of work being done at Georgia Tech, Shankwiler said. He said the School's "focus is on technology and its relationship and role within design."
Specifically, he said, "students are using and integrating technology tools into the process of designing, and the design of technology for use by humans and society."
Not only is research a part of our process, and but we are tied into engineering, computing, and business.
Students Get to Party
After a semester of hard work, the students relaxed and had fun. The leaders of the student chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) ham it up on the red carpet. From left are, Shana Farkas, Sam Harvey, Atticus Huberts, Hollie Chan, Harry Tsai, and Elizabeth Jarecki.
Senior Julia Brooks shows off the "Georgia Tech Shoe" that she helped design, and which was worn by a contestant in the annual Miss Georgia pageant. The PechaKucha portfolio presentations were a lively part of the Launchpad evening, where participants showed their work in 20 slides in 20 seconds each.
Designs Worthy of a Gallery
Design studios in the second floor of the West Architecture building were transformed into galleries, allowing guests a first-hand look at how students design with technology in mind and incorporate that technology into product development.
Students will have the opportunity to do this again in May at the end of the spring semester when Launchpad is an even bigger show.