Industrial design students create, sell innovative lamps

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Read in Spanish: Estudiantes de design industrial crean y venden lámparas innovadoras

BYU industrial design students designed lamps for their semester project. Isaac Hiller created a folding fan-shaped lamp which he called The Pearl. (George Davies)

BYU industrial design students have spent the past three months creating unique lamps to sell for their classroom project.

Each semester, second-year students in the Industrial Design program undertake a three-month project where they must create a product to sell, with new constraints, and design each semester.

This semester Sale of lighting lamp included lamps designed by students that followed certain conditions: they had to have a socket and be made of sheet material, and shipping had to cost $ 13 or less.

As a result of the pandemic, what used to be a team project has become an individual enterprise. Each student was tasked with designing a lamp and making 10 copies to sell online and via a Instagram account.

No one knew in advance how many lamps they would sell or if they would balance the costs. The students have paid for their materials themselves and get all the profits from the lamps sold.

Industrial design major Bowen Byers said the process of making ten copies of the same lamp taught them skills of mass production. “We’ve learned to make sure it’s the same every time and the highest possible quality when it’s just one person doing it all,” he said.

The sale was scheduled to end on November 18, but was extended as the sale reached a larger audience than ever before. The sale will be open from month to month until the class decides to close it.

Isaac Hiller, another student in the class, said the sale is normally done in person and only Provo residents, family members or friends buy the lamps. With the sale online and promoted on Instagram, the lamps have gained the attention of lighting design accounts, design companies, people out of state, and even a green design account that reposted. student Addie Payne’s cork lamp.

Professor David Morgan said selling the lamps is an exciting way for students to get feedback and external validation on their product. “How cool it would be as a student to make it and sell it.” I think it’s very motivating, ”he said.

The twist, however, is that students are made aware of constraints throughout the semester, forcing them to rely on reinvention, innovation, and adaptation to challenge.

Many students said that Professor Morgan’s “reverse engineering” approach to this assignment helped them be more creative in their lamp design. Additional instructions for the lamps were given every few weeks, creating new requirements for the students to understand.

“When I give a mission, I give it piecemeal because I wait to see how it evolves. I want to see what’s going on with the students and be flexible instead of locking ourselves into a schedule or a certain way of doing it, ”Morgan said.

Morgan said this project gives students real-world application as many companies face new restrictions or experience issues during the creation process. Rather than hampering student success, this way of creating helps them learn more.

Instead of just helping students learn how to make good products, Morgan emphasizes teaching students to understand for themselves what makes good products and how to make them logistically. In this way, he said that they can be better prepared for their future careers.

“It means a lot more to you when you find out for yourself, and my job is to help them see that for themselves with a little bit of guidance,” he said.

Morgan praised his students’ willingness to be flexible and up to the challenge. “There aren’t many students who would play the game by getting into limbo and making a difference halfway without mass rebellion,” he said.

Payne said that while the new instructions were frustrating at times, “constraints breed creativity.” After receiving more instructions during the design process, Payne said she needed to change her whole idea to a different lamp.

Although constraints limit the type of lamps students can make, Byers said it taught him to learn a new way to solve the problem. ” It is open. We choose what we do, ”he said. “In ambiguity, we can learn what we do personally and what we don’t like.

The finished lamps were all diverse despite the constraints. The sheet material requirement gave students options of aluminum, acrylic, wood, high density polyethylene, cork and more. From there, the plug, bulb, shape, function, and overall design were unique to each student.

The sales site has photos of all of the student’s finished lamps.

Grace Barber, a student in the class, said she was grateful that classes stayed in person until the Thanksgiving break, as this hands-on project would be difficult to achieve online. She said that while the students had the option to be online or come in person, “it’s amazing that all of us come. We have to invest fully in it. “

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