Carleton School of Industrial Design

...Just got back from a great weekend up in Ottawa to check out my alma mater, Carleton Universtity School of Industrial Design.

I was honored to be asked to be the keynote speaker at the Alumni Reception on Saturday, and presented my thoughts on design and my experience to the graduating class and ID Alumni.

The Graduation Exhibition, titled 'Open up to Design' features the works of the 4th year students final projects and additional undergrad projects.

From the exhibition info release-

This years’ exhibit showcases a range of exciting and innovative products including out of this world lunar habitation devices and equipment, forest-fire fighting equipment and sports equipment that allows Paralympic athletes to compete at a higher level. Other project areas include products that demonstrate concern for social and environmental issues – patient room prototypes, collaborative ‘art gardens’, and ‘winterpret’ – a product range that harnesses the delight of winter. Projects also explore indoor and outdoor urban living environments from space-conscious ‘transfurnishings’ to rooftop garden products. A special highlight of all ten project areas is the important collaboration with industry. Students work closely with professional advisors from Ottawa and Ontario such as the NCC, OMNR (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources), Ecclesiax, Umbra and the Paralympics Committee, to create hands-on concepts to solve physical problems.

I was overall very impressed with the quality of the projects, presentations and thinking. Just 6 years out of the program myself, I can see there has already been a huge leap forward in understanding of analytical thinking and visual communication compared to my school experience.

In addition, integration with industry and real-life problem solving application was very impressive. The group of fire-fighting equipment designs, for example, worked closely with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Aviation and Forest Fire Management (OMNR AFFM) division. Later this summer some of the selected designs will actually be prototyped and tested in Northern Ontario in real fire fighting scenarios!

To be back in Ottawa and "back at school" really put things in perspective for me. School projects, final models and the anticipation of graduation seems so far away but yet relatively recent in my memory. While difficult, emotional and stressful at the time, I can now see how truely beneficial all the bumps and burns along the way were to my current outlook as a designer and how my past experiences have formed present "design self".

Thanks again to the School of Industrial Design, Carleton University Alumni Association and a special thanks to my professors and mentors.

For more information on the school and the exhibition check out


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for that presentation, I was impressed by the completeness of your approach - and inspired too. In today's consumer product market the "standalone" product offers far less value and presence than the well-considered product offering. Possibly the most valuable lesson for designers: endeavor to build an ongoing relationship in lieu of pitching a single discreet product. It is a far more sustainable approach for you and your client!

12:07 AM  

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