November 9, 2017

Purdue industrial design team wins SOFA CONNECT student design competition

Connect-student Purdue's industrial design team, made up of both graduate and undergraduate students, was chosen as the winner of the CONNECT student design competition for the second year in a row. Industrial design, part of the Art and Design Program, is housed in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. (Photo provided)  Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A team from Purdue University is the winner of the 2017 Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design CONNECT student design competition.

This year’s competition was held as part of the SOFA Fair Nov. 2-5 at Navy Pier in Chicago. It is the fifth year of the CONNECT competition and Purdue’s second consecutive victory.

The SOFA Fair is an annual exhibition of gallery-presented three-dimensional art and design. Each year, around 35,000 people attend. In the CONNECT competition, students design environments with seating and lighting that allow SOFA attendees a place to relax.

The Purdue team was made up of both undergraduate and graduate students. McKayla Barber, Hannah Ferrill, Zachary Hellman, Marshall Ma, David Marchese and Andrew Hu worked with faculty advisors TJ Kim, Steve Visser and Laura Drake on their project “Nature or Nurture: A 3D Printed Space.” Industrial design is part of the art and design program, which is housed in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Student-design Purdue's team created a structure of branches and twigs connected with 3D printed joints. The structure was displayed and utilized at the SOFA Fair in Chicago. (Photo provided Download image

Purdue’s team designed a space consisting of a lattice made of branches and twigs that were connected with 3D printed joints. The space also included benches and lamps to create an inviting atmosphere. Evan Brown, Alison Burkett, Gabrielle Bennett, Brennan Hunt and Sam Bucciferro created the benches. The lamps were created by Max Cao, Keith Williams and Daniel Madrinan Chiquito. The basic structure of the space was created before the exhibition began. However, additional branches were also available so that exhibition attendees had the opportunity to participate and expand the structure.The CONNECT competition is by invitation only. Other university finalists were Columbus College of Art & Design, Metropolitan State University of Denver, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of California Davis and Herron School of Art & Design at IUPUI.

Purdue’s team was awarded $3,000 by Chubb Personal Risk Services.

The CONNECT competition highlights innovative design programs at universities nationwide. Students have the opportunity to showcase their design concepts while working collaboratively and creatively.

Purdue’s team was funded by the College of Liberal Arts.

Writer: Kelsey Schnieders,

Source: Steve Visser, professor of industrial design,

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