"It Comes Down to Instinct"

IDSA Student Member Honored for Designing a Lifesaver

An IDSA Student Member and Destination Imagination alum is blogging about his win in an international competition for designing a lifesaving device. Yale Shaw, S/IDSA, earned a Spark: Concept Award for his Epi auto injector. He says it “eliminates the negative social impact associated with carrying a medical device… and creates a paradigm shift in the way in which we receive professional medical care.”

When a product user senses an allergic reaction, the sleek, new device can quickly and discreetly inject epinephrine into muscle tissue, temporarily neutralizing the reaction. Epi also triggers a smartphone app to remotely notify emergency services of the user’s location, allergy and personal information. “In my field of industrial design, decision making is done rapidly and with purpose,” says Shaw. “It comes down to instinct…. industrial designers have the ability to impact an audience on a global scale, and it’s important to me that my work creates a positive social impact.”

Growing up, the Iowa native spent eight years attending programs by Destination Imagination—a non-profit, volunteer-led organization that helps more than 150,000 children around the world each year engage in creative thinking, critical thinking and collaborative problem solving. Shaw went on to earn his BFA in 3D design from the University of Iowa and now is working on his master’s degree in industrial design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

"It's an honor to have received the award, but more importantly the recognition has helped give exposure to an idea that can potentially change the way we receive professional medical attention and save countless lives,” says Shaw. “I plan to continue designing and developing meaningful product experiences that positively influence people's lives—working with professionals that share the same vision."

The IDSA Student Member says the Society has helped him “stay connected to the world of design through designBYTES, INNOVATION and other Design News coverage.” He says, “It’s also inspiring to see the work that other students and professionals are producing and how it addresses specific problems in our world."