Student Designs

Hold Chair

Cleaning the floor is a daily routine after a restaurant closes. To clean under the tables, the cleaner turns the chairs upside down and rests them on the tables, which is an unsanitary motion. The dirt on the chair feet adheres to the hands and falls onto the tabletop. The Hold Chair was designed to hang suspended from a table for easy cleaning while keeping conditions sanitary.

Credits: National Chiao Tung University and Poh Liang-Hock
Contact: Liang-Hock Poh:



xBand is an ultra-low-cost flat-packed leg splint system for use in disaster situations. In natural disasters, medical supplies are often in short supply due to their high unit prices and the difficulty of shipping them to the disaster site. In order to address these problems, xBand uses high-speed die-cut manufacturing and a flat-pack design to maximize the number of units in each shipment. Production to delivery and use can be achieved within the critical first 72 hours of a disaster.

Credits: University of Houston and Leo C.H. Chen
Contact: Leo Chen:


Wave painting bucket

The wave form of this paint bucket’s design allows users to open the can without tools. The wave shape also allows users to pick up an upturned lid off the ground without getting paint on their hands. The grooves along the opening act as a funnel for clean, easy pouring of paint into a paint tray, eliminating the mess that collects along the rim of standard paint cans.

Credits:  National Taipei University of Technology, Li Yin-Kai, Shy Shou-Ren, and Fu Yu-Cai
Contact: Li Yin-Kai:


Medical Toolkit for Surface-Mount Microdialysis (SMD)

The Surface-Mount Microdialysis (SMD) Medical Toolkit was designed around the SMD invention. The designer worked in close collaboration with Pernilla Abrahamsson, the inventor of SMD, and surgeons and nurses at Umea Hospital in Sweden. SMD is a patented invention that is used to measure local metabolic changes in special tissues by adhering a catheter onto a specific organ during open surgery that needs to be closely monitored by medical personnel.

The Medical Toolkit consists of a package design, tubes, connectors, introducers and a pump. Key users include surgeons, operation-room and intensive-care nurses, and, most importantly, patients. The Medical Toolkit streamlines the number of procedures that need to be carried out during the surgery and monitoring phases. By doing so, the design reduces the risk of contamination, medical error and workload while increasing monitoring time.

Microdialysis is a new procedure; only a handful of equipment exists. These products, however, do not consider all users involved in the procedure, including patients. When introducing the catheter into the body during open surgery many unnecessary steps and equipment is used; besides the added workload, tools such as forceps can accidentally damage an organ or the membrane of the catheter. The current packaging of these products doesn’t optimally protect the catheter during shipping and lacks label visibility when stored on a shelf.

The package design of the Medical Toolkit protects the SMD catheter, which is the most critical and valuable element, from damage during shipping. The layering of the package also works with industry standards for the inside sterile zone and the outside non-sterile zone. During surgery, the non-sterile-nurse peels the cap and presents the inside-sterile-zone to the sterile nurse. The sterile nurse takes out the inside sterile zone and presents it to the surgeon. The orientation of the catheter helps the surgeon pick the end tip of the catheter.

Patients typically can’t go into MRI or CT machines with a pump because of the pump’s electrical components. The pump in the Medical Toolkit has no electrical components, so it can be safely used during MRI and CT scans. There are two pumps in the kit: big and small. The big pump is for stationary use, whereas the small pump makes the mobilization of the patient easier. The container of the pumps is elastomeric, which means that the perfusion fluid comes prefilled in a balloon tube that is put inside the pump. This way the syringe refill, which involves multiple steps, is avoided. This reduction in the number of steps not only saves time but also prevents potential medical errors.

While patients are mobile, tubes clog from folds and tangles or catheters can pull out of the organs loosing critical continuous patient monitoring. In the Medical Toolkit two safety clip connectors were designed for each cable to ensure that the catheter stays inside the body even if it is accidentally pulled.

Credits: Umea Institute Of Design, Cenk Aytekin and Umea Institute Of Design, John Lee
Corporate Sponsor: Pernilla Abrahamsson
Contact: Naci Aytekin:


The Campus Mini Velo: Redefining Utility

The Campus Mini Velo has the versatility of a car without the financial burden, environmental impact or maintenance hassles. Compact and modular, it's an endlessly customizable solution for the needs of today's students and tomorrow's professionals. College students have many things to worry about—getting around shouldn't be one of them. From books and projects to basics like groceries and laundry, students carry a lot of stuff with them. The Campus Mini Velo is designed to take the stress out of getting it from point A to point B. With customizable and removable cargo racks, a retractable kickstand and fenders, tires that never go flat to a dynamic and a unique look, the Campus Mini Velo redefines utility.

The design challenge was to create a versatile bicycle for people who might otherwise drive a car and who would never imagine themselves owning and loving a utility bike. College students were the focus. These students are at a stage in life where they could head down the path of car ownership, but it is also an opportunity to foster a generation of bike users. To motivate students to ride instead of drive, a bicycle must present incentives. It must be practical, affordable and adaptable. It also must connect with students, have great style and be a pleasure to ride.

In reinventing the utility bike, the designers redefined utility to what meets the ever-changing needs of the rider, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach. From time to time a college student will find it necessary to carry large objects. In that same day a student may attend class, visit a friend or go out to eat. The Campus Mini Velo doesn't just carry large loads or get people from place to place, it is designed to fit seamlessly into the lives of its users and is customizable to their changing needs and tastes.

The Campus Mini Velo stands out in a crowd. The distinct trapezoidal frame and mini-velo style with its 20-inch wheels makes space for interchangeable attachments, such as collapsible cargo racks, cup holders and lights. All connection points utilize the same lockable drop pin, allowing the rider to reconfigure the bike without any special tools. The bike can be loaded up with racks and other attachments one minute, then stripped down to the bare essentials the next.

The Campus Mini Velo is also easy to use and maintain. An integrated retractable kickstand and fenders are always there when needed and out of the way when they’re not. Airless tires, disc brakes and a belt drive take the lion's share of maintenance out of owning this bike—no more flats, rusting chains or brakes that slip in the rain. The customizable frame case, available in a multitude of colors, adds personality, provides a secure compartment for a tool kit and locks the saddle. These integrated features make the Campus Mini Velo simple, personalized and fun—the perfect bike for campus life.

Credits: University of Oregon, Teressa Hamje, Matt Raphael, Adam Horbinski, Scott Warneke, Jeremy Androschuk, Ian Kenny and Heath Korvola
Contact: Teressa Hamje:


Smart Squeeze

Smart Squeeze is a wearable sensory tool to calm teens with autism or attention disorders. The inside layer is an inflatable bladder that places pressure on the torso. Firm pressure to the body is known to relieve anxiety and increase focus and attention when the sensory system is over stimulated. When feeling anxious, Smart Squeeze enables users to inflate their vests to the desired pressure with the use of a discrete hand pump. The outer shell is composed of a large collar and hood to block out overwhelming distractions and light. Textured pockets attach for individuals who crave tactile stimulation for additional calming. Smart Squeeze uses air to provide evenly-distributed and adjustable pressure that can be discretely controlled by the user to promote independence.

Teens with autism often experience anxiety and benefit from deep pressure therapy. In school, it is inappropriate for caretakers to give hugs for pressure, and therapists are not present to provide pressure therapy techniques (such as rolling clients in blankets) when needed. Current products for providing pressure inhibit mobility and do not allow the user to have control. Unfashionable weighted vests are most commonly used; however, they only provide pressure on the shoulders, and the pressure is not adjustable and cannot be controlled.

Unlike many products for providing deep pressure therapy, the Smart Squeeze allows mobility and promotes independence. In addition to being effective in even, adjustable pressure distribution, the Smart Squeeze creates an entire sensory calming garment with additional features, such as the large hood and textured pockets to suit each individuals needs while catering to individuals on the entire autism spectrum range.

The style of the Smart Squeeze is intended for a teenage girl. Many other styles to suit individual preferences can be used to conceal the inflatable bladder technology, helping users fit in with their peer group. Smart Squeeze can be worn anywhere, so it is instantly ready when needed. It does not have to be removed when not in use. It is easy to take on and off, as well as inflate and deflate. Because the inflatable bladder adjusts in length and width, it will fit properly to each user and provides product longevity since Smart Squeeze will adapt as users grow.

Many products on the market for providing pressure as well as other therapeutic devices are not user friendly and have a social stigma surrounding them as their visual appearance does not support the users’ dignity. Smart Squeeze is a stylish alternative that also functions more effectively. It enables users to complete their daily tasks efficiently and with ease. Because Smart Squeeze relieves anxiety and helps increase focus, it can aid in reducing tantrums and other inappropriate behaviors and help users communicate better.

Credits: Emily Carr University of Art & Design and Lisa Fraser
Contact: Lisa Fraser:


C-Thru Smoke Diving Helmet

C-Thru is a smoke diving helmet designed to aid firefighters in their search and rescue missions. Since it is almost impossible to see in highly dense smoke, smoke divers have to crawl on the ground and find their way by keeping in contact with the walls, all while carrying heavy air supports and hand-held equipment. At the same time, they need to keep checking their thermal imaging device and holding onto their partner’s air tank handles so they don’t lose each other.

One of the goals with this concept was to provide a near-future vision of the possible solutions to fire-rescue vision and communication problems through the use of technology. With C-Thru, firefighters can walk or run toward a victim instead of crawling on the floor holding the fire hose in one hand and their team mate’s tank handle in the other hand, all while trying to maintain contact with the wall to navigate through the building. Using C-Thru, smoke divers can simultaneously get ready within seconds, keep track of each other, see what is going on around them and get vital information.

C-Thru’s vision system integrates many technologies to aid firefighters, such as a head-mounted projection display, optical thermal camera, cloud computing, selective active noise cancellation and target acquisition.

The optical thermal camera captures the imaging of the surrounding area and sends the data to the smoke diver leader’s handheld device. The data is calculated there and sent back to the helmet. Newly generated 3D wire-frame data is projected by the head-mounted projectors through the retro-reflective front visor of the helmet. This wire-frame outline of their surroundings helps firefighters find a path through the building and locate victims. C-Thru also simplifies many separate layers of heat and impact protection into a single package, which stabilizes and eases movement.

A burning building is a noisy place. Firefighters like to listen to the sounds for warnings of a collapsing ceiling or doorway. But the loud fire sounds also interfere with communication between the smoke diver leader and the team. The Selective Active Noise cancellation feature cancels the sound of the smoke diver’s breathing and enhances the potential structural crack and victim sounds in order to provide better information for the smoke diver and better communication with team members. Also, everything is recorded simultaneously, eliminating any guesswork when the smoke diver leader is later filling out reports, maybe even eliminating the need for a written report at all.

C-Thru provides many improvements for future rescue missions. It offerings a solution to the complexity of vision, protection, communication and rescue difficulties—all in one package.

Credits: Umea Institute of Design and Omer Haciomeroglu
Corporate Sponsor: Umea Fire brigade
Contact: Omer Haciomeroglu:



Hearing is one of the senses used when driving; people try to avoid accidents by sounding their horn or tuning into aberrant noise. The Sensum steering wheel plays the role of ears for hearing-impaired drivers. By providing information about surrounding sounds on the embedded LED, the steering wheel visualizes hearing, giving users the information they need to stay safe.

Credits: Konkuk university glocal campus, Jungjoon Hwang, Jaeryong Lee, Sejong university, Jungjun Park, Seoul national university of science & technology and Yongbum Lim
Contact: Jungjoon Hwang:


REScue - Medical ventilator for primary and secondary care

REScue allows very precise and adapted ventilation for patients. Fast-access buttons allow easily access to customized interfaces for optimal patient care in different usage scenarios, from simple breathing support for paramedics to complex ventilation modes for intensive-care physicians. Furthermore, the integrated wireless pulse oximeter can monitor the intubation and ventilation performance at all times.

Credits: University of Wuppertal and Oliver Mueller
Contact: Oliver Mueller:



BearHug is an inflatable vest to provide deep pressure therapy to children with autism. Many children with autism become overwhelmed by their environments. Firm pressure to the torso helps to regulate the sensory system to relieve anxiety and symptoms such as tantrums, self-injury and repetitive behaviors. BearHug provides a stylish solution that promotes independence and integration with users’ peers.

Credits: Emily Carr University of Art & Design and Lisa Fraser
Contact: Lisa Fraser: