Student Designs

Smart Paperweight

With the Smart Paperweight, the over 1,000-year-old paperweight has taken on a new function. Designed for calligraphy beginners, it makes practicing calligraphy easy. Modern laser projection technology combined with a smartphone projects the lettering on rice paper. It can also project an animation for beginners to follow demonstrating the order in which each letter should be written. Smart Paperweight connects technology with culture, providing a new and interesting way to learn calligraphy, and connects more people to calligraphy and new cultures. The simplistic nature of the design was chosen to demonstrate that calligraphy is easy to learn.

Designed by: Yan Wang, Xuefan Yan and Yali Wang of Zhejiang University


Stance Prosthesis: Beauty, Function, Affordability

Stance is a low-cost functional, customizable knee prosthesis and lower limb fairing. When an amputee has had a transfemoral amputation (between the knee and hip), they need a prosthesis that replicates the thigh, knee, shin/calf and foot. The Simple Limb Initiative wanted a prosthesis that is affordable and is robust enough for the variable terrain in Colombia. Stance is manufactured using techniques that are easily accessible to the client in Columbia, such as wood bending, casting, fiberglass forming, leather forming, painting wood and leather dying. The foot prosthesis provides the feel of a natural gait through the layered elastomeric materials and the shape of the ankle and heel parts in concert with a foot bed inspired by skateboards. Sandwiching a flexible structural bentwood part between molded parts creates a springy but stable gait that propels the amputee forward while allowing for natural pronation and supination.

Designed by: Anthony Ta, Brendan Ngo and Darren Manuel of San José State University for Simple Limb Initiative

Contact: anthonyta91@yahoo.com

The Urbanette, A Home Like No Other

The Urbanette is a patent-pending design for a modular tiny-home dollhouse that lets kids make believe anything, anytime, anywhere and with anyone. Just larger than a Happy Meal, it carries up to five collapsible rooms that unfold into any space imaginable, from kitchens and bedrooms to stages and airplanes. The modularity allows rooms to be replaced, swapped with friends, collected or returned. Thus a child can update the content of their perfect make-believe home to match their rapidly changing interests. With its biodegradable plastic construction, parents can replace rooms without the guilt of excess waste. The collapsible design means more efficient product shipment, shelf display and user storage. The portability means kids can take their dollhouse on the go. Playing with this tiny home will introduce kids to the experience of sustainable living so they can become the responsible adults of tomorrow.

Designed by: Charlie Hodges of ArtCenter College of Design, project sponsored by Mattel


Travel Kit

The Travel Kit includes small cosmetic electronics that are essential for long trips wrapped in a minimalistic package. When traveling, convenience and portability are crucial, but the appliances used at home are too bulky. The Travel Kit solves this problems. It is made up of a dryer module, a toothbrush module, a shaving module, and an electric cord and smartphone battery module. It has been a long-lasting challenge to produce hair dryers, shavers and toothbrushes that are reasonably sized and shaped and that can work in concert. Travel Kit accomplishes this goal.

Designed by: Jaewan Choi of Samsung Design Membership



U-pen is a portable writing tool designed for the blind. Currently, blind people use a stylus and slate to write, which are hard to use and difficult to carry. U-pen was designed to be a user-friendly "pen." It is a long slate that can be fixed on any A4 or smaller paper. Users press the buttons to type Braille letters. After typing one letter, they move the slider to the next notch. When the line is completed, they scroll the roller to move the paper upward and start typing on a new line. In the meantime, a click sound helps them locate the slate. U-pen also has Braille instructions on it to help people figure out how to use it. U-pen can make communication faster and more efficient for blind people.

Designed by: Peigen Liang of Beijing Institute of Technology


WIM – Interactive Stroke Therapy

WIM is a new type of interactive stroke therapy that empowers and supports a patient’s recovery at home. Immediate, extensive and correct rehabilitation is crucial to fully recovering and must begin within 24 hours of a stroke to start the process of reconnecting brain cells. WIM is a non-stigmatizing training kit prescribed by a therapist that helps improve a stroke patient’s fine-motor skills. As a helpful companion with personality accompanied by a tracking armband, WIM is able to provide advanced personalized therapy in the comfort of home. Supported by a shared application, WIM enables continuous communication between patient and therapist throughout the recovery period. Guiding lights, sounds and vibrations in combination with muscle-tracking technology enable WIM to come alive, addressing all senses and adapting each session to the patient’s need.

Designed by: Jenny Holmsten and Thomas Helmer of Umeå Institute of Design


Wind Pavilion

Due to the expansion of land-use requirements, land is gradually being covered with high-rise buildings while the natural environment decreases. A high density of buildings causes wind tunnels in cities, which can be dangerous. However, the Wind Pavilion collects building-generated wind and turns it into electricity; the power is stored inside each column. Urban solutions such as Wind Pavilion combine the utility of water, light, wind and temperature to allow people a more comfortable public space.

Designed by: Chi-Shan Chen of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology


Datelite Memory Lamp

We all remember the most important things about our lives, but we forget the details. Our day to day joys are lost to time, and yet these are the things that make us who we are. Datelite is a lamp that is designed to help you remember those moments. Datelite subtly reminds you of special moments through the manipulation of light.

Designed by:  Cody Moore, Savannah College of Art and Design

Contact: |

Xeno Airport System

Xeno is a communication and navigation system designed for hearing-impaired airport passengers. It provides personalized communication and navigation to enable a stress-free airport experience. Beacons are placed throughout the airport, an interactive smart floor locates and communicate with passengers and an optional phone app keeps it all connected. This system creates a pleasant experience for passengers and boosts efficiency for airlines and the airport.

Designed by: Harry Teng, Harmonie Tsai, Andy Lee and Cindy Hu for ArtCenter College of Design

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Thunderbird Inn

The Thunderbird Inn takes customer service to a whole new level. It improves the delivery of customer service through technology based on the concept of “Let the receptionist come to you.” Guests who are more comfortable with technology can access the convenience of hassle-free service through a mobile tablet provided in each hotel room. The table is equipped with a custom app connected to hotel departments.

Designed by: Christine Everdell and Niket Parekh for Savannah College of Art and Design

Contact: |