Ben Coble, S/IDSA, is the recipient of the 2016 Gianninoto Graduate Scholarship presented by the Indsutrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). This fall, Coble begins his final year in the Integrated Design and Management's master's degree program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), His passion for balancing design, engineering and business drew him to the program after six years of working as an industrial designer.
“I'm extremely honored to be receiving this scholarship, and I'm grateful to IDSA for helping me move toward my degree in design,” Coble says. “It really means a lot to be recognized along with the other talented and passionate past winners of this award. I've really enjoyed the MIT experience so far, and am looking forward to what the future holds."
The Virginia native earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial design from Virginia Tech, where he was an active four-year member of the IDSA Student Chapter. After graduating, Coble joined the product design and development team at Lowe’s Home Improvement—designing power tools, hand tools, home organization solutions and consumer electronics for major, private label brands.
Coble initially learned the term industrial design from a high school art teacher, but he may have been drawn to ID long before he knew just what it was. “My parents recall my childhood career aspirations as alternating between inventor and artist. Now, I feel really lucky, because in a lot of ways—I get to do both!”
Coble’s collaborative attitude and attention to detail have resulted in successful product launches, and led to his name being listed as co-inventor on a US utility patent. “I think of ID as way to create positive human experiences,” he says. “That could mean anything from refining the shape of a handle for improved comfort—to laying out an instrument panel in an intuitive way. At the heart of industrial design is understanding people, and how they want to interact with the world around them.”