Lights Generate Learning for Top Design Students
Date: Nov. 22, 2000
Story and photos by: Mary Bridget Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
While many college campuses meander through classes held during Thanksgiving week, the
design studios at the University of Cincinnati are dynamic with drive and energy during these last
days before the holiday.
Throughout UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, students and faculty
cluster around drawings and models in studios and hallways, debating the merits of creative
projects that range from new products for the home, plans for cities, building complexes or new
car lines. The students seek advice and feedback from faculty, working professionals, and
everyday consumers. After all, they've only two more weeks to "get it right" before the quarter
For instance, eleven junior industrial design students in a product design studio led by Brad
Hammond, associate professor of industrial design, switched on their "signature" lamps Nov. 20
while seeking advice from fellow undergraduates, faculty from a variety of disciplines, design
professionals, graduate students and other UC staff.
They're creating "sculptures that function." And so, they've got a lot of questions: do they
work, are they aesthetically pleasing, how do you hide the electrical technology, and are they
The review/critique "highlights" included a wide range of ideas. One student attempted to
combine a water fountain with a lighting system. He couldn't get the idea to work and will have to
keep working on the concept. But Hammond said the ambitious project is a strong one if the
student can work out the mechanics.
Derrick Skaggs created a coiled lamp that resembled a cobra while Yamilca Rodriguez and
Aaron Rieke created elegant, contemporary, sculptural forms. While these various tabletop and
floor lamps lit up the studio, Jimi Merk created an artistic "bat wing" lamp. It was just what it
sounds like -- a light with a shade that intriguingly resembled a bat's wing.