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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.

light and ceiling pattern

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 ends.

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.

review a project

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 marketable.

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.

cobra light

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.

bat light

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