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As Finalist in International Contest, Design Student Takes Opportunity to Travel Europe

As the only U.S. finalist in an international package design contest, it’s possible that UC senior April Ansley’s design might be patented.

Date: 4/21/2012
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided by April Ansley

The University of Cincinnati’s April Ansley, a senior in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning’s nationally number-one ranked industrial design program recently spent a month-and-a-half traveling Europe.
April Ansley
UC's April Ansley in Europe.

It was an opportunity that came about thanks to the fact that she was a finalist in an international contest to design new packaging for LEGO.

Ansley created a new packaging design for the LEGO “Bricks & More” starter set. 

Ansley, 25, originally from West Lafayette, Ind., entered the international SCA Packaging Design Challenge as part of the requirements for a Design Communication course taught by David Parrott, DAAP adjunct instructor, last fall.

It was announced earlier this year that Ansley’s design was one of five finalists in the international contest, out of 145 entries, and the only finalist from the U.S. The other finalists were from Bulgaria, Poland, Slovenia, and Hong Kong. SCA provided the airfare to fly Ansley to Europe for project judging in Billund, Denmark. The finalists met in Denmark in late February for a review of their designs by LEGO designers and managers. Then, the finalists had one month to fine tune their concepts for final judging in March.

In the end, Ansley’s project was not the ultimate winner; however, her design may eventually be pursued and patented by LEGO. For that reason, it cannot be described in greater detail nor can an image of it be shown.

Ansley took advantage of the opportunity to take extended travels in Europe, where she visited a variety of museums, design centers, businesses and other sites in Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, France and Belgium.
She recalled, “The best part of the whole experience was going to Europe. I visited tourist sites like the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall, Neuschwanstein Castle, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, as well as places geared toward design like the Danish Design Center in Copenhagen, Bauhaus Museum in Berlin, Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart, the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, and many interior design stores in Copenhagen, including one that carried chair designs by famous designers like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and Marcel Breuer.”
Bauhaus Museum sign
UC's April Ansley visited the Bauhaus Museum in Berlin.

And Ansley confessed, “The minute I saw them (the chairs), I was so excited. I never thought I’d ever have the opportunity to actually sit in a Barcelona Chair or Breuer’s Wassily Chair. They were really comfortable. And, yes, I took tons of pictures of them too.”
And while Ansley didn’t end up with first prize in the SCA Packing Design Challenge, she did win a cash prize of just over $1,300, not to mention that her time in Europe was a winning experience that continues to shape her work.
She explained, “While taking public transit everywhere during my travels, I discovered a problem I think I can solve for my capstone project.”
The problem resolution she is currently focusing on relates to difficulties associated with the use of baby strollers on public transit. Strollers take up a large amount of space, and so, Ansley will be looking into designing a stroller that can safely collapse around the seated child when space is needed.