Grad Projects

Hi! Just a general question of interest and to get a good discussion going;
What was everyone’s final year industrial design projects?
Did it help you secure a job? Were you employed based on your work presented at final year exhibition?
What did you learn final year? What do you wish you knew?
Thanks! John

I did 2: A 4 door hatchback for the active young family for Nissan, the package had a fuel cell system under the floor boards, giving more passenger room in a smaller footprint… hey it was 1998… I also did a collection of 3 shoes to redefine the Nike brand around individual sports (BMX, Skate, and Training) vs team sports… ironic.

I did a really out there ergonomic stool that supported your weight in different amounts as you moved around in your workspace. I had a functional prototype and an appearance model. It was the best project in class and one of the guest critics hired me for an internship (yeah I know I was a senior) because of it.
Definitely put forth a really good effort for your senior project. Lots of times their are guest critics there who may be recruiting. You never know who’s watching!

Mine was about 'physicalising (is it a word? who cares!) digital processes, so it was about using the domestic environment as a landscape in which to explain how digital actions (computer based… opening folders, emptying trash etc) relate to their archetypes…

I miss college.

My senior project (1994) was a mobile communication station that was air-dropped during disaster situations. I remember 2 negative comments during my review:

“I don’t think you have enough room for the CRT monitors” and “no one wants to see a depressing project in a portfolio.”

I did a hybrid maglev concept with independent motors, and transportation for 1 (+). Not a family wagon by any stretch. My professors didn’t believe in maglev, so I had to define the infrastructure too. My project turned into a collective of vehicle design, urbanization planning, maglev tech, and oh yeah, windfarms. I was a bit tired when it was all said and done.

I don’t think the project itself helped with any interviews, but I definately got points for imagination, and for research. Design… ehem… it’s a stretch and won’t win an award. but my portfolio was already filled of structural, and sound furniture, and easily definable products. Wanted to compliment that with creative and oh- my god that can’t possibly work… but I want one thoughts.

Think it helped… a little. :wink:]

Good luck- let us know how it goes!

I just noticed you actually asked questions! Everyone here is getting lost in history!

Did it help you secure a job? Were you employed based on your work presented at final year exhibition?
What did you learn final year? What do you wish you knew?

Secure a job: I got a job within a month of looking, so maybe, but I never really asked my boss…

Employed on basis of work at final exhibit? I’d say most likely, you’ll find a lot of final year projects are you using all the skills you’ve worked hard on for years, so the quality of your final year is usually really high (think back to your first year… how was your sketching, modelling, development, etc?)

Learn in final year: The need to step back, evaluate, and make decisions for myself, not just because tutors like things (It’s YOUR project)

Wish you knew: ? I don’t know, if you know too much, what is there to learn? I have no regrets about my last year come to think of it.

Up until my final semester i was dead set on going to work for big name firm that i had an open offer from. I had focused all of my studies on home goods and that is what i was sure i was going to be designing when i graduated.

My roommate was a film student and taking a stop motion class.

On a whim i decided to make his stop motion final project my thesis project.

I designed characters and sets, moved a drill press in to my bedroom, welded on my balcony, and cooked foamed latex in my kitchen oven. It was amazing.

I learned a ton,

i had to create an intense deliverables list and budget time and money to bring it all together within the deadline.

I reigned in my technique on the parts of the project i already knew a little about, and taught myself the rest.

sculpting, casting, machining and welding articulated armatures, mixing cooking and casting foam latex, painting latex, set building, lighting, and all sorts of other super-fun stuff

and the final puppets and sets were a direct reason for my current employment. (and i love it)

I don’t wish i knew anything in particular, but i would recommend taking on a project that is completely outside of your normal comfort zone, you are bound to learn more if you have no idea what you are doing to begin with.

my roommates stop motion final blew away the rest of his class, he made their undulating blobs of clay and epileptic playing cards look like, well…
undulating blobs of clay and epileptic playing cards

naw, i hired myself…and fired many times too.

Baggage handling lifting aid for BAA

Yup…at dyson

Yup…they saw it and went “hmmm interesting, and its works…nice”

Friends can help you out, never trust just one contractor, the chore of chasing people up and how much fun it is to play with angle grinders

That the brief is always negotiable and not to be afraid to speak your mind

thanks guys! some really cool projects!
they’re actually quite varied. im in a different challenging position as next year i am entering my final honours year and am desperatly trying to decide. i almost see this as the hardest part, deciding what topic i want to spend 12 months working on, something that has tangible problems, will keep my interest, will get me great results (academically, visually, and hopefully employment!)

hey wolfman, how was working at dyson? seems like would have been an amazing, rewarding experience! dyson’s like a genius isnt he!?!

im also trying to organise work experience (what its called in australia. i know typically internship everywhere else). all u guys in the US and europe are lucky!! being chased and offered experience with the top international brands and consultancies. im tossing up whether to spend some time overseas for my compulsory uni experience of 3 months or stay in sydney.

keep the feedbakc coming guys. many thanks!