Housewares Competition

Hey everybody, just wanted to brain-dump a bit about my recent review of submissions for the Chicago Housewares Design Show competition. Not sure if anyone other professionals feel this way, but I think its best to be honest with students regarding their skill level than sugarcoat, otherwise how are they going to learn where they need to be to get a job in this market.

Needless to say most of the submissions I had the opportunity to review were disgusting. Poor sketching skills, poor thinking skills, poor typing skills…etc. List goes on and on. Many didnt even seem like the professor’s had reviewed them prior to the student submitting. Out of approx. 50 some submissions, maybe 5/6 were trully innovative and I suspect they will be in the top to compete for that prize at the show. Many many of them were 2/3 pages with little point to the project at all…no need to point those out of course. So my take on it was to give honest, constructive criticism on their work in hopes of the student/professor reviewing the information to get an idea of what needs to be improved. I am sure many young designers, not just from my comments but from other professionals, will get very protective of their work and think we dont know what the hell we are talking about and we dont “see their brillance” but in my experiences, we are just trying to give you the honest feedback you deserve. The honesty your PROFESSORS should be giving you rather than allowing you to submit work to review that is not at the approrpriate level.

Students, I challenge you to turn the paragdigm around…push your professors into giving you what you NEED to be learning. You should be on a constant look out for new methods of improving yourself in anyway possible…sketching (hand sketching espescially, loads of submissision were hardly legible to understand what the point the designer was trying to make), unique thinking and true innovation. Band together and with your passion for design, constantly push each other to be the best you can be…to be the best Industrial Designers in the world. Also look beyond your classroom for competition, look at other schools…the top schools not only in the US but in Europe, Asia as well…many have examples of their work online…take that as a benchmark that you need to be at to attain a job in this market (still very competitive from what I hear).
All the best and I hope some of this rambling has helped someone.

i wish i would have known about the comp…the deadline passed already? there have been numerous times where in critiques getting ANYONE to say something was like getting a root canal; painful. everyone is so self conscious about saying anything even that is remotely negative, worse are the forced compliments-“i like how you showed scale with the out of perspective stick figure.” and it is not as if the skill is not there, it just that the motivation is not, on either side seemingly…

Will the feedback be shown to the students, or do they just get a “yay/nay” response?

Yes they will get the feedback, which is why I tried to give some honest input instead of the usual “its pretty good…work on this, work on that” comments most people give…etc.

Also, I hope the professors review the comments as well…a lot of the suggestions for improvement need to start at the top.

And when do we get to see the results?

I once looked over someone’s shoulder on some competition (might have been that one). Both depressing and encouraging. Depressing because some of the sub-standard people would most likely still get hired and drag down the profession. Encouraging because it’s job security (makes you wonder how many professors really care about training their replacements - a low glass ceiling doesn’t help us here).

Personally, I’d give up job security for more competition. Nothing is worse than stagnating. So I for one am glad you’re being honest.

Now for the big question: Will the entries and comments be available for public review? If not, then why not?

Not sure if the public gets to see the comments…probably not, but I do know they ARE returned to the students/professors for review…which is important.
Regardless, hopefully some other people that had the opportunity to review the work also gave honest feedback…I really could have used that during my undergrad.

i just got a call from a friend who took top prize for housewares.
Shes from Long Beach state and kicking ass!

I recieved an honorable mention for my surge protector idea which I was pretty happy with since this is the first competition I’ve ever entered.

Admittedly I’m my own worst critic.

My drawing skills are lackluster at best, but I also spent the majority of the time doing cad and rendering work, as I’m leaning more towards the digital design fields then the more traditional consulting work.

There were a few parts (namely the desk clamp and upright stands) which were mostly undeveloped because of time constraints, but I figure the couple of good ideas I did have at least were able to communicate themselves.

I’m hoping that the feedback that was returned will get back at some point soon.