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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Academics & Research

Paris-bound students design, win first for makeup packaging


“I never saw our studio as school,” said industrial engineering student Erin Lew. “It was kind of an incubator for the real world; it’s not like ‘OK, three pages due tomorrow.’ It’s like, ‘You want a job? You better put this in your portfolio, and it better be good.’” | Emily Lincke/The Cougar

Three industrial design seniors will travel to Paris this summer for the one year anniversary of their win at an international makeup design competition.

In June 2016, the trio from the University of Houston’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design won the 2016 MakeUp in NewYork competition, a worldwide exhibition and contest over makeup design and packaging innovation.

“For our project we wanted to focus on beauty, on cleanliness, so you impact someone’s hygiene by the product, and how (people) interact with it ends up affecting their lives,” said industrial design senior Aaron Hernandez.

Hernandez and teammates Jessica Hedge and Erin Lew entered the contest during the summer by submitting their design for a cosmetic line and prototypes to the MakeUp NYC office. After finding out they had won, they flew to New York City for the award show and makeup exhibition.

The team collaborated to design a prototype makeup compact and a correlating makeup line, winning $3,000 and a trip to the 2017 MakeUp in Paris event. Hernandez and Hedge have never been to Paris, and the whole team said they looked forward to the week, which will consist mostly of sight-seeing.

Students worldwide entered the 2016 MakeUp in NewYork contest, which hosted representatives and buyers from global cosmetic corporations including Maybelline and CEW. UH was one of four universities to make it past the first phase of selection, according to the MakeUp NYC website.

The team said they gained inspiration from the cleanliness of Asian cosmetics, as Lew and Hedge studied abroad in South Korea. Their compact includes a silicone base to clean makeup brushes, removable inserts users can refill the compact with and a mirrored lid.

“A lot of people, we noticed, when they go check their color, try it at the drugstore,” Hernandez said. “So in order for us to combat that, our (product’s) front is a mirror, and it has a slit so you can see the color next to your skin.”

The MakeUp exhibition and conference is held annually in New York City, Paris, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles and Seoul, South Korea. According to the event website, 2016 was the second year MakeUp hosted the makeup design and packaging innovation contest.

The team said the contest was a good opportunity to add to their resumes. They hope to gain a patent for their idea, and were advised by Director of the UH Industrial Design Program EunSook Kwon not to share the full concept with people at the exhibition.

Last year was the first time UH students entered the MakeUp competition, Kwon said.

“We started getting really protective of our design because there were so many people there who could just steal our idea,” Hedge said.

The team worked on their design during summer break, first by researching makeup trends and visiting the Galleria to find out which products were popular. Hernandez, Hedge and Lew each contributed different aspects to the project, brain-storming ideas via Skype as they stayed in different cities.

“One big thing about teamwork is you have to listen to each other, and you always need a leader on your team, but it didn’t seem like there was really a leader between us,” Hedge said. “All of us have different strengths.”

UH is the only university in Texas with an industrial design program, which was founded in 2003. Kwon attributed the school’s foundation to the efforts of Joseph Mashburn, and Kwon became the first faculty member to write the program’s curriculum, Kwon said.

In 2014, the program was ranked as the 6th best university design program in the United States and the 14th best in the Americas and Europe, receiving a Red Dot Award.

“Our goal is to cultivate young talent, creativity and to support the economy and enhance the convergence of technology and human science through design thinking and design development,” Kwon said.

Hernandez, Hedge and Lew plan to graduate in May. They will participate in the Annual Industrial Design Exhibition from May 2-7, which showcases projects from students in the program.

“I went to the exhibition that we’re planning now but four years ago, and I saw all these wonderful, amazing things that people made, and I was like, ‘This is amazing,’” Lew said. “I never knew this was an actual profession, to just play and be curious.”

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