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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Activities & Organizations

Internationally recognized design program debuts first showcase event


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Students and faculty came to the Mashburn Gallery Tuesday night to see exhibitions on sustainability, created by students from the Hines College of Architecture industrial design program. | Pablo Milanese/TheCougar

Students from the Hines College of Architecture’s industrial design program exhibited their innovative sustainability projects and proposals for the college’s first ever ID+Green showcase Tuesday night at the Mashburn Gallery.

“The ‘ID+Green’ exhibition is a showcase to display students’ creative ability, innovative design process and socially acceptable design solutions,” industrial design Program Director EunSook Kwon said in a press release. “With products designed by recent graduates and undergraduates, the ID+Green exhibition demonstrates the authentic and collaborative value of product development with local industry leaders.”

An array of projects were on display, from proposed bicycle storage systems to humane methods for dealing with the feral cat overpopulation. Just ten minutes after opening, the exhibition filled with hundreds of students excited to see what the only industrial design program in Texas had in store.

“This moment in time is somewhat historical  for us because it’s a chance, finally, for the industrial design program to take that next step beyond the degree granting institution that we know it to be,” Hines College of Architecture Dean Patricia Belton Oliver said.

One of the featured projects includes Spur5cycles, a minimalist collection of urban bicycling accessories with an innovative approach to creating economical and fully customizable bike frames. With a mix of 3D printing and investment casting, traditional bike assembly was given a new twist that started off as only a senior studio project. The idea behind these bikes was to appeal to a Houston commuter and encourage them to be more active and eco-friendly.

Another project on display was Pixl, a control technology that creates an innovative embedded public lighting system that encourages outdoor engagement. Powerful motion-sensitive LED lights can be placed under different building materials that allow light to shine through the ground in parks, streets and sidewalks, according to industrial design senior Aaron McEuen.

“We’ve only scratched the surface with the ones we’ve been able to show,” McEuen said. “We have a whole grab-bag of different interactive programs.”

Students collaborated with XtraLight, a LED lighting company in Houston, to create this vision that can one day be used in pavement to possibly guide pedestrians through traffic intersections or airports.

“Our partnership with the Industrial Design program at UH has been a tremendous benefit to XtraLlight,” Jerry Caroom, CEO of XtraLight said in a press release. “As one of the nation’s leaders in LED lighting, it is important to collaborate with talented students to continue the creative expansion of our products.”

According to architecture professor Mark Kimbrough, more exhibitions are expected to follow, with different themes such as ID+Tech or ID+Steel.

“We’re a diamond in the rough, as far as the industry is concerned,” Kimbrough said. “ID+ is a catalyst to engage with industry, educate with industry and collaborate with industry. I don’t think Houston knows what they have and here we are.”

The exhibitions will be on display and are available to view through Jan. 27, at the Mashburn Gallery located at 4800 Calhoun Rd.

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