What follows is a small sample of student work excerpted from several of the courses I've taught at UC since 2007. They span the entire curriculum, from skill-based classes (Design Technology and Communication) to Design Theory to a sponsored, collaborative studio. They also include an undergraduate studio I created and led in 2008, centered on the design and fabrication of human powered vehicles.
As an Adjunct Professor of Industrial Design, I've taught several classes in Design Theory. This course explores current topics in product design and development and provides a philosophical foundation on which students build their professional practices. During these classes, students are challenged to read and write prolifically around the subject of design and to expand their ideals and aspirations as designers. Students also learn to speak effectively in front of an audience.
Assignments included a personal definition of design, research on a design philosophy and redesign of a product through its lens; an assignment asking students to coin their own design philosophy; responses to reading assignments; reviews of products; business plans; a student Design Manifesto (to be returned to the student in five years) and others. A few of these writing assignments have been excerpted here.
Design Communication & TEchnology
Design Communications (DES COMM) and Design Technology (DES TECH) courses cover the tools of industrial design. These courses operate alongside design studio and theory courses to prepare students with the technical framework that supports their philosophical and creative pursuits in design. In these classes, I provide hands-on instruction in sketching, rendering, CAD modeling and other skills, based on my background as a practicing product designer, inventor and builder. Most assignments take place over the course of a week.
Foundations drawing is one of the first classes a student experiences at DAAP. During this class, students learn the basics of drawing even before selecting their specific design focus. The examples shown here are from one semester during which the class produced a number of drawings, including a master copy and a series of still life illustrations.
One of the assignments shown in the gallery below took place near Halloween and used pumpkin carving to provide an introduction to orthographic illustration. Students were asked to draw their pumpkins orthographically, using the skills they had learned, then illustrate a carving they intended to execute on the pumpkin. With this new diagram in hand, they then attempted to translate their drawing onto the pumpkin, in 3D. This simple exercise taught them the basics of orthographic illustration and illustrated the difficulties of translating 2D art into 3D.
The excerpts below show the demo I created and the student work that followed as we carved pumpkins together, from our orthographic drawings.
The Human Powered Studio was an elective I created and taught in the summer of 2011. This course was open to students from all backgrounds and challenged groups of students to design and fabricate a human-powered vehicle. During the course, students from multiple disciplines — industrial design, fine art, engineering, and others — collaborated to develop vehicles that included bike-jousting tall bikes, face-first gravity racers, eliptical-wheel skateboards and an adult tricyle (think "Radio Flyer"... but giant and with beer-holders).
" We’re going to build a bicycle frame? How do you do that?” Those were my first thoughts about the project I undertook in the human powered bicycle studio. I had never even dreamt of building a bicycle frame. I thought that at best this studio would end with a bunch of janky models. What I did find out though was that working through the process of building the bicycle and working through little problems as they came up, we were able to construct a decent first prototype of a tall bike. Like Richard Sennentt proposes in his book, The Craftsman, we went through a process of creating resistances, working through ambiguities, developing sensitivity of the hand, and carrying on the tradition of craft."
- Jonathan Kroeger (in a written reflection on Richard Sennett's The Craftsman)
In 2016, I provided the industrial design perspective for a collaborative studio combining industrial and fashion design intended to relaunch a major eyewear brand. The studio was comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of 27 students from industrial, communications, and fashion design.
Student work from this course is currently unavailable.