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South Korean company sponsors ASU Design School by building prototypes for students

ASU Industrial Design Prototype

Industrial design alumna Muriel Shields shows off a prototype of her Salud design. Photo courtesy of the Herberger Institute.

March 06, 2017

A South Korean model-making company is sponsoring The Design School in Arizona State University's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts by building prototypes for selected students.

Dosun Shin, associate professor in industrial design, said this partnership with Model Solution gives students valuable experience by giving them insight into the process of how their designs can be built professionally.

“Design is all about visualizing ideas,” Shin said. “Prototype models provide valuable information (about) the product, which includes form aesthetic, human factors, materials, interaction and product emotion. The quality of a prototype model tends to change the result of those evaluations, and it is required to have high quality prototype models before manufacturing.”

Model Solution agreed to sponsor ASU last year after Shin made a connection with the company. Shin selected a project by Muriel Shields, who was a student in his senior studio last year, for the sponsorship.

The company built a model worth $10,000 of her design for Salud. Salud was designed to replace a standard refrigerator water and ice-dispensing unit with an in-home, low-profile, automated medication management device for elderly patients.

The prototype built by Model Solution was not a functional model but an appearance model, which is an accurate physical representation of product appearance but usually does not contain any working parts. Shin took the prototype to the Industrial Designers Society of American International Conference in August, where more than 1,000 people saw Shields’ design. 

Shin will choose another student design this year to have prototyped and will show the prototype at the next IDSA conference. The company sponsors nine universities, and all prototypes are displayed at the conference.

Shin said this partnership is an example of innovative thinking and serving students.

“ASU is the No. 1 university in Innovation, so the way we think, teach, research and serve should be innovative as well,” Shin said. “Nine Korean industrial design faculty, including myself, who are teaching in the universities discussed this program with the Model Solution company in South Korea and made this sponsorship program. I am excited to build this type of win-win program with industries.”

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