BLACKSBURG, Va., March 2, 2010 – Four teams of students from Virginia Tech's industrial design program in the School of Architecture + Design swept the five award categories at an international design competition that included professional industrial designs.
The competition was sponsored by Ardica, a clothing company focused on portable, miniaturized power- and heat-integrated apparel.
Ardica received more than 100 submissions to the competition. On Dec. 5, eight finalist groups — including four groups of third-year industrial design students from Virginia Tech — gathered in San Francisco. The groups were charged with designing an outdoor product that integrates the Moshi Power Pack, which is a flat, flexible battery system that weighs less than one pound, then creating a prototype of their product.
The Moshi Power Pack radiates heat for almost nine hours and can recharge portable products, such as cell phones and iPods, up to 20 times. View a slideshow of the Virginia Tech students’ designs.
A team made up of Kyle McCrory of Charlottesville, Va.; Patrice Hsia of Richmond, Va.; and Greg Lefevere of Columbia, Md., designed the first prize winner: the “Voltage” sleeping bag. Their sleeping bag integrated the Moshi Power Pack at the foot and controls at chest-level, as well as a USB charging station and a flashlight nook.
Second prize and the People’s Choice Award went to the “Aeolus” coal mining respirator. The respirator was designed by Matt Saunders of Oakton, Va., and Tony Smith of Oak Hill, Va. Aeolus offers a slimmed down alternative to the bulky respirators currently worn by coal miners. The Moshi Power Pack runs an intake fan that forces air through vent slits and a filter into a tube to the mouth.
Third prize went to the “Photogenesis” backpack for professional photographers. The backpack was designed by Danny Calabrese of Raleigh, N.C.; Brad Johnson of Herndon, Va.; and Matt Manganti of Virginia Beach, Va. The Photogenesis uses a belt system of sliding storage modules and shoulder straps with a USB cord and water tube.
The Student Design Award was won by Crosby Reinders of Germantown, Md., for his ski patrol vest design. The vest accommodates the transport of small-scale emergency rescue equipment, which is charged by the Moshi Power Pack.
The students were all enrolled in a class taught by Akshay Sharma, assistant professor of industrial design, and Ed Dorsa, associate professor of industrial design and assistant director of the School of Architecture and Design.
The judging committee included Fritz Prinz, who serves both as the chairman of the mechanical engineering department at Stanford University and the chairman of the board of Ardica; David Kelley, founder of IDEO, one of the world’s leading industrial design firms and the originator of the Stanford University Design School; Ted Ganio, vice-president of product development at Mountain Hardwear; Joe Brown, product editor of Wired Magazine; and Brian Lam of Gizmodo, the world leading technical blog.
The People’s Choice Award contest was conducted on Twitter.