Neat piece by Caroline Tiger, who incidentally has an ideal superhero name, for the Inquirer today about BUILD Studio, a sophomore-year course in Philadelphia University’s industrial design major. In it, students get real-life experience by working with a local company to come up with some product within parameters; the best design actually gets produced. A past challenge, for example, involved working with mass production, designing something that can be produced for very little and sold for more than $20. This year, it was Urban Outfitters:
The Urban Outfitters challenge was more about understanding the demographics the company targets (predominantly women in college or in their first apartment who use housewares as a means to showcase their individuality), and the subcategories of those types (the feminine girl, the bohemian girl, the dude), plus working within three specific themes the Home team had already hatched for the Holiday 2010 collection.
Hey! I use housewares as a means to showcase my individuality! It doesn’t sound that great when you put it like that.
Anyway, say what you may about Urban Outfitters, but Kristen Mathas, who’s in the picture above with her winning ‘Stache Flask, gets an A+ in nailing the aesthetic:
“My ‘Stache Flask combines two of your best-sellers: mustaches and flasks,” Mathas pointed out.
I kind of want to see the other 30-odd designs, in a “What do students come up with when they analyze all the crap in Urban Outfitters and try to come up with something that fits the pattern” way.