Category Archives: Product Design

Toy Product Design PLAYsentations, May 4, 2011

On Wednesday, May 4, 2011, students in Barry Kudrowitz‘s (Product Design) Toy Product Design course will present and demonstrate four new toy concepts that they designed and prototyped this semester. The event, Toy Product Design PLAYsentations, will take place in 100 Rapson Hall at 8 pm. For more information on the course, go to

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Kudrowitz profiled by Pioneer Press

Barry Kudrowitz (Product Design) was recently profiled by Richard Chin at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Kudrowitz, the first full-time product design faculty member at the College of Design, is currently teaching Toy Product Design in the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel.

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Kudrowitz's Toy Product Design course featured by UMNews

Barry Kudrowitz (Product Design), the first full-time product design faculty member at the College of Design, has launched the course “Toy Product Design” for undergraduate and graduate students to design and prototype their own toy concepts.

Kudrowitz says the goal of the course is to introduce students to the product development process. At the end of the course, students will present their toy product prototypes at so-called “PLAYsentations” to toy designers, engineers, kids and the University of Minnesota community.

University of Minnesota News Service advisory: “U of M College of Design students to design and prototype their own toy concepts

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Spring 2011 Welcome from the W.L. Hall Workshop

The W.L. Hall Workshop is an open laboratory for academic work related to CDES coursework. Non-academic use is not allowed.

Tentative Spring 2011 hours

Mon.-Thu. 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

We’ve posted a calendar for the Workshop and the Annex to our main webpage. The intent of this calendar is to give everybody a sense of how busy the Workshop will be from time to time. We will post both times that the Workshop or the Annex are reserved for specific courses/activities and times that will will be designated work periods for particular classes. If you have class sessions that will include significant use of the Workshop, please let me know so that we can add it to the calendar.

DES 3170/5170 Toy Product Design
Barry Kudrowitz’s ToyLab will be meeting in the Annex Thursdays 9-12 throughout the semester. The Annex will be unavailable to other users during these times. On two of these class periods the entire Workshop is reserved for this course and there a number of additional work days that the ToyLab will be in the Annex and Workshop.

We are awaiting schematic design documents from the architects and Facilities Management for the renovation of 129 Rapson for the DigiFabLab. If all stays on schedule, we will see construction documents soon and be getting estimates by the of March. Construction is not particularly extensive, so we still foresee the DigiFabLab being operational for Fall 2011. The DigiFabLab committee has prioritized Staffing for the DigiFabLab is addressed in the upcoming budget proposal.

CNC router
We’ve getting pretty comfortable with the operation of the CNC router and we’re taking on projects on a routine basis. Introduction, tutorials, streaming instructional video’s etc.. can all be found on the CNC page. Justin Kindlespire has been identified as the primary CNC Technician so if you would like to use the router, please consult with him during his normal working hours (M-F 10-5). DO NOT expect immediate results, setting up files for machining can take some time and parts sometimes require many hours to machine. The operation of equipment of this nature has a significant learning curve which we’re all currently in the middle of: please bear with us as we explore the intricacies of this new capability and share what we find.

User Orientations
Prior to using the Workshop all users are expected to review the policies, procedures and equipment guides found in the User Handbook.
Since we cannot realistically expect to train 1000+ users in all aspects of shop use, all Workshop instruction will be conducted on an as-needed basis. This makes user responsibility more important than ever. Workshop staff are HERE TO HELP: please consult with a shop technician before using any machine or equipment in an unfamiliar manner.

Specific courses which make significant use of the Workshop should schedule an introduction during class session.

If you would like to schedule a general shop tour/introduction or specific demonstration topics please contact Kevin Groenke at

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Product design symposium featured in the line

The college’s product design symposium, “Making, Selling, Buying, Using: Emerging Issues in Product Design,” is featured in an article by Camille LeFevre for the line. “In the 1990s American affluence, branding/marketing/advertising, and ‘designer’ products reached a point of maximum synergy,” LeFevre writes in her lede, referring to Michael Graves’s housewares at Target, Martha Stewart product lines at K-Mart, multicolored iMacs, and the reinvented VW Beetle. She goes on to write about elegantly designed products that don’t carry celebrity names and the College of Design’s launch of the new interdisciplinary Product Design graduate minor.

With regard to the Product Design graduate minor, LeFevre quotes Steven McCarthy (Graphic Design) who also co-chaired the product design symposium: “Our intent was really to bring numerous, diverse disciplines together in the design minor.”

LeFevre also covers symposium presentations by McCarthy, Barry Kudrowitz (Product Design), Daniel Jasper (Graphic Design), Marc Swackhamer (Architecture), as well as other members of the Twin Cities design community.

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Larson captains Canstruction team

Josh Larson (BS Architecture 2008) captained one of four teams competing in Canstruction 2010 at the Mall of America on Saturday, September 25, 2010. canstruction.JPGThe annual Canstruction event puts thousands of non-perishable food items in the hands of local architects, engineers, contractors, designers and students to see who can design the most creative food sculpture using stacks of food.

Larson’s team, which included fellow College of Design alumnus Laura Oestreich (BS Interior Design 2006), assembled a Viking ship set atop a football field in honor of the Minnesota Viking’s 50th anniversary. Their design required 4,150 cans of food to construct and approximately 6 hours to assemble the 8’x10’x10′ structure.

The team raised $5,000 for the project and spent $3,200 on cans for their design. They donated the reminder of their funds, as well as all of the cans from the project, to Second Harvest Heartland at the end of the competition.

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College of Design Fall 2010 events schedule


Making, Selling, Buying, Using: Emerging Issues in Product Design
Friday, September 17, 2010
10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
402 Walter Library, box lunch provided
5:30-8:30 p.m.
Campus Club, Coffman Memorial Union
Public, $30 (includes lunch); $15 for day or evening only; free for U of M students, faculty, staff, and presenters. Online registration required.
Supported by a project grant from the College of Design’s Design Institute

Faculty, researchers, practitioners, and leaders converge for a lively event devoted to product design. This one-day symposium will feature fast-paced presentations from a variety of perspectives, keynotes by Andrew Blauvelt, director of design, Walker Art Center, Maggie Breslin, design researcher, Mayo Clinic SPARC Program, incoming College of Design product design facuty member Barry Kudrowitz, and time for networking and discussion.

RETAIL CONNECT: Succeeding in an Unpredictable Marketplace
Thursday, October 21, 2010 6:30 p.m., registration opens, 7 p.m. program, reception follows
University Hall, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Registration: $20 general, $5 students
Purchase tickets online

What are the top consumer trends that retailers will need to address to successfully navigate the marketplace in 2012 and what are regional retailers doing now to prepare?

Mike Dervos, senior vice president and regional director of stores, Macy’s North Region
Roberta Bonoff, CEO and president, Creative Kidstuff
Vickie Abrahamson, Panoramix Global

Presented by the Retail Merchandising Program and Retail Merchandising Advisory Board, Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel

Creating the Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion
Friday, October 22, 2010 4:30-6:30 p.m.
33 McNeal Hall, reception follows program
Space is limited. RSVP by October 14, 2010.

Sponsored by the College of Design; Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel; Berg Publishers; and Oxford University Press.

Join Joanne Eicher (editor-in-chief), Kathryn Earle (managing director of Berg Publishers and creator of the Berg Fashion Library), John Vollmer (editor of the East Asia volume), and Jane Hegland (contributor of article, “Dress and Fashion Education: Design and Business”) as they share stories about the creation of the first comprehensive reference that explores all aspects of dress and fashion. Following the presentations, the encyclopedia will be on display along with related objects from the Goldstein Museum of Design. Guests will be able to explore the Berg Fashion Library online. Free sewing kits from Berg while supplies last. A drawing will be held for one set of the encyclopedia (a $2,000 value).

Dirty Laundry–Business Edition
Thursday, November 18, 2010 6:30 p.m. social time with appetizers and refreshments, 7 p.m. program begins
Loring Pasta Bar Red Room (Dinkytown), 327 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Free and open to the public. Online registration is required.

Derek Sussner (BS 1996, Design Communications), owner, Sussner Design Company
Joel Wiens, owner, and Priscilla Magana, women apparel director, WSI Sports
Heather Rose-Dunning, interior designer and owner, 20 Below Studio (interior design and architecture)

Sponsored by the Design Student and Alumni Board

Rendezvous with the U: How Architecture Shapes Behavior
Kim Herforth Nielsen, principal architect, MAA, RIBA, 3XN, Denmark
Thursday, November 11, 2010 6 p.m.
100 Rapson Hall
Reception and Ralph Rapson exhibition viewing follow lecture

Architecture can get people talking together. Architecture can calm children in the classroom. Architecture can make passive people more active. Architecture can shape corporate culture. Architecture can encourage people to find new paths, discover new aspects of their city — and of themselves. 3XN believes that architecture can shape behavior and that buildings — like people — are more than the sum of their parts. By applying holistic principles 3XN is constantly exploring the potential for synthesizing design, function, and context. Kim Herforth Nielsen will demonstrate how architecture shapes behavior with a number of 3XN projects.

Kim Herforth Nielsen is founder and principal of 3XN. He graduated from the Aarhus School of Architecture in 1981 and was one of the three Nielsen founders in 1986. Since then he has been the driving force behind 3XN, involved in all the practice’s major projects, including the Blue Planet, Kubus in Berlin, Museum of Liverpool, Ørestad College in Copenhagen, Muziekgebouw Concert Hall in Amsterdam, the Danish Embassy in Berlin, and the Architects’ House in Copenhagen. Nielsen is a frequent jury member in international architectural competitions and lecturer at art academies and universities around the world. He is a Knight of Dannebrog and has received Denmark’s highest architectural honor, the C.F. Hansen Medaille.

Color Trends 2012
Doty Horn, director of color and design for Benjamin Moore Paints
Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 6-8 p.m.
33 McNeal Hall
$15 general admission; students free.
Register at the Goldstein Museum of Design website.
Sponsored by the Goldstein Museum of Design

E3 2010: The Midwest’s Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Saint Paul RiverCentre
Registration is available online
Cosponsored by the College of Design

Housing Alumni Gala
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Watch email for details.
To update your contact information, contact Laura Walton,

Related links:

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Kudrowitz joins Design, Housing, and Apparel as Product Design faculty member

Barry Kudrowitz joins the college’s Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel as a Product Design faculty member on January 13, 2011. Currently a PhD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kudrowitz’s area of research is play and humor in idea generation, as exemplified by his interactive user experience study of toilet paper. He’s interested in applying development techniques used in the entertainment industry to the product design process and incorporating entertainment into design education. Kudrowitz worked with his advisor, David Wallace, on recreating the Archimedes Death Ray as seen on Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters episode 46, which originally aired January 26, 2006. He holds two patents and has a Nerf® toy on the market.

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