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University of Cincinnati Teams Up with Local Industries for ICFF 2019

College students from the University of Cincinnati left a big impression on visitors to the recent ICFF 2019 show in New York City. The school’s industrial design and architecture students teamed up with their local Ohio area companies to make household items out of heavy industry materials.

During this season’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair, the House Tipster Industry team spoke with John Dixon, the University of Cincinnati industrial design assistant professor, to hear how the products were conceptualized and developed.

University of Cincinnati student Caroline Edwards and assistant professor John Dixon. Photography by House Tipster

“We had 26 students – six architecture and 20 industrial design students –work with nine industry partners, only one of those had done furniture before,” Dixon said. “The other nine were business-to-business, so that ranges from a saw mill to a bell foundry to GE Additive that does metal 3D printing. The teams were tasked with working with their partner to design a houseware or furniture that uses their technologies really well.”

Photography by House Tipster

Each of the students worked with a variety of non-traditional materials they had at their disposal for this unique project, and created accessories and home objects across multiple disciplines. The result was an eclectic mix of products showcasing their unique talents.

Photography by House Tipster

“We’ve got bronze hammers, we have a bench from a saw mill, some 3D-printed tables from large scale printers… there’s a pretty broad range of products,” Dixon added about the items on display.

Industrial design student Caroline Edwards. Photography by House Tipster

Among many of the particularly notable pieces are a hanging wall garden crafted from recycled industrial bag fabric scraps, ground glass dust firings, and 3D printed objects with so-called “controlled failures.”

Photography by House Tipster

Dixon said the university’s participation in ICFF lets students see how their future professional projects will fit in to a larger design industry conversation.

“I think the biggest thing is to get students to see the larger furniture industry and how we fit within that sphere,” he said. “We’re a user-centered school, and this was instead approaching it from a different point of departure, looking at manufacturing rather than users is a direction to start things.”

Photography by House Tipster

Stay tuned for more student profiles from this ICFF season, coming soon to House Tipster Industry.

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