SCAD students gain international career exposure with presentation to VTech in Hong Kong
Published: May 4, 2009
Industrial design students given opportunity to bring their "Connected Home" concepts to life as VTech products
Hong Kong – In today's challenging economic environment, preparing students for professional careers through real work experience can prove invaluable. For students from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), the most comprehensive art and design university in the world, this experience converts to jobs and internships with leading companies in the international market.
This week, for the second year in a row, 12 students from SCAD's industrial design department are presenting design concepts to VTech, a Hong Kong-headquartered, worldwide leader in corded and cordless telephones and electronic learning products. Students presenting their designs may have their designs selected by the company for further product development. The students and two professors will travel from Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A., to VTech's headquarters in Hong Kong to present their concepts, which center around the idea of the "connected home," to the company's senior design team.
"As a globally competitive company with a leading focus on product design, we have been very impressed with the quality of design and innovation that SCAD students have brought forth," said David Waterman, VTech design director. "The SCAD industrial design program really prepares its students to succeed in the marketplace."
Based on the relevance and marketability of their design concepts, VTech also may choose to offer internships or full-time employment to several students.
The partnership has already proven fruitful for SCAD students and VTech. In 2008, VTech planned to hire one intern from the group of 15 students who participated in the sponsored project. In fact, as a result of the quality of the student design concepts, VTech offered positions to three students from SCAD's industrial design program: one as a full-time designer and two as design interns (representing 20 percent of the visiting student group).
The success of the student group comes as no surprise to SCAD Professor of Industrial Design Peter Fossick, who has guided the students through their design process. "SCAD is focused on preparing students for professional careers within the creative industries," he noted. "SCAD nurtures and cultivates the qualities of each student through an interesting curriculum, in an inspiring environment, under the leadership of involved professors. We also instill a strong work ethic through practical assignments that often involve real clients. Because of their superior education, SCAD graduates are in demand."
According to a recent study by the university, more than eight out of 10 graduates in 2008 who responded to a survey were employed in their creative fields or admitted to graduate school within six months of graduation.
While SCAD faculty, alumni and students have worked in Hong Kong for a number of years, SCAD officially announced plans earlier this year to open a campus in North Kowloon in 2010. Pending approval from the Hong Kong Education Bureau and the U.S. Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SCAD-Hong Kong’s proposed programs of study will focus on digital media: advertising design, animation, graphic design, illustration, interactive design and game development, motion media design (broadcast design and motion graphics), photography, sound design, and visual effects. Digital media graduates now work for such renowned companies as Pixar, DreamWorks, Electronic Arts, Digital Kitchen, Rhythm & Hues, Activision and Digital Domain.
About SCAD industrial design
The SCAD industrial design department prepares design professionals for contemporary issues in the global marketplace. The department develops highly motivated visionary students of design who create, articulate and communicate innovative solutions that improve lives. Housed in the 43,000-square-foot Gulfstream Center for Industrial and Furniture Design, the department utilizes state-of-the art studios, labs and workshops, high-end computer lab workstations and the latest industry software, including Autodesk Studio, Rhino 3-D, SolidWorks and Maya. Students may use 3-D printers to print polycarbonate or ABS 3-D models of their computer-generated designs.
In 2008-09 the industrial design department was involved in more than 20 industry-sponsored projects with such companies as JCB, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Dell, CaseMate, Kicker, Freescale Microprocessor, Philips Design, Newell Rubbermaid and Kids II.
Debbie Scheller, B.F.A. animation student, directed "The Pick-up Princess," an animated children's e-book that is now published and available for purchase on the iTunes store. For more information on "The Pick-up Princess," visit Balloon Cat Animated E-books.
Other students who worked on the project include:
Color: Kevin Garubba, B.F.A. animation student
Layout: Catherine Huyck, B.F.A. animation student
Rough animation/color: Eric Monachello, B.F.A. animation student
Graphic design: Paloma Schultz, B.F.A. graphic design student
Rough animation: Waymond Singleton, B.F.A. animation student
Rough animation: Cassandra Trissler, B.F.A. animation student
Color: Sean Ward, B.F.A. animation student
Rough animation: Margaretta Westerman, B.F.A. animation student
Christina Coniglio (B.F.A., fashion, 2010) and Ariel Lilly (B.F.A., fashion, 2009) have launched their own label, Rae Francis. You may meet them at a special trunk show hosted by Kathi Rich, 6-8 p.m., Thursday, May 30, 2515 Abercorn St., Savannah, Georgia.