Motorbike Heaters and Shadow Story Books: Changing the World with Imagination
[Interview] Jaeho Sung, chair of the Graduate Exhibition Committee & Professor Daniel Saakes
A knee heater for motorcycles, an educational kit that breathes life into drawings, a cotton sanitary pad cleaner, a water-based brush for cat grooming, and a self-drying shoe rack.
The lobby of the KAIST Industrial Design Building was filled with 29 design products for everyday life. Students majoring in industrial design held a graduate exhibition under the theme of Redefine Everyday Living from November 10 to 17.
The graduate exhibition of the Department of Industrial Design has been held under different themes since 1968. The students participate in every stage of the process, from designing exhibition posters to publishing pamphlets.
The students also showcased their work on December 7 in COEX, Seoul. Jaeho Sung, the chair of the Graduate Exhibition Committee, and Professor Daniel Saakes shared with us some stories from behind the scenes.
(From left) Jaeho Sung and Professor Daniel Saakes , Department on Industrial Design.
Products that Prioritize Consumers Over Aesthetics
Jaeho Sung, who served as the chair of the Graduate Exhibition Committee and curator, introduced each design project. He said, “These works are the heart and soul of the students.”
(From left) Shadow Puppet Book and B-HEAT.
In the middle of the exhibition hall was B-HEAT, a self-generating hot air fan for motorcycles in winter. B-HEAT recycles exhausted engine heat produced at high speed, and uses the stored electricity to deliver heat to motorcyclists.
On the other side of the hall, a few shadows danced over a black cloth. This project was titled Shadow Puppet Book. The interactive storybook produces moving shadows when detachable character puppets are recognized in a smartphone application. This was made possible by integrating the puppets with AR markers.
Professor Saakes said, “This year’s exhibition is more diverse and creative than in previous years. The students placed more emphasis on improving the lives of consumers, rather than focusing on aesthetics.” Jaeho Sung added, “The projects are not merely ideas; they have gone through tests and are fully functional.”
(Clockwise from left) Window Factory (moving drawing kit), Flovie (flower bouquet shelf), Tilt (shoe rack), Sangsang Donghwa (audio recording story book), Na-bit (comb for cats), COTTIN (cotton sanitary pad cleaner).
Student-led Projects with Professors Giving Advice
The Graduate Exhibition Committee was formed this spring to prepare for the exhibition. The committee consists of 19 students in three divisions: design, PR, and exhibition planning. The design team designed posters and pamphlets, while the exhibition planning team was responsible for exhibition lighting and arrangement. The PR team was kept busy with finding sponsors. Jaeho Sung said, “It wasn’t easy to get sponsors, and the PR team had a hard time.”
The students decided on their design concepts in spring, and created prototypes in fall. They were each assisted by their advisor and Professor Daniel Saakes.
Professor Daniel Saakes, who was the supervising professor of the exhibition, helped students to fully concentrate on their projects. It was also his role to help students prepare their work in time, making suggestions like, “How about proceeding to the next stage?”
Professor Saakes stressed the importance of presentations and posters, reminding students to put themselves in the shoes of viewers. He taught students how to give an elevator pitch, that is, introducing their work using a few sentences within one minute. Students were advised to step back and think of the big picture when making posters. After getting tips from professors, it was up to the students to make the final decisions.
The students’ projects were evaluated on November 14. They gave a presentation for two minutes in English before a group of ten professors.
The exhibition was open to parents, friends, professors outside of industrial design, and students. The students had the opportunity to receive feedback from various perspectives.
Students introduce their work to visitors.
Professor Saakes told the students to continue studying even after graduating. “Arduino and other technological developments have caused a paradigm shift in design. Thanks to these advancements, designers can now easily test their products.”
Lastly, he said, “In the age of the fourth industrial revolution, learning should not be confined to within the classroom. I hope you will continue to absorb new knowledge and techniques. Keep learning!”
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