Dezeen Magazine

Adaptive computer pointing device for users with hand tremors

IDSA presents 10 award-winning student industrial design projects

Dezeen School Shows: a versatile kettlebell that aims to combine the benefits of art and exercise is included in Dezeen's latest school show by Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).

Also included is a gadget that transforms recycled PET bottles into filament for 3D printers and a portable device designed to reduce the number of fatalities caused by opioid overdose.

Industrial Designers Society of America

Organisation: Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)
Institutions: ArtCenter College of Design, Umeå Institute of Design, Carleton University, Korea University, Western Washington University, University of Oregon, Cleveland Institute of Art, Purdue University, Parsons (The New School) and University of Houston
Award: 2023 IDSA Student Merit Award

Organisation statement:

"The 2023 International Design Conference and IDSA Education Symposium, a flagship event by IDSA, took place in the heart of New York City from 23 to 25 August, uniting global design leaders in a celebration of innovation and creativity.

"The three-day experience proved to be a nexus of innovation, inspiration and collaborative spirit. A central highlight of the conference was the recognition of remarkable student design work, showcasing the ingenuity of the next generation of designers.

"The 2023 IDSA Student Merit Award winners were presented on the main stage – these exceptional young talents, carefully chosen by a panel of distinguished industry experts, represent the pinnacle of creativity and dedication within the realm of industrial design.

"Further underscoring the significance of student excellence in design, the 43rd annual International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) celebrated a cohort of exceptional student winners.

"Notably, this year's Best in Show award, the most prestigious honour of the competition was bestowed upon a remarkably talented student.

"This accolade serves as a resounding affirmation of the profound impact that emerging designers are making on the field of industrial design."

3D-printed gadget that transforms PET bottles in filament for 3D printers

Polyformer by Reiten Cheng

"Polyformer is a 3D-printed, open-source machine that transforms PET water bottles into filaments for 3D printers – it is a cheap and compact solution as opposed to traditional recycling methods.

"A slicing tool built with stacked bearings cut the water bottles into long and consistent ribbons, allowing the user to then feed them into the hot end of the 3D printer.

"This thermoforms the ribbons into 1.75 millimetre filaments as they are fed through the brass nozzle with a corresponding hole size.

"The user can then mount one end of the filament onto the red motorised spool to automatically start the wrapping process. The spool can be taken off easily to be transferred and used on a 3D printer.

"Polyformer can easily be replicated by makers in other countries –  over 300 Polyformers are currently being built in more than 50 countries across the world, building a large and decentralised network of water bottle recycling points.

"We established a community of over 3500 people across 10 months, building a closed loop with the end users by directly talking to them to understand their pain points, changing the design to solve their pain points and letting them 3D print the parts for testing."

Student: Reiten Cheng
Institution: ArtCenter College of Design
Award: IDEA Best in Show
Email: reiten966[at]

Tethering tool for climbing with different tools attached

TetherLock by Jakob Kohnle

"TetherLock is an innovative tethering system that allows industrial climbers to secure their tools in an efficient and safe way.

"By storing unused tools on a base that is connected to the harness and only tethering the actively used tools, it streamlines tool handling and reduces clutter.

"The integration of the TetherLock mechanism allows the switch from storage to active tethering to occur in a matter of seconds.

"Current solutions require a separate tether for each tool, which can quickly become a problem when multiple tools are needed. The extra tethers introduce extra weight and tangle with each other and the safety hooks, slowing down work.

"Dropping a tool poses not only a safety risk but also a serious delay as the user has to climb all the way down to retrieve it and climb up again.

"Due to the symmetric design, TetherLock can not only switch tools between a tether and base, but also between tethers."

Student: Jakob Kohnle
Institution: Umeå Institute of Design
Award: IDEA Gold winner
Email: Jakob[at]

Visualisation of a livestock healthcare device in a farm

Bandi Livestock Quarantine System by Minkyun Kim, Yunjung Lee and Seunghun Yoo

"Bandi is a veterinary system designed to revolutionise livestock industry healthcare to benefit stakeholders and animals by enhancing the efficiency of the quarantine process.

"Bandi system offers end-to-end management of quarantine journeys through the operation of quarantine drones, drone management stations, quarantine supply packages and mobile applications.

"The drones fly over each large-scale livestock farm in place of veterinarians, spray disinfectant solutions and analyse the farm using digital twins and air collection technology through infrared cameras and chemical sensors.

"The data preemptively identified by drones reduces the on-site work veterinarians carry out in farmhouses – it also helps establish a response system, prioritising in order of emergency to contribute to the cleanup of the community.

"Bandi system serves the needs of all livestock stakeholders by establishing connections between veterinarians and vets, veterinarians and farm owners, veterinarians and livestock animals, consumers and environmental pollution in the community.

"It can potentially benefit the entire ecosystem by preventing secondary pollution in the surrounding environment caused by livestock deaths – this can cause problems such as soil contamination, leachate and groundwater and air pollution."

Student: Minkyun Kim, Yunjung Lee and Seunghun Yoo
Institution: Korea University
Award: IDEA Gold winner
Email: ekwjdtnswjd[at]

Portable naloxone administration device attached to a set of keys

Nove by Brendan Mudd

"In response to the alarming statistics surrounding opioid overdose deaths, Nove is a discreet and portable naloxone administration device designed to address the critical issue of naloxone accessibility.

"The project aims to provide an effective and low-cost solution that empowers individuals to intervene and save lives during overdose situations.

"The lack of accessibility to naloxone remains a significant barrier and many individuals are hesitant to carry it due to factors such as its size, potential stigma or cost. This limitation can prevent timely intervention and contribute to the tragic loss of life.

"Nove's design aligns with FDA regulations and is a similar size to a key fob making it portable. It includes clear colour-coded instructions to guide users through the administration process, ensuring proper use during high stress situations.

"A simple safety strip removal activates the device, revealing the administration button and nasal cap. Placing the device between fingers and inserting the nasal tip, users can press the button to administer naloxone effectively."

Student: Brendan Mudd
Institution: Western Washington University
Award: Student Merit Award West District

Visualisation of a boot for field herpetologists in divergent habitats

Ecotherm by Daniel Carhuff

"The Ectotherm field boot addresses the unique challenges faced by field herpetologists in divergent habitats in Maryland, USA. It aims to create versatile and efficient outdoor footwear that ensures comfort and safety to enhance field research experiences.

"The project explores multiple design directions, resulting in a hybrid solution that incorporates various functional elements to meet the diverse needs of the users.

"It features efficient and lightweight add-ons including waterproof socks with detachable gaiters to prevent dirt and debris from entering the footwear – an adjustable waterproof gaiter converts the boot to a wader.

"It features an interconnected footwear system for diverse tasks, incorporating elements like sandals, waterproof socks and a rugged outer shell for rocky terrain.

"The design balances the need for protection and support on dry rocky slopes with the drainage and breathability essential for submerged environments. This solution caters to various field scenarios such as knee-deep wading or planned extensive wading."

Student: Daniel Carhuff
Institution: University of Oregon
Award: Graduate Student Merit Award West District

Visualisation of a cabinet

AnDi Entryway Cabinet by Emberlynn Miao

"The core objective of the AnDi Entryway Cabinet is to address the stress associated with returning home to a chaotic environment.

"By seamlessly blending aesthetics with functionality, the project proposes a functional piece of furniture that not only conceals visual clutter but also integrates aesthetic elements to promote interaction, organisation and joy within the living space.

"The cabinet employs a single pivot point mechanism using gliders, optimising space usage and allowing a swinging motion for effortless interaction.

"The cabinet incorporates detachable legs, allowing flexibility in its placement and accommodating various spatial requirements.

"It exudes a sense of harmony with nature, utilising earth tones, rounded corners and flowing patterns.

"The cabinet is constructed using high-quality materials such as oak, french wicker rattan and walnut accents to provide a rich contrast and add depth to the cabinet's design."

Student: Emberlynn Miao
Institution: Cleveland Institute of Art
Award: Student Merit Award Central District

Model and sketches of a multi-use exercise kettlebell that can be used as home decoration

Knot by Haleigh Esene

"The Knot embodies the innovative convergence of home decoration and workout equipment, presenting a modern solution that seamlessly integrates exercise into the aesthetics of daily living.

"With a focus on enhancing the at-home workout experience through artful design, Knot introduces a beautifully crafted kettlebell that not only motivates movement but also elevates interior spaces.

"By merging the benefits of physical exercise with the psychological advantages of art consumption, Knot aims to reduce stress, enhance critical thinking and alleviate mental fatigue.

"The twist and lock mechanism enables users to easily adjust the weight, making it versatile and suitable for different fitness levels.

"Knot boasts a range of design features that contribute to its unique appeal and functionality. Available in oak, pine and walnut variants, Knot seamlessly blends into various home settings while providing a choice of aesthetics.

"It features an iron core that ensures structural integrity, durability and stability during workouts and is space-efficient in its size to optimise both display and storage."

Student: Haleigh Esene
Institution: University of Houston
Award: Student Merit Award South District

Young child brushing teeth and holding a penguin-shaped toothpaste dispenser

Bobbles by Elizabeth Hwang

"This toothpaste dispenser tackles the common issue of making dental hygiene engaging for children aged four to six. The goal was to merge ergonomics and functionality with a playful appearance that is reminiscent of beloved animals such as giraffes and dinosaurs.

"The design process drew inspiration from objects such as lighters and perfume bottles while integrating 3D-modelling techniques.

"In-depth interviews with children aged four to six revealed valuable insights, allowing us to test hand and grip sizes to optimise the design.

"The children's feedback highlighted their preferences for certain flavours and their comfort in specific hand grips. Collaboration with local schools, class interviews and parent input further enriched the design process.

"The Bobbles toothpaste container features an ergonomic design for easy gripping, hands-free dispensing to minimise mess, a playful animal shape, a detachable 'beak' in place of the lid and feet that can detach for refilling while offering stability.

"Bobble also features a refillable system with an internal diaphragm and piston mechanism, airless pump technology to reduce waste, a two-month refill schedule that encourages consistent dental care and an environmentally-conscious approach."

Student: Elizabeth Hwang
Institution: Parsons (The New School)
Award: Student Merit Award Northeast District

Rendering of a storage device for used coffee grounds with descriptive text

Ground by Gus Curran-Muñoz

"This project proposes a storage system for coffee grounds while treating them with heat for future use as fertiliser.

"Ground Coffee Recycler System is a project that aims to streamline the process of drying coffee grounds so they can be recycled into fertiliser while maintaining a ritual-focused coffee-making experience.

"It includes a dedicated container for grounds, a vacuum-insulated heating element and fertiliser pucks that provide a more compact solution for plant care. They are all powered by a shared heating source with a coffee recycling and brewing system."

Student: Gus Curran-Muñoz
Institution: Purdue University
Award: Student Merit Award Midwest District

Adaptive computer pointing device for users with hand tremors

Shift by Chris Lee

"Shift is an adaptive computer pointing device that offers an intuitive and accessible way for users with hand tremors – as a result of Parkinson's Disease (PD) or Essential Tremors (ET) – to use a computer and regain their digital mobility.

"A shifting dome provides precise translational control and a pressure sensitive trackpad tracks large coarse movements while preventing unintentional clicks, improving accuracy that otherwise would be impossible with a traditional mouse.

"A touch capacitor adhered under the convex surface allows for a trackpad-like use, intended for large coarse panning operations – the convex surface mimics a trackball mouse but without a ball.

"A 2D analog potentiometer, the technology found in sliding joysticks of portable gaming consoles, provide 'shifting' translational controls.

"The circular spring mechanism within the potentiometer module creates elastic resistance with displacement, the foundation for a more accurate and precise cursor control.

"Haptic actuator simulates realistic click feedback, coupled with a force sensor that allows click firmness and sensitivity to be adapted to the user."

Student: Chris Lee
Insitution: Carleton University
Award: IDEA Gold winner
Email: mrchrislee[at]

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and Industrial Designers Society of America. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.