Royal Win in Product Design Competition for CCA Design Students

Submitted by CCA students Leslie Greene and Sam Bertain

Congratulations to CCA's 2014 Royal Society of Arts U.S. Student Design Award Winners -- and to their faculty advisors!

This year's awardees included an impressive sampling from not one, but two CCA design programs -- Fashion Design and Industrial Design:

  • Sara Ahli (Fashion Design 2015)
  • Samuel Bertain (Industrial Design 2015)
  • Leslie Greene (Industrial Design 2015)
  • Sophia Jain-Embry (Fashion Design 2015)
  • Yuchung Chen (Industrial Design 2015)

The aforementioned CCA students worked with faculty advisors Lynda Grose and Joe Urich. Grose commented, “Sam and Leslie are stellar students. It’s gratifying that their efforts are being recognized.”

According to the website: "This year’s finalists performed well above our expectations for undergraduate work, giving our jurors a most challenging and inspiring job in allocating awards."

Innovation: Air Kinetic Knee Brace

Submitted by Leslie Greene and Sam Bertain, the Air Kinetic Knee Brace project earned the young designers the first Bill Moggridge Award for Multidisciplinary Design (sponsored by Techmer PM).

The project uses 3D-printed molds, silicone elastomers, soft robotics, pneumatic-powered air padding, and lots and lots of ingenuity.

In a joint statement from Greene and Bertain: "It feels great to be honored for the hard work and time we put into this project. We're grateful to have had the support from our instructors, Joe and Lynda, that allowed us to take this as far as we did.

"We wanted to explore a system using new technologies and manufacturing processes that are applicable not only to knee braces, but to a wider area of medical rehabilitation and patient experience.

"We'd also like to extend our appreciation to 3D Systems, for taking the time to talk with us and for supporting us with our model making."

Watch a short video about the Air Kinetic Knee Brace »

The two young designers also received the RSA-US Leadership Award for Product Design and the Techmer PM Award for Design Innovation.

Bold Thinking Starts in the Classroom

"I was really inspired by meeting so many young, talented people who have such unusual ideas," said Fashion Design student Sophia Jain-Embry. "This class pushed my thinking to consider more closely how thinking about low-impact patterning doesn't have to sacrifice design.

"I developed a one-pattern-piece jacket -- that I am currently expanding into pants and a dress -- which can be folded up and sewn in under five minutes. Fourteen of my one-piece blazers can be sewn in the same time as is industry standard for one unlined blazer."

Process, Research as Important as Concept

Awardee Sara Ahli: "At CCA I am highly encouraged to have a story and a meaningful concept behind my designs, where the process and research is just as important as the end product.

"I have been studying the concept of dematerialization by exploring ways in which we can incorporate this ideology into fashion. With dematerialization in mind, I hope to prove that less is more and be able to design clothing that is smart, purposeful, modern, and valuable to its customers.

"Being awarded the Pointcarre Design Software, License and Support award -- I could not be any more grateful."

Ahli acknowledged Fashion Design chair Amy Williams and Lynda Grose: "Without them I would not have been able to be a part of this opportunity."

Awarded CCA Students

Sara Ahli

Prize: Pointcarre Design Software, License and Support

Sam Bertain
Leslie Greene

AIR Kinetic Knee Brace
Prizes: The Bill Moggridge Award for Interdisciplinary Design sponsored by Techmer PM; RSA-US Leadership Award for Product Design; Techmer PM Award for Design Innovation

Sophia Jain-Embry

Under Five Jacket
Prize: Bentley Mills Award for Designcraft

Yuchung Chen

Modular Shoe
Prize: Product Design Internship with NOOKA

Read the full feature »

About RSA-US

The RSA-US Student Design Awards is one of three main initiatives of RSA in the United States:

  • The RSA-US Student Design Awards, helping to shape the future
  • The Benjamin Franklin Medal, celebrating thought leadership and innovation
  • Fellows in Action, supporting positive change with our Challenge Fund, our Diebold Scholarships, and engagement initiatives