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'Water Wheelchair' Design Wins MFA Student Gold Award

School of Industrial Design MFA student Youjin Nam recently won a Gold Award in the Student Design competition from BusinessWeek Online. Their 2004 Annual Design Awards competition highlights the best product designs of 2004.

Youjin Nam’s winning entry was Excel, the ‘water wheelchair’, an aquatic mobility device for the disabled. Ms. Nam, an award-winning designer prior to beginning graduate studies at the Academy of Art University, looked to nature for design solutions that would give the disabled swimmer the utmost safety, accessibility, and comfort while integrating all into an attractive, user-friendly design.

“I started from the theory of biomicry, taking inspiration from nature’s designs and processes to solve human problems,” she says.

Tom Matano, Director of the School of Industrial Design, is “ happy to see this level of quality work come out of our industrial design graduate school. It sets a new standard for other students to follow.”

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