'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
“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
graduate school. It sets a new standard for other students to follow.”