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George Chow, IDSA

ID Associate Professor at University of Houston

George Chow, IDSA

George K. Chow is an ID Associate Professor at UH and has worked professionally as an Industrial Designer since 1999. He has received several Design awards including IDEA Gold, Silver, Red Dot: Best of the Best, iF Product Design, Chicago Athenaeum Good Design and Medical Design Excellence Awards. George received his BFA in ID from CMU and MFA in Design from OSU. George has been teaching Industrial Design since 2008 and has won several teaching awards including the 2021 IDSA Young Educator Award. George enjoys photography, drumming, cooking, traveling, fishing and spending quality time with his family and friends.

Crossing a Chasm on Cardboard: A Case Study for Teaching More Sustainably

Education Symposium

Rapid Fire Group E

August 25, 2023

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Breakout - Shubert

With issues like climate change, pollution, deforestation, drought, extreme weather patterns, and a world population that is projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, there has been a strong push in industrial design education to teach sustainability to the next generation of designers. In order to teach sustainability, many schools utilize hands-on projects as an engaging way for students to learn and apply design principles but many of the materials used for the project prototypes are often not sustainable or eco-friendly including blue/pink insulation foam, high-density urethane foams, foam board, MDF, particle board, putty fillers, plastics, epoxies, adhesives, joint compound, primer, and non-eco-friendly paints. Is there a way to teach sustainable design effectively using only sustainable or more eco-friendly prototyping materials? This paper describes a case study where a 2nd year industrial design studio was tasked with designing and building a personal watercraft made only from corrugated cardboard (no tape, glue, paint, or fasteners) which had to transport the student across 75 ft. (width of a pool) of water without sinking. The successes, failures, and learning outcomes are shared with the hope that others would build upon this learned experience.

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